Fossá - (The River of Waterfalls)

27 December 2013 photography iceland travel

"Lets cut to the case we talked about: lets go somewhere!", I told my friends upon arriving back at the Iceberg.

"Alright, where then?", they answered back.

We kind of worked out a loose plan: To go to Snæfellsnes a peninsula in the West of Iceland sometimes known for containing a pathway to the center of the Earth (ask Jules Verne!). We also knew that it offers quite a few scenic places. Still, however, it is also renowned for its capricious weather this time of year (commonly called algjört vindrassgat in Icelandic; for English speakers: it has bad connotations with wind). And sure enough we heard:

"Its gonna be windy out there, perhaps a storm - so watch out!". Our plans changed. Instead of going North-West, East it was instead. The journey to the center of the Earth had to wait a better time.

The plan: No plan really, lets just go to our friend's house in the countryside and take it from there, taking care to bring the following things with us:

  • Cameras, tripods, lenses and other camera equipment
  • Clothes, lots of them - its gonna be cold!
  • Sleeping bags
  • Food
  • A thermocup to keep our coffee warm - again, its gonna be cold!
  • A copy of the whole Hitchhiker's guide (The Big Blue Bundle-edition, containing all the books)
  • Towel (recommended by The Guide)
  • Showels

"What kind of car do you guys have?" my friend's dad asked.

"A jeep!", we promptly answered.

"Good", he nodded while bringing a book of Icelandic roads loaded with pictures of iconic places near them.

"See those waterfalls here? Háifoss (Literally: Tall-Waterfall), and Granni (either; neighbour or something thin), where the former one is the second tallest waterfall in all Iceland. Also, do notice that this picture is taken during summer. I've never seen it during winter - it might be worth for you to take a look at and see how it looks like. What do you think?"

And indeed, we took it from there. Resolving to start the journey before sunrise the following day to get some sunrise time-lapses. This might sound more ambitious than it was - twilight was at around 10 am, and sunrise at 11:15 am - it really wasn't that hard.

Still, on our way there we managed to get our jeep stuck in the snow- the type of stuck that all crew members had to get out of the car and start showeling - at least 4 times. Intelligent as we were, we only brought one showel, so the ones not showeling defaulted to using their hands and boots to help out. When you got tired you had fun by photographing the others working their asses off.

In retrospect we did learn a few things after the trip: bring at least two shovels, and definitely more coffee - in the cold you drain it much faster than you thin!

Eskimos had over two hundred different words for snow, without which their conversation would probably have got very monotonous. So they would distinguish between thin snow and thick snow, light snow and heavy snow, sludgy snow, brittle snow, snow that came in flurries, snow that came in drifts, snow that came in on the bottom of your neighbor’s boots all over your nice clean igloo floor, the snows of winter, the snows of spring, the snows you remember from your childhood that were so much better than any of your modern snow, fine snow, feathery snow, hill snow, valley snow, snow that falls in the morning, snow that falls at night, snow that falls all of a sudden just when you were going out fishing, and snow that despite all your efforts to train them, the huskies have pissed on.

-- The Guide

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