Iceland - day 14

The day before last, on our way back to Reykjavik. Weather was still not good, a lot of clouds with tiny bits of sun coming through here and there. First we went to see yet another waterfall - Glymur. You need to take a hike to get there (and walk across the stream) and the road may be steep at times but it’s worth it and it’s not very demanding. What is useful, especially after a rain - is a set of trekking shoes.

When we went up almost to the top of the trail we had an amazing, almost idyllic view on the waterfall. The sun shown itself for a moment creating a beautiful rainbow in the gorge and there were seagulls flying inside of it as well. It was like looking at a natures masterpiece. Unfortunately it was practically impossible to catch on camera.. :(

That’s me at the end of the video. ;)

Somewhere along the road we stopped and I had an opportunity to photograph some Oystercatchers. I’ve seen them before but they were hard to photograph without anything to mask myself. This time they were skittish too but allowed for some decent photos.

We continued on our journey towards Reykjavik.

Last stop for that day was Þingvellir - national shrine of Iceland. It is a key location in Icelandic history as the oldest existing parliament in the world first assembled there in 930 AD. Þingvellir has for this reason been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Additionally, this place has also unique geology and natural features - a canyon Almannagjá, formed between two tectonic plates, a visual representation of continental drift.


Iceland - day 13

Day 13, almost the end of the trip. Weather still bad, but we are trying to see as much as possible. :) We were mostly in the car, driving and looking at surroundings. First we took the road from Patreksfjordur to the famous Kirkjufell mountain.

Kirkjufell is very a very popular place. I’ve seen on the internet many amazing sunrise/sunset photos, maybe one day I’ll make on of my own. :)

After having this place checked out, we went back along the peninsula towards Borgarnes, where we stayed for the night. We passed through amazing, another martian-like places with red dirt and moss. Unfortunately lack of sun prevented us from photographing it in its full glory.


Iceland - day 12

Day 12 and still crappy weather.. First we took a quick look at Isafjordur.

Then we moved on, our next target was, surprise, surprise - waterfalls! One of the biggest on Iceland - Fjallfoss also called Dynjandi. And few smaller ones at the same place. Aaand whatever was on the way. :)

Next stop on the way - wreckage of Garðar BA64. This is the oldest steel ship in Iceland. Originally known as the Globe IV, the large ship was completed in Norway in 1912 as a state-of-the-art-at-the-time whaling vessel. During its active lifetime it was sold around to a number of different countries before finding an Icelandic owner after World War II. After decades in faithful service to its various owners, Garðar BA 64 (a name it received in 1963) was finally deemed unsafe for service in 1981 and as opposed to being scuttled, the old ship was run aground in Skápadalur Valley where it remains to this day, rusting on the beach.

And now - one of the things I really badly wanted to see - Puffins! Incredibly cute, small birds with their worried look on their cute faces.. Ahh.. We arrived at Latrabjarg quite late so only 2 of them were still outside of their dens. And not afraid at all. At times 100mm at shorter end of my lenses was too close!

At Latrabjarg you can find many other species of birds although place is known primarly for Puffins and their accessability. Last 30 km of driving there was a literal pain in the ass and, in the end, in the head as well, as road was full of holes.. But that doesn’t stop tourists. :)

I also managed to capture Black-Legged Kittiwake with their young, but those photos are more of documentary value. ;)

Lastly, going back to civilisation and searching for a place to spend the night we drove by Hnjótur Museum. It’s hard to tell that it is a museum, but if you have a wreckage of plane in your backyard then it probably is. :)


Iceland - day 8

8th day meant driving into east coast of Iceland. Not many waterfalls there but a lot of amazing landscapes to photograph. I honestly had a hard time choosing photos to show and there are more that I wanted to show in the first place, but what the hell. ;)

After the night at Haukafell camping we rode to Höfn.

Next stop was little town called Djupivogur. We saw the most amazing landscapes driving there.

After quick lunch in Djupivogur we went further north along east coast, driving road number 1. We settled for the night at Egilsstadir camping before exploring north the next day.


Iceland - day 6

The night between fifth and sixth was at the most amazing camping, Thakgil (þakgil). The drive there was the most amazing part. Yellowish-green hills with nothing but grass and moss, black road and breathtaking views. We didn’t see much while going there because the weather was nasty, thick fog, a bit of rain. But we already had a feeling this is something special. While we were driving and driving on a bumpy road (supposedly only for 4x4 cars but normal vehicles got through as well) we finally arrived at the camping site which was a nice field, surrounded by hills, basically a closed arena. It was raining so we went to the cave which was a designated cooking and eating area. The evening was very nice as well, there was a big group of German tourists. They had a lot of alcohol and their own radio which they used for sing-along to old 80s disco hits. It was actually fun to sit nearby. We also talked with other campers. Really nice, fun evening. And in the morning, while we were going back to the main road, we could really see all the beautiful landscapes. Something Hobbit like, magical land.

After coming back to the main road we set course to the famous black beach near Vik. The beach was beautiful indeed but the amount of tourists was bugging me again. We weren’t there early enough to get some decent photos without them. Maybe next time…

One of the farms along the road.

Another interesting stop on our journey was Fjadrargljufur gorge. Last few kilometers before the gorge were pretty neat as well as we passed fields of yellow-green moss on the rocks. Very surreal surrioundings. The gorge itself was really magical, even in the rain that greeted us there. I hoped to be able to take a walk downstairs but the water was too high to go in in trekking shoes. So, only upstairs trail, but it was magical.

More of colour yellow followed us along the way as we were driving towards Fagrifoss waterfall. This time, 4x4 road F206 was really for 4x4 cars only. The road was pretty bumpy, with a lot of holes and one bigger stream we had to ride through. I was really hoping for a chance to do that. Boy, was I happy like a kid in a candy store. :)

Found along the way. :)

Close to our camping site at camping Svinafell, we stopped to to check our plans for tomorrow - glaciers Skaftafellsjokull and Svínafellsjokull (left and right on the photo below). This photo shows how magnificent Icelandic landscape can be. Barren land, ceiling made of clouds and possibility to see mountains far ahead due to lack of trees. Much more breathtaking to see it live.