Tag Archives: Ring Road

Iceland – Day 10

“Kleifarvatn” - South-East Iceland

“Kleifarvatn” – South-East Iceland

“The very land oozed sulphurous steam, as if some ancient beast trapped below was exhaling through the cracks in the earth, yet the morning light filled the air with a quiet peace”
– Ed Lehming

Day 10, our final day in this wonderful land of contrasts: Fire and Ice, vast black plains and towering mountains. The land of endless waterfalls and barren lava fields.

On this final day, our loop ended where Highway 42 met Highway 427 along the south coast of Iceland, where our journey began on a dark morning at the end of October. We covered some 2,700 km of highways, side roads, and potholed dirt tracks.

The most amazing thing I discovered on this trip with my son is the incredible and indescribable diversity of this country. Every single vista, from majestic seaside mountains to the endless black and tortured lava fields is that there are surprises when you take the time to look closely.

I made far too many photos of the mountains we passed, but I fell in love with the Icelandic mountains, in their many forms, from tiered pyramids to flattened cones and every variation between. Some were pure black, made of ages of fine cinder and ash, while others were deep brown, covered in eons of moss. like ancient temples.

The deeper and more carefully you looked, the more wonderful they became, revealing details not noticed at first.

That is why I chose this as the final photo in this overview of our trip. When first composing the photo, I saw a lovely mountain lake with steaming volcanic vents in the distance. But, like the rest of the land, closer inspection reveals herds of grazing Icelandic horses and a farmhouse among the vents. The stark landscape opens up to be more than you first expect or see and the light, which shift sby the minute, always reveals more wonder.

The lake, in this photo, is called Kleifarvatn and is situated within one of Iceland’s many ‘rift’ valleys, areas of active geothermal activity. We drove around the lake, only a short drive from Reykjavik, on our way to the Krýsuvík Geothermal Area, a region of belching and bubbling mud pots, thermal vents, and hot springs as well as brightly coloured rocks, crusted with minerals. or final ‘photographic” destination before dropping off the rental car and heading to the airport.

Much of the trip was really about the journey and not the destination. As we drove to some of the more popular sites we were constantly amazed at the beautiful landscape between, despite low cloud and a constant dusting of snow at higher altitudes.

There are so many more places that we visited that a simple day by day review does not suffice. I will continue sharing some of the highlights of this trip over the next few weeks, retracing our journey around Iceland’s Ring-Road.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 145mm
1/400 sec, f/10.0 ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)


Iceland – Day 8

“Hvammsfjörður” - Western Iceland

“Hvammsfjörður” – Western Iceland

“Those who live by the sea can hardly form a single thought of which the sea would not be part.” 
― Hermann Broch

There was a slight delay in my posts over the past few days. You see, for the last 2 days of my ten day Iceland trip, I was sick with some sort of gastro-intestinal infection. I have no idea where it came from. It felt like flu, but we really have had minimal contact with people, other than shopkeepers and our guesthouse hosts. In nay case, I was quite ill and fell behind on my posts.

On day eight we headed back inland and I have yet to process those photos. We left Borgarnes toward Reyjavik and decided to avoid the tunnel that connects the Akrenes peninsula with the mainland.

We had heard from on of our guesthouse hosts that there was still a whaling station active at the end of Hvalfjörður, Icelandic for the Whaling Fjord. It added a bit to our drive but was a wonderful side trip. Whaling season has ended, but the vast processing plant was interesting to see.

From the fjord, we headed inland, across high mountain plateaus toward Geysir, the location of the geyser that others took their name from. As expected, the place was packed with tourists ad a full sized restaurant and visitor centre had been built. It really was a fascinating site to visit, despite the crowds. Basically, anywhere within a 2 hour drive from Reykjavik is filled with tourists on day trips.

The original Geysir is now just a smouldering blue pool and an adjacent geyser, Strokkur, which erupts about every 4 minutes. The rest of the area is filled with bubbling hot springs and steam vents. It does reek of sulphur, which was not a great thing for my unsettled stomach. Once I get photos of Strokkur processed, I’ll revisit this location with its own post.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 90 mm
1/80sec, f/4.5 ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)