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.. :(

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 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 9

9th day was pretty much about lake Myvatn and it’s surroundings. The road there gave us pretty Martian-like landscapes with vast areas of land covered by almost nothing.

We stopped at yet another geothermal area called Hverir. The stench of sulphur was getting more and more annoying with every site like that that we visited. ;) But this one is really worth going to.

Hverir, another aspect of Martian-like landscape.

Myvatn Geothermal Area. And yes, water really had that colour.

Next stop - Grjótagjá cave. The place is not so obvious with tourists (yay!). Cave looks amazing inside, there is very little space but there is a good spot for long exposure photo. :) Locals used to bathe there till 1970s when water became too hot to use (due to volcanic activity).

In close proximity to the cave there is famous Dimmuborgir area. I call it Icelandic rock city as it reminds me of Czech rock cities (for example Adrspach-Teplice Rocks) where you just wander around various rock formations, although the composition of rocks is different. Quite big area to walk around and unfortunately we didn’t have time to see it all.

Now going directly to the lake itself. The name Myvatn translates into “lake of migets”. Very nice area, the lake is big and can certainly offer a lot more that we were able to see. It’s known for it’s variety of bird life. I was able to catch Eurasian Wigeon with young, swimming close to the shore.

Somewhere along the road.

We also visited quite popular Godafoss waterfall and shot some more landscapes along the way.


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 7

Day 7 started with a short hike to Svartifoss waterfall. Very picturesque with amazing stone formations. It was much less crowded than other waterfalls, much to my liking.

Next, we visited two “tongues” of Vatnajökull glacier - Skaftafellsjokull and Svínafellsjokull. I enjoyed Svínafellsjokull better. There was even path along the ice, sometimes quite narrow but it really gave the overview of how large this glacier really is.

Svínafellsjokull from a different angle.

Next we visited beautiful, little church in Hof. Very unique. And next two photos are from a stop along road number 1.

Main point of that day was to see ice floating on water. That was one of the things I really wanted to see. We visited two lakes in close proximity to each other - Fjallsarlon and Jokulsarlon. Definitely something to see if you’re in the area.

Practically the whole day we were running from the storm. In most of the pictures you can see storm clouds on the left (coming from west while we were travelling east). Every place we stopped it seemed to catch up with us. At the end of the day we finally left it behind. Our last stop was Eskey view point.