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 11

Another day, another location. This time we entered Western Fjords and travelled through the main road up to Isafjordur, where we stayed for the night. Western Fjords are amazing and full of wonderful landscapes, unfortunately for us sunny weather has ended and we even didn’t see them in full glory and all of its colours. Smurf house at Holmavik aside, all photos were made “on the road” without tracking specific locations.

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 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.

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.