Friday, June 27, 2008

Northwest Iceland: Ósar → Húsavík 13 May

13th May 2008
Ósar → Húsavík

Via: Route 716 - Route 1 - Route 76 - Route 82 - Route 1

By 815am we are prepared to leave Ósar for Húsavík. We expect to drive an estimate distance of 388km today. The weather is foggy and outside temperature is 9°C. It is a completely different sight from what we saw yesterday. We are lucky. Should we arrive today, probably we are unable to get a good glimpse of the seal colony.

The same gate, but view of Sigriðarstaða Lagoon is no longer visible in thick fog

Ósar Farmhouse Hostel in the mist

Backyard of the hostel

Vistas of the Drive

Route 716

A song by Sheryl Crow describes this picture very well, "Everyday Is A Winding Road"

Route 1

This is a small town with a population of one thousand people. Employment is connected to agriculture, industry, services and fishing industry. We stop by to get breakfast and shop at the local supermarket for some groceries for dinner tonight.

On the hill above the town stands a church of distinctive architecture. The design is inspired from the surrounding natural environment, intends to resemble a volcanic crater.

Continuing on Route 1

Perhaps today is a 'Winding Road' day.

Turning out of Route 1 into Route 76 and 82, we have reached the mountain range on the Tröllaskagi Peninsula. This peninsula is cut by several deep valleys that were formed by glaciers during ice ages and later by the rivers that now flow down those valleys. We spend almost the next 4 hours driving in the foggy and snowy weather condition, as the elevation increases. It's kind of mixed feeling, we are captivated by the snowy mountains yet at the same time intimidated by them. Half the journey, and with no other human beings or cars in sight, my mind start running wild with tons of 'if' questions. Are we lost? (GPS says we are on the right track) What if the car slip and crush into the valley below? What if there is a fast moving car coming head on? What if there is an avalanche? As our car inches forward at 50km/h, our hearts brighten up as we going downslope, and our hearts sink when the next instant we realise that we are going upslope again. Adding on, it can be quite a emotional challenge especially when we are relieved to see we have come out of the fog and the next minute, there is the next thick fog waiting ahead. It's like taking a long rollercoaster ride as we cut across the peninsula.

Route 76

The start of the 'mist-ical' ride

The valley glows brightly because of the glacier reflecting light

Route 82

At least we are not alone in this mountain

Snow and fog gets thicker as we go deeper into the mountains range

Panorama of the valley

It's amazing to see how ice and water cut thru mountains, forming valley since ice age. It takes them 11,000 years to create what we see today.

This is the first sight of civilisation, it's a big relief!

Looking back from where we came from

Phew, we are indeed out of the valleys and back to civilisation.

This is the fishing town where we have our late lunch and filling up the petrol tank.

The main street of this sleepy town

Lake Ólafsfjarðarvatn
At the edge of Ólafsfjörður

Panorama of the lake

Back to Route 1

This is one of my favourite picture. With the fog coming in, the mountain looks like a erupting volcano with snow lava running down its slope.

This lake rises to 105m above sea level, covering just about 3.2km2. The deepest point is 35m, with an average deep of 10m. It is a popular place for families' camping and fishing during summer. Right now, it's frozen.

It's only 7°C when this picture is taken but the wind chilling effect is killing me even when I'm sooooo thrilled with excitement upon seeing a frozen lake first time in my life.

Route 1 going around at the edge of the lake

Eventually, we reach Húsavík at 4pm, nearly miss the road turning into Kaldbaks-Kot due to thick fog enveloping the Húsavík area. We check in, searched for our chalet in the mist, quickly unpack and start cooking dinner as the temperature outside dropped further.

Click to see next - Northwest Iceland: Húsavík 14 May


Blogger em.nug said...

How much may I ask did you spend on gas each fill-up? Your blog is awesome by the way, love all the pictures


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