After driving out of Reykjavik towards the mountains – I spotted a road that climbed the slopes. Soon I was in the snow line; then I almost ran into a helicopter. Out of nowhere this chopper came racing low across the slopes towards the parking lot I was just about to pull into. After it landed safely I got out of the car and quickly realized how nice it is to have a cocoon of warmth (the car) to drive around in when the air temperature is around freezing and there is a very strong wind chill that makes it much much colder.
The wind cut right through the five layers I had on plus my down jacket. Tomorrow when I go glacier trekking and ice cave exploring – I will be sure to take the extra layers I left behind today.
As it turns out this helicopter was ferrying passengers for a tour group across the snow and mountains to land them on the edge of a volcano. This is certainly one very memorable way to see Iceland!
Continuing down the mountain for some “warmer” weather – I wasn’t actually able to escape the terrible wind but the temperature did rise to a balmy 4C.
I reached Gullfoss Waterfalls (along with many other folks) who came to see this natural wonder among the brown landscape this time of year. Snow banks still were in place along the edge of the water – these falls are impressive right next to the thundering water as looking down on them from far above.
Continuing up the road I made it a few more kilometers but then had to turn back due to a large snow bank still covering the road. A huge Glacier Cat passed me on the road with massive tires – the perfect vehicle for running tours on the glaciers.
I was planning to take a break from cities after the first part of my trip but Reykjavik has a certain pull that keeps me going back in the evenings – not to mention it is a very photogenic city especially when the sun breaks through the clouds.
I discovered Saegreifinn restaurant through a Twitter recommendation. This small restaurant has no menu – you choose a from fresh fish skewers – pick one or two out and then they will prepare these. The lobster soup is also delicious.
Downtown Reykjavik is small – all the buildings are within a short walk of each other. It features a number of colorful buildings and plenty of restaurants. One could spend all their vacation centered here – simply focusing on food!