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Iceland or ═sland is a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, with a population of 357,000 and an area of 103,000 km2. The capital and largest city is ReykjavÝk.
Iceland is volcanically and geologically active. The interior consists of a plateau characterised by sand and lava fields, mountains, and glaciers, and many glacial rivers flow to the sea through the lowlands. Iceland is warmed by the Gulf Stream and has a temperate climate, despite a high latitude just outside the Arctic Circle. Its high latitude and marine influence keep summers chilly, with most of the archipelago having a polar climate.
30. 19C and a drizzle make it easy to leave the Danish "summer". I get the extra day of car confirmed at the gate. Three hours in the air, passing northern Denmark; Skagen. Pass the Faroe Islands. Then the glaziers of southern Island and blue and green ponds and - lots of lava, and I'm in Iceland. One more hour, and I have cash, a PCR-test and a fairly new Toyota Yaris. As I didn't have a credit card, only three debit cards, I have to pay some sort of insurance, around 60.000 Icelandic kroner - Ç400. Almost the same as the rent. Well, everything is expensive, so what?
I have to follow the highway to Reykjavik, and it leads
lava fields, covered in blue lupines. Might look great, but
is you know it is an invasive species, brought from North America in 1945 in
the top-soil for the air-strip, is looses some of the attraction.
After a real long and pleasant chat with a German girl; Ester, I have eaten and got water for my tea. It is still 13C, but cloudy. As I can't leave the room, I just sit and work, while I await the result from the Covid-19 PCR-test - hoping to get it soon, and visit the volcano with the German before midnight.
At nine, I get the negative result, and stuff Ester in
the car, and head down south to the Fagradalsfjall volcano. A real
nice area with quite some Alpine flowers, and a black river of lava. The
entire area is warm, and in the cracks, orange lava can be seen, and a lot
of cracking can be heard.
1. Four hours of death-like sleep, and it is time for adventure. The morning shower is Icelandic: The cold water from a cold spring, great drinking quality. The hot from a hot spring, having a bit of a sulphur ordure. I fill the tea-mug and the car, and set off towards Borgarnes. It is a murky day, actually feeling darker than midnight. All attempts on making photos from the car fails miserable.
I pass a six kilometre tunnel, but stick to the coast most of the day. The city of Borgarnes is not that interesting, but they do have some old houses at the edge of town. Outside the town, they have what they call a forest. Well, they are almost two metres... The mountains are fare from tall here, and they are more or less covered in grass - and lupines. Many waterfalls find their way down the slopes.
Here are some scattered sheep, quite some Icelandic Icelandic horses but I only see two small herds of cows the entire day. Next up the the wall of basalt columns at Gerduberg. Quite impressive, especially due the the otherwise so flat area. While I'm out of the car, I do some botanizing. Here are a lot of flowering butterwort; Pinguicula.
Here are hardly any settlement, but I do
spot a tiny wooden church from time to time. Along one stretch, the grass
field changes into figure-like lave, covered in a thick layer of lichen.
The sheep now tend to be found on the road, and in combination with the dense fog in the high areas, it does make the driving challenging. The temperature remains around 10C, but with the lack of wind, it does not feel that cold. However, there are still snow found in some areas.
reach the sea again in
the SnŠfjellsjokull National Park, which look pretty much the same.
Well, except the real tall antenna, sticking up, into the skies. And only when I see the outer wires, I
realises how tall it is.
head further up the
peninsular, and get to the 463 meter mountain of
Kirkjufell. However, the Kirkjufoss take all the attention.
Two sets of falls with direct sun on! The photos fail to document its glory.
SnŠfjellness, I find the cosy little town, and its Bonus supermarket. I stock
dinner and chocolate biscuits for lunch. The prices are surprisingly close
The last planned sight of the
Eriksstadir, Eric the Red's old farm. Or where the remains were
found. A turf house, build as Eric's was supposed to look, if found nearby. I
get a extensive tour and lecture by a lovely geek.
I might speed a tiny bit, and only stop at the mighty Dunjandi waterfall. mainly because the sun is right on. A lot of water is tumbling down a 100 meter almost vertical cascade. As I head on, more and more snow are found in the ravines. I end up in a beautiful valley Korpusalur with next to nothing in the gas-tank. I've been looking fruitless half the day!
I try to cook some dinner fast,
and get to work, but it seems like everyone insist on talking with me.
Eventually, I finish half pass one, but only because I cut corners. It is
more light outside at midnight, as it was in the morning.
2. After fivers hours of sleep, I'm eager to see some more. The host lours me to some breakfast, but then I set off. Well, I have to ask; Where do the power socked in this house originate from? The came from the US under the war, and the plugs was then made in Italy. I have never seen this type before, despite I have visited 121 countries.
The car claim; it have gas for 0 km, but I manages to get it to ═safj÷rur - probably because is is downhill from the 6 kilometre tunnel, and I stop stopping for photos. The valley I stay in, is absolutely gorgeous! Green grass with flowers, cut through by blue creeks, surrounded by black, snow-covered and steep table-mountains. The sun just add to the glory.
After taking care of the car, I find the old part of this harbour-town. ═safj÷rur's old part is mainly right next to the sea, and here, many old tin-sheets are more or less maintained, right next to the sea. I make a stroll in the streets and along the beach, then a drive through the other parts.
Then I head back the way I came yesterday, as I didn't have time to stop at some sights. Luckily, I did stop at the Dunjandi waterfall, as it now is in the expected shadow. The GPS is set for Bildudalur. It is yet another great drive, through tall and steep mountains and green valleys along the fjords. The road is only sealed for some part, the rest rather rough. The tires on the car are slicks, and I feel like driving on ice!
Some of the fjords are like a mirror, and I make a photo or two... Then I reach a rather barren area, and I get the "highland-feeling", despite it is less than 500 height. It is probably more the lava that make it less attractive for plants, even lupines! Some of the creeks are lined with a neon-green moss, which turns out NOT to be peat-moss.
Bildudalur is a disappointment after ═safj÷rur, but it was a nice drive to it. I make a picture of the church and the sheets in the edge of town, before I continues of an even more narrow and bumpy track. Here are a few scattered buildings, some grass and huge mountains. Some of the beaches are strangely enough golden, but the boulders and rocks almost black. The sun have vanished, and I misses it! Not for the heat, but the colours.
plan was to go around the peninsular to see The Pink, The Golden and the
White Beach, but I forgot my Speedos, and 5-6 hours of driving on a crappy
road, don't tempt at all. I turn around, and head back home-wards.
I find Skr˙ur Botanical
Garden, dating back to 1909. It is tiny, but well kept, and I do some
loops. Then I head homewards, but do some walks, one at a river, covered in snow.
That causes for the traditional snowman - with a twist.