Iceland

Iceland trip in Summer 2008


Figures greeting us at the Keflavik Int. Airport The famous sculpture outside of the airport Sign marking the collision point of the European and North American plateaus at the Reykjanes peninsula Scarce flowers in the lava sand Is this a footprint made years ago? The road to Blue Lagoon One of thousands of geothermal steam power plants Blue Lagoon (nearby) seems to be cooled down to be suitable for humans Blue hot water Random boiling springs @ 1 am Alaskan lupine, introduced to Iceland in 1945, in many places is the only plant that can survive such harsh conditions The rocky and semi-green shores of Kleifarvatn lake Late dandelions look somewhat out of place here Typical Icelanding landscape Some more green among lava rocks A small peak of local significance :-)
The pipe on the background is transferring hot steam Icelanding sheep - keeping people alive since the year 900-something (tm) Road signs are yellow in Iceland - these are well visible during the long and dark winter Öxarárfoss at Þingvellir - the place of the World's first democracy (year 930) Europe and America are tearing apart at Þingvellir at a pace of 2 cm per year, forming cracks like this one The water is perfectly clear, but cold Icelandic horses The type of car you need for serious crossing of Iceland's interior Strokkur (near Geysir) erupts up to 30 m high fairly reliably every 5-10 minute Geysir (which gave the name to the phenomenon) seems very quiet most of the time, but can reach 70 m when it is least expected Strokkur erupts it's mighty pillar of water and steam at 200°C Gullfoss powerfully crashing from its two levels into a narrow canyon Moon-like and completely life-less landscape of the Interior Scarce tundra plants are still able to survive somehow! Trying the low gravity of the Moon Piles of stones used to mark paths here for hundreds of years The road to ice UFOs have made this? A camp site looks like an oasis in the middle of desert and exists with the help of hot springs A little volcano or big me? A house of an outlaw, who has survived here for years after being kicked out of the civilization Camping with a view to glaciers, on the shore of hot spring, which doesn't help the cold air during the night The best geothermal hot bath on Iceland (and it's free!) :-) I wouldn't jump in here! Icelandic lichens Getting closer to the north It's strange to see such nice flowers in such rigid landscape Only 1% of Iceland is arable, altough not many trees here either UFOs has done something with these, it's pretty clear Grilled whale - tastes like something between beef and liver, but not fish At the Bautinn restaurant in Akureyri Recommended by Lonely Planet View from Akureyri across the fjord Akureyri church Icelandic lesson :-) Husavik - the whale-watching capital A lone boat Each whale encounter is thoroughly documented A blue whale - unfortunately these are not very sociable The Arctic wind Arctic dolphins are more friendly than blue whales A crack in lava field There are more sheep in Iceland than there are people (or cars) One of many psudocraters around lake Myvatn, created by steam explosions Strange lava formation Some tourists overestimate the danger of biting midges, others do underestimate, like we :-) Larger pseudocraters at Myvatn Dimmuborgir or Dark Castles Dark portal at Dimmuborgir Must be a natural lava formation Feel the evilness of the place... like some Norwegians do :-) Námafjall geothermal area Approaching the breathing Mother Nature Boiling mudpot The new crater in Krafla Maybe you can see the center of the World looking into this one? What do they eat here? Boiling lake The whole Earth was like this before... What planet is this? "Go there at your own risk" - the stones are still hot... A hot hole Strange gases go up into the atmosphere Like a giant stove? Older lava fields are covered with moss Krafla is well worth visiting Iceland! :-) Hiking trail down the volcano Local sheep has mutated to be able feed on lava rock and snow Yes, this is snow - fire and ice are close in Iceland Road to Askja is unfortunately still closed Nice ice cap Dettifoss - Europe's most powerful waterfall Hiking upstream from Dettifoss to Selfoss Selfoss is much lower but broader Egilsstaðir - the capital of East Iceland Everybody's already a bit ill and coughing :-) On the way to East Fjords Random foss Alcoa Fjarðaál - the controversial aluminium smelter at Reydarfjorður The edge of the Reydarfjorður The Northern Atlantic East Fjords Road 1 Norway is 1200 km to the east Abandoned hospital View from the second floor is well suitable for therapy Not all parts of the Road 1 (aka Ring Road) are paved yet Road construction is underway The fishing village of Höfn View to Vatnajökull - the biggest glacier outside the poles Feel the cold of the jökull Farms Approaching the glacier and Jökulsárlón Jökulsárlón - glacial lagoon full of icebergs from Vatnajökull flowing out into the ocean After a week in Iceland A dog? Melting ice Seagulls are attracted to the fish displaced by the ice Vatnajökull is climbing down the mountains like a gigantic spider Near the campsite at Skaftafell National Park, 1 am Approaching of the glaciers on foot The glacier looks dirty because of the black lava sand One of the many waterfalls in Skaftafell National Park Another Skaftafell waterfall A few hours hike to have a better view of the glacier Glacier from a higher viewpoint View to the north View to the south - it is clearly seen that sometimes during sub-ice volcano eruptions there are lots of water flowing into the ocean Ice is actually far away down from here :-) Going back Small stream of melting ice It's getting hot while walking in the sun The famous Svartifoss falling from basalt columns Svartifoss Svartifoss from behind One more foss The official campsite The southern Ring Road between ice and the ocean Another beautifully situated farm in the south Lava rocks and ice Colorful lichens Lupin field - they are stronger than any Icelandic plants and therefore take up vast areas A little more arable land in the south The church of Vik is above the town The interior of a small Icelandic lutheranian church Nice rock formations to the west of Vik Lava cliffs Skógafoss, 60 m high, 25 m wide - situated at the cliffs of the former coastline, now 5 km away from it Farm buildings hidden in the rocks Probably remains of an old Viking farm Grass is still visible at the new geothermal area that appeared after the June earthquake near Selfoss The people of Hveragerði living nearby are quite worried - new holes are opening every week Another new hole with boiling mud on a formerly grassy field The only surviving Viking ship in Reykjavik :-) The Vikings are still alive :-) New construction in Reykjavik during the night View to the opposite side of the fjord The ceiling of the modernistic Hallgrímskirkja The organ The church is Lutheranian View from the windows to the city Rekjavik means Smokey Bay - it is reach in geothermal energy The main bell tower in the country Sunny Reykjavik Hallgrímskirkja from the outside was under restoration... Sigur Ros and Bjork - Iceland's biggest stars gave a free concert on 28th of June in protest to development of heavy industry in the country Sigur Ros are masters of atmospheric music - they're even using a bow with an electric guitar! 30000 people Bjork is still in shape in her 40-s, running with bare legs on the stage and making funny faces Bjork's musicians The reason of the concert Icelanders? Ferry leaving the Vestmanneyar at 5 am Vestmanneyar (Westman Islands) are paradise for the birds Lupins, Westman Islands, and the glaciers of the main Iceland "Lava Gardens" More gardens Land Cruiser riding on lava How to get to this summer house? A collapsed lava tunnel It was cold underground Inside of a lava tunnel Entrance to another lava tunnel Not all lava managed to escape this tunnel before cooling down Naturally formed subway with multiple lines The only beach in Iceland with yellow sand, but the wind is too cold to swim :-)
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Iceland