Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Iceland Day 3 - Husavik & Fosses

After we left the amazing AirBNB with the foxi and the geothermal hot tub, we hit the road for hours of driving in some of the most amazing, picturesque landscapes ever to landscape.

We had to stop shortly after we left so a family could herd their sheep across the road.  A few minutes after that we passed what I can only assume was an opening scene of an upcoming Western movie. In the middle of a glacial valley ran a beautiful river surrounded by green luscious land. In that river there were people, who I'd assume to be the protagonists of this future film, riding their horses. I bet Steven Spielberg was filming from somewhere, it was that good.  Kollin promptly stood out his sunroof to document the magic. In fact, Kollin stood out of his sunroof taking pictures in most places we went.

We dropped out of the mountains into a quaint little fishing village that was also labeled a "ski town". The ski lift was only a few hundred yards long but what it lacked in skiable terrain in more than made up for with their regulation size ski long jump ramp next to the recreation center in the middle of town.

I'm just kidding.  The jump they had was about 1/100th the size.  Instead of 250 meters, imagine 25 feet.  Max.  It's where Iceland's ski jump legends are born.  In reality it is probably for kids and it made my heart warm.

We stopped to fill up our cars with gas like we did at every gas station. Good thing it was only $27 a gallon! It was actually only around $9 a gallon. See what I did there? After reading $27 a gallon you thought, "oh man, $9 a gallon is a steal."  Reverse psychiatry.

After giving all our monies to the gas pump, we took a breather at this quaint little coffee shop. It was Sunday morning, the sun was out, and a hot chocolate was calling Nin's name.

Sometimes we go so hard on our trips that we forget to slow down and be locals for a minute.  There is so much to see in this world so we try to maximize every trip we take.  When we're older we'll go back to our favorite places to relax. It was nice to sit on this patio, drink some hot chocolate, eat some cake, and just relax in the sun for a bit.

After being quaint we went to check out some fosses.  This one is Glosafoss.

A few minutes away from Glosafoss was a small fishing town called Husavik.  We ate lunch on the harbor at this great restaurant.  They had a lot of really cool looking sail boats.  I know nothing about boats but I know they looked pirate-y.

We made a lot of great memories in Iceland and two of my favorites were made in Husavik and they both involved Kollin.

As we were eating at the restaurant above, Kollin kept itching at his armpit.  He stood up and started to lift his shirt up like it was Spring Break 2004.  He casually said, "I think there is a fly in my armpit."  As our normal thought processes shot into action we all thought it was just a shirt tag, or a down feather, or some foreign fuzzy object stuck in his shirt.  Nope.  Sure enough as he lifts his shirt up, a fly flies out of his armpit.  Like a cartoon.

After Kollin had rid himself of common house flies nesting in his clothing he and Crabby got their drones out. They brought their drones to Iceland and flew them whenever they had a chance.  Kollin is notorious for things going wrong with his drone and it is always entertaining.  While Kollin and Crabby flew their drones around the harbor, the town, and the purple flower covered hillside, Nin, Alex, and I walked around the town.  We gave ourselves a self guided tour of this beautiful old church.

I suspect that we weren't supposed to be in there because a few people cane in after us, likely following our lead, including a guy who kept to himself in the corner on his phone. We were the last to leave and he followed us out, locked the doors, then ran away.  He literally just ran off.  No rush while he was in there but the second he got out, it was go time.

Bless his heart for letting us look around when we probably weren't supposed to be in there.

Anyways, back to the drone story.  Kollin had flown his drone way up the mountainside. He'd gotten a little too greedy with his distance over the ridge and his drone lost service. This happens 92% of the time he flies his drone, it doesn't even phase him anymore.  Steph casually says over the radio "Kollin lost his drone and we're going to look for it.  It might take a while so you guys can go to the next waterfall (hours away) and we'll catch up later."  Yeah right, like we're going to miss out on a Where's Waldo adventure.

When Kollin's drone loses connection it will either auto-land or return home (home to wherever he is standing, not home to Utah). In this case it was returning home. It used sensors to keep it a certain distance above the ground on it's return trip.  What it didn't realize was that the mountainside leveled off before dropping back down again.  So naturally, it crashed.  Kollin had a GPS reading of it's location but the battery was dying quickly.

It should be mentioned that this isn't some entry level hobbyist drone. This drone takes up an entire full size suitcase and it costs what I could only imagine to be dozens of dollars.

So with a GPS location and a quickly fading battery we found a dirt road up the mountainside that we hoped would get us close to the wreckage.  All of us got out of our cars and waded through the thick purple flowers called "vibrant purple nootka".

Fun educational fact about this Vibrant Purple Nootka aka Alaskan Lupine.  It was introduced to Iceland in 1945 to add nitrogen to the soil and function as an anchor for organic matter.  It's crazy that it isn't native because it is everywhere and it's so pretty.

Kollin was standing right where his GPS said the drone would be and he couldn't see it. Steph was literally just two feet away from him and found it.  That's how thick the flowers were.  The crazy part was that it only had 4% battery left.  If it had died we never would have found it.  Nobody would have found it for years, if ever.  It would be added to Icelandic lore and the story would be told for generations.  I bet National Geographic would have even done a show about it.  A lot of missed opportunity there but I'm sure Kollin was glad to have his flying friend back.

After a successful drone treasure hunt, we headed to the most powerful waterfall in all of Europe, Detifoss. It was pretty late when we got there, around 11:30pm, which was nice because we were the only ones there.  The hike it was short and looked like the surface of Mars.

The girls headed back to the car while the guys hiked a little way up river to another big waterfall called Selfoss. We didn't hike all the way but we did hike far enough to get this great shot.

The smaller, more yellow waterfall in the center is called Schweppenfoss.