Heading back west, I was ready to visit this Golden Circle everyone was talking about.
However, I knew what it meant, i.e. there would be truckloads of tourists. But I guess this is the price of success right? On the agenda, three stops:
- Thingvellir or Pingvellir National Park (I’ve seen both spellings).
- Strokkur, the most active geyser fountain in Iceland, which is located right next to Geysir. The one gave its name to all the other Geyser fountains, but has been asleep for years now.
- Gullfoss Waterfall which is according to Lonely Planet the most impressive waterfall in Iceland.
Albeit it would be probably packed with selfie sticks (it was), I was quite excited to see Gullfoss. In Winter, the waterfalls are partially frozen. And with the great Icelandic light, I’m sure there would be some nice shots to be made.
However, I had booked a hotel in the area to sleep on the spot. I thought it would be more convenient if there was some Northern Lights activity at night. Furthermore, it would allow me to go back to Gullfoss at the crack of dawn to take a few shots before the invasion of travelers.
For the first leg, I stopped at Pingvellir, which is nice if you want discover more about the history of the country. And if you are lucky with the weather, you can take nice pics as well. The sky was magnificent that morning and it looked exactly like a Magritte’s painting.
In Pingvellir, there is a few things you can see, among other another (but still nice) waterfall. I tried to capture it with different settings and from different angles (to catch the moon as well). But in my opinion, the 1/8sec shutter speed let to the best results.
After that, I made a pit stop at Geysir, which is a roughly 20min-drive and is located on the way to Gullfoss. It was nice and somehow impressive to see a real geyser in activity (it bursts every 5 to 10min). Nonetheless, there is a circle of hundreds of peoples lining up to take the classic picture. I did it too, no shame ;-)! But for the 2nd attempt, I decided to take a step back to photograph the people at the forefront. I think the result is quite nice as it gives a better rough estimate about the scale of the natural phenomenon. On another note, too bad I cannot share with you the really strong sulfur smell #whofarted?
After this quick “entracte” (I think when you’ve seen it burst 2 or 3 times you’re good), I jumped in the car to drive to the last stop-over of the day: Gullfoss.
I think it lifted up to my expectations. It was really nice but with the combination of water, wind and freezing temperature, it was challenging to take pictures. The water drops blown by the wind did freeze on the lens almost instantly. Not really convenient when you want to shoot with a lower shutter speed.
But anyway, I hope you’ll like the few pics that I took.