[Read Part 3]… Next morning, we got up early to catch a guided tour bus. The tour was going to cover our failed Golden Circle route. This time the experts would help us.
The only drawback of taking a guided tour is that you miss out on capturing the landscape as and when you like to. Believe me, there was a lot to capture on this long drive. Our first halt was Kerio volcano crater. The crater was almost covered in thick ice and snow, so it was not that exciting to look at. The pictures of the crater in the summer season although (which were put up on the site) were definitely worth looking at. After a short 15 minute stop, the bus headed towards Gullfoss Waterfall. We reached the site after 45 minutes and the bus dropped us about 500 meters from the waterfall. We had to walk the remaining way in a straight queue! Everything was covered in Ice and only a narrow path was cleared for us to walk. It was an amazing view. Most of the waterfall was frozen solid on the surface! And the water was flowing under thick sheets of ice. Ramps are constructed for safety, but they were extremely slippery… so we had to be extremely careful especially when walking with the camera in hand.
Next stop was the highlight of the tour, at least for me. Not many people get a chance to witness the raw power of nature in a controlled way. Everybody has seen mountain ranges, ice, waterfall… but a Geysir is something unique. Yes, it was a Geysir Park! The park had many Geysirs with all of them having infrequent eruption timings except for one. This one would erupt every 5 minutes (lucky for us!). I was literally spell bounded, literally! There is not much distance between the Geysir and you. The whole process for that Geysir was something like this.
- The water in the crater gradually starts bubbling.
- It is similar to boiling water in a container.
- When it’s hot enough, the water quickly comes to the surface in a huge bubble like shape and erupts like a volcano.
- The one we saw easily reached 20-30 feet.
- In that weather, the miniscule droplets quickly turn to ice.
- The whole process repeats every 5 minutes 24×7.
No one knows how long will it last as Geysirs do dry up or become dormant as well. The last stop of the day was “Mid-Atlantic Ridge” or known as Reykjanes Ridge in Iceland. This is the place which separates the Eurasian Plate and North American Plate in the North Atlantic. It was something straight out of a geography books. Interestingly, when we were about 500 meters from this place, our bus got stuck in the snow! (déjà vu). We had to get down and walk towards the ridge. It took about an hour to free the bus and in return we got to see the most amazing sunset ever! Something which we would have missed, had we left on time i.e. before the sunset.
When we finally returned to the hotel, without losing time we got fresh again and headed back (you guessed it) to try our luck seeing the elusive Northern Lights. We reached the same spot (read Part 2) and waited and waited and waited. This time however, our prayers were answered. A broad streak of bright green light appeared out of nowhere and soon covered most part of the sky above our heads. It was constantly moving as if performing a dance. I scrambled to capture it with my camera and did manage get some good shots. However, I wanted to absorb it all and keep it my heart and soon forgot that I even had a camera! 10 minutes and my dream of watching the Northern Lights were realized. Someone once said that “All the fireworks which you might have seen in your lifetime are like lighting a matchstick when compared to the Northern Lights”. Trust me, this is 110% true.
After a successful previous day, we had planned a trip to the famous Blue Lagoon for the last day. We wanted to relax and relieve the stress (although there was no stress from travelling). The only stress was that we had to report at the office next day:). Blue Lagoon as the name says it all is a “Blue Lagoon”. This was not an artificial blue colored swimming pool. This was a natural blue colored lagoon. The lagoon is basically a hot spring and minerals in it are said to be good for skin. You might have seen other hot springs but this was different. The backdrop was snow covered hills and the steam rising from the blue colored lagoon gave it a fairytale look. In simpler words, it was paradise! I spent about 2 hours in the pool (just couldn’t get enough of it).
Zap! The day is over and we return the car. Early next morning we catch a flight to Copenhagen, Denmark against all odds. There was a severe blizzard in the morning and our flight was delayed by about 2 hours. Anyways we reached back safely and the first thing I did reaching was to order a DVD. This DVD was a documentary on Northern Lights. I had made a promise to myself. The promise was to buy a DVD only if I get to see them in real.
A few days later when the DVD arrived, I watched it…and cried myself to sleep.
[End of an Incredible Experience]… [N]iceland as I like to say.
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