16 December 2019

Iceland: Day III — Gulfoss and Geysir

The biggest thing I've noticed in Iceland is that people greet you in the morning (or even just when passing you by). There's a sense of warmth and familiarity that doesn't happen much in the US, or rather, in the Pacific Northwest. It reminded me of my short pockets of childhood spent with family in Arkansas and Missouri, and I ached with a warm heart. Sometimes a smile and a good morning makes all the difference in a day, and I wish we had more of that.
I've been struggling with insomnia for maybe two years now, but I've managed to sleep and wake up early every day so far. Perhaps I've just been in Icelandic time? There's such a gentleness to these winter mornings staying at B&Bs, everyone from different places around the world quietly eating breakfast together.

Breakfast included crepes, salami, ham, gouda, vegetables, an assortment of yogurts, cereal, and the squarest toast I've ever seen before (that wasn't brick toast, at least!). The cucumbers were especially delicious and crisp, and I could see myself getting used to this routine.
Since daylight ran out on us the day before, we drove back to Geysir to visit Gullfoss. The wind was intense and scary, which made it extremely hard to open the car door without sending it flying. Our rental company stressed the importance of taking care when opening the door during heavy wind - but I was not prepared for its intensity!
Everyone huddled close to each other for any warmth they could spare while we all shuffled as slowly as possible.
Up here the true definition of “biting” wind really came to mind, as I felt my face getting pelted with sharp gusts. It was very difficult and slippery to walk down to the vantage point, but we pressed on. It was almost hilarious - the wind pushed us so much we had to brace ourselves so we couldn’t double back!
We walked around to another vantage point, but on the way back there was a steep decline with an icy path. The lady before me was struggling a bit, and suddenly slipped and fell. I tried to help her up but ended up falling right after her lol! Both of us laid there for a couple seconds just laughing.
We bought some souvenirs and had coffee to warm up. Part of me wishes we’d gotten the food too - it smelled so good! 
First sighting of Moomin!!

After Gulfoss, we drove to Geysir and waited about 30 min with baited breath - gosh it was so cold!! 
The souvenir shops in Iceland are a mix of cheesy and trendy, which I loved. On one side are your typical mugs and figurines, but on the other side are beautifully-displayed clothes and blankets from Geysir and other local areas. I think, for the most part, fashion in Iceland is so nice and very in line with what I personally enjoy aesthetically. Simple and elegant, with many earth tones.
The setting sun signaled our cue to get back on the road, and from Geysir was a 5-hour drive to Jokusarlon.  

I’ll admit I don’t do very well on long drives - I get very sleepy and am not a great conversationalist. At night the wind picks up, and it was pretty scary. The wind was so strong it was making our car sway, as snow was blowing onto the roads and blocking our view. We could barely see anything through these patches of snowdrift.

We finally made it to Fosshotel, which is a super modern-looking hotel! 
Exhausted from the drive, we had dinner in our room. The portions were really big for bar menu but maybe too many French fries... 

Although the drive was rough, the night sky was pretty, and I slept well.

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