Searching for first snow – Kerlingarfjoll offseason

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I thought I would never say this, but after the rainiest summer since 100 years I really miss the Icelandic winter with its colorful sunrises at 11 am., blue ice caves, the Northern Lights, and abundant snowfall that makes Reykjavik looks like from one of Christian Andersen’s tales.

When Reykjavik looked still pretty green and most of the roads in the Highlands were still accessible we decided to visit Kerlingarfjoll where the winter already arrived.

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Kerligarfjoll is a popular summer destination as per its colorful steamy hills build with different minerals that you can see only in summer. We went there for the first time at the beginning of winter when the tourists already left. We enjoyed this special atmosphere of abandoned huts and hiked some snowy steamy slopes.

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We started our journey early in the morning, as we didn’t want to get stuck in Kerlingarfjoll for the night. We drove a lot of gravel serpentines and crossed many different types of land space before we saw first signs of snow on the road.

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We made some portraits in a window reflection of an abandoned hangar somewhere on the way

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Since we saw the first sign of snow, the view of white mountains didn’t leave us until we reached the destination.

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The closer we got the roads were becoming bumpier. I’m always scared while driving in the snow in Iceland and always have this uncomfortable feeling that I’m about to get stuck any minute. So far, it happened only once, but it’s a story for another blog.

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On the way, we passed also through a picturesque canyon with a waterfall…

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…and surrealistic a blue-red lake colored by the minerals building the surrounding rocks.

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After a short hike, we were greatly rewarded with this insane view of freshly snowed white mountain peaks. They looked like ice cream covered in Icelandic Skyr and dark licorice sauce.

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While coming down we crossed the orange river bed with contrasting banks covered in snow makes a pretty unreal view.  We got an idea of how Kerlingarfjoll must have looked like during the summer, just one month before.

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Before heading home, we decided to warm up in one of the huts. Hot chocolate never tastes better than after a crispy winter hike. especially, when you sit in one of these charming Highlands Huts and enjoy such views.

The sign on the door said to clean boots before entering the huts, so we did.

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We talked to some stuff in the cafe about the perks of living and working in such a remote place.

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You can get really sleepy and lazy drinking a hot sweet chocolate in a warm comfortable hut, especially while you can enjoy this view.

We nearly forgot that we have to come back to Reykjavik, especially after we noticed some alarming thick snowy clouds gathering over the mountains. We definitely didn’t want to find ourselves in the middle of a snowstorm on our way back home, especially after the season and without signal in our phones.

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Soon everything in this area will be covered in snow and the whole interior will turn white until March.

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Not only winter arrived at Kerlingafjoll, so did Rettir. It’s a very old Icelandic cultural tradition in which Icelanders and tourists participate in round-up sheep from the mountains. In result, you will find a lot of fresh lamb in the restaurants in Reykjavik.

The sheep being transported to slaughter in Kerlingarfjoll after Rettir.

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And as I already mentioned in the previous blog, nearly every time we come back from the Highlands we are lucky to enjoy a spectacular sunset.

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