Reykjavik to Hraunfossar

Days 51-53 . 18th to 20th August, Iceland (West Coast)

Before I generate the permanent posts for the recent Madagascar/ South Georgia trip,  I am posting on my month in Iceland towards the end of 2013, part of my North Atlantic trip.

I had sailed in the Polar Pioneer from Spitsbergen down the coast of Greenland and we arrived in Ísafjörður on the 18th of August. The same day I took a plane to Reykjavik and then a taxi to the western satellite town of Reykjanesbær, where I picked up my rental vehicle.

On the way I discovered one of the many ways in which Iceland is different. I couldn’t get the ATM at the airport to give me any money but the card was OK and in Iceland you can use credit cards almost anywhere – in taxis, for example. I later discovered that the petrol stations also all work by credit card. This is very handy because you wouldn’t want to be unable to get fuel in a remote corner of the country on a weekend.

.

History, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reykjavik, Travel, Wilderness .

This is the vehicle I hired. I was to be in Iceland for a month and for the first fortnight I drove around the coastal road in a huge camper. I’d never driven one before and I don’t think it was such a great choice for me. The expected advantage was being able to stop overnight at great locations but it was too large and unwieldy to take down many interesting roads.  I’d have been better with a smaller more spartan vehicle or a 4WD and maybe even staying in accommodations.

.

Hraunfossar .

Before I headed off I had a few things to organise in Reykjavik. I’d had a Baker’s Cyst in one leg which had become infected so I was pumped full of antibiotics for my last couple of days on the ship and confined to bed. That was a concern but in a visit to the hospital I was pronounced cured. So that just left the strained achilles tendon in the other leg (from an old sporting injury) that slowed me down and mitigated against any long walks. That slowly came good over the next couple of weeks.

The card I bought for my phone wasn’t working so I bought an Icelandic one and had a working phone. This was to become very important much later.

.
History, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reykjavik, Travel, Wilderness .

This rather nondescript street scene in Reykjavik shows two things. It is near the camping ground I was staying at and in the buildings at the left is the Sony headquarters. The transformer for my laptop had died and I was able to replace it and so be able to back up my images and review or process them. It also gives an indication of the weather. Scotland had actually been warm and dry and I had had good weather in the Lofoten Islands, Spitsbergen and Greenland. All the wet weather had gone to Iceland and for the first two weeks it was raining most of the time.

.

History, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reykjavik, Travel, Wilderness .

On my way out of Reykjavik on the 20th, I visited a small sculpture park in the suburb of Laugarnes, beside the sea.

.

History, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reykjavik, Travel, Wilderness .

.

History, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reykjavik, Travel, Wilderness .

.

History, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reykjavik, Travel, Wilderness .

Leaving Reykjavik, my next stop was at a museum in Borgarnes, Borgarnes Settlement Centre. Then I took a road inland towards some waterfalls. This led past the home of Snorri Sturlson (1179-1241) at Reykholt, which I did not photograph because it was closed. Snorri was a poet, the writer of Heimskringla (a history of Norwegian Kings) and probably author of Egil’s Saga. He was for many years Lawspeaker of the Althing, the Parliament of all the peoples, so a position of great power and influence. This was a period of civil strife and war in both Iceland and Norway and Snorri was a leader of a push to become part of Norway. He was murdered in his house in 1241.

.

History, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reykjavik, Travel, Wilderness .

.

History, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reykjavik, Travel, Wilderness .

This is Hraunfossar, a series of cascades over a lava bed, “hraun” meaning lava and “fossar” is waterfall.

.

History, Iceland, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reykjavik, Travel, Wilderness .

Very close to Hraunfossar is Barnafoss, the Children’s Waterfall. The story goes that there used to be a natural arch here and one Christmas day when the rest of the family were attending church, two children fell from this arch and drowned. Their grief-stricken mother then had the arch destroyed.

 

6 comments on “Reykjavik to Hraunfossar

  1. Wow, that sculpture garden had some amazing sculptures. And you did get some interesting cloud shots amidst the rain.

    Like

  2. Cool photos Murray. I was there in September and it rained nearly every day. But we still managed to find spectacular scenery. Your intinerary here is somewhat different than ours so it is great to see some of the places we misssed.

    Like

    • Murray Foote says:

      Yes, there’s no shortage of spectacular scenery in Iceland. When you refer to my itinerary, I’m not sure whether you mean the map for this post or the overall one in the summary post. It changed quite a bit from the latter because I included all the places I thought I might like to go to and I had to discard many due to lack of time.

      Like

  3. […] Sculpture park at Laugarnes, Reykjavik. […]

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s