Would love for you to read the “Icelandic Saga” post first before you proceed to this post, to appreciate this better! Humor me with this favor please 🙂
Northern Iceland in Feb truly stands up to the name “ICE”Land. Start whites with splashes of turquoise in places with hot springs and pools, Northern Iceland was my favorite part of Iceland and my biggest regret as we could hardly get any photos in this part of the trip because of extreme weather (Could not take out the camera in the middle of snow storms & blizzards). The limited photos we managed to click does not do even a 1% justice to the beauty of this place. This part of our trip was definitely the best and that is saying something especially after how spectacular the other parts were.
Akureyri which is the biggest city in Northern Iceland is an elvish looking magical town by the fiord. Ths fiord lends it a long coastline and some amazing night life making it the perfect base to have some adventurous day trips and party hard at nights back in town. We began our experience of the North with an exploration of the town of Akureyri.
They said you will find a difference between the falls in the north & south. We never understand what they meant until we saw Godafoss- The falls of the Gods. Everything here had an elvish charm to it almost as if somewhere between the icicles of this falls, the elves would peep and play with us to spot them. I am quite sure we spotted one. Otherwise there is no way we would have gotten lucky enough to reach the next destination amidst the dangerously wild weather.
The detour to Dettifoss from the main road was 20 kms, but the time it took us to traverse those 20kms was 4.5 hours. After the first one hour our guide told us that no one visits the falls in this season because of the risk of getting stranded in snow storms en route to it. We did not see a single vehicle and after hardly 2 hours, the storm got so bad that our jeep got stuck in the snow. We sat inside for almost an hour before we could progress further. When our guide asked us if we were sure that we wanted to proceed, none of has any doubts about it- Obviously we could not leave Iceland without witnessing the mighty Dettifoss
After 4.5 hours we finally reached a point beyond which we had to trek for 2 kms wearing snow boarding shoes.With snow hitting us hard in our eyes and biting wind chill, we started our snow show hike with the roar of the mighty fall as our sole motivation. What seemed like another hour later, we finally saw the first glimpse of the falls. It was so broad and huge and the sheer volume of the water on it was majestic even though it was partly frozen. While we did not manage to get photographs, the memory of the hike and the final falls is etched stronger in our minds that any of the other experiences.
After a long hike back and a beautiful drive back along Lake Myvatn we were chilled to the bones and exhausted. After what seemed like 5 hours outdoors in the middle of the snow storm, the prospect of ending a day with a dip in a natural geothermal pool set amidst snowy outdoors was inviting beyond words. The Myvatn Nature baths were a set of hot pools at the foothills of a mountain with snow all round the pools. It looked otherworldly. The biggest challenge was the run from the the change rooms to the pool in swimming costumers and bare feet at -6 degree celcius in snow fall. What fun J We ran so fast and threw ourselves into the hot pool. The hot water, the snowy mountains and the light snow fall on our heads.. It makes me ecstatic to think of it even now. Sadly although the most memorable part of the trip, we had no photographs of it.