Skaftafell

Day 67. 4th September. Skaftafell to Laufskalavarda, South Iceland.

.

Glacier, Iceland, Landscape, Laufskalavarda, Macro, Nature, Photography, Skaftafell, Skaftafellsjökull, Travel, Wilderness

This is ice and in fact a glacier – Skaftafellsjökull.  As is the way with glaciers, it can pick up all sorts of debris and thus not look clean.  They also may not be level places to walk on.

.

Glacier, Iceland, Landscape, Laufskalavarda, Macro, Nature, Photography, Skaftafell, Skaftafellsjökull, Travel, Wilderness

Much of this post is at Skaftafell, but towards the end there are images from the plains below the glaciers.

.

Glacier, Iceland, Landscape, Laufskalavarda, Macro, Nature, Photography, Skaftafell, Skaftafellsjökull, Travel, Wilderness

Skaftafellsjökull again.

.

Glacier, Iceland, Landscape, Laufskalavarda, Macro, Nature, Photography, Skaftafell, Skaftafellsjökull, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Glacier, Iceland, Landscape, Laufskalavarda, Macro, Nature, Photography, Skaftafell, Skaftafellsjökull, Travel, Wilderness6

This looks to me like a woman in a skirt with her knees up and only her legs visible above the water.  She must be cold.

.

Glacier, Iceland, Landscape, Laufskalavarda, Macro, Nature, Photography, Skaftafell, Skaftafellsjökull, Travel, Wilderness

Glacier meltwater.

.

Glacier, Iceland, Landscape, Laufskalavarda, Macro, Nature, Photography, Skaftafell, Skaftafellsjökull, Travel, Wildernessn

This is a rock ptarmigon, wandering around at my feet.  It would have been better to get down to ground level but I was carrying a pack at the time and by the time I got down he would have been gone.

.

Glacier, Iceland, Landscape, Laufskalavarda, Macro, Nature, Photography, Skaftafell, Skaftafellsjökull, Travel, Wilderness

While it is an area on glaciers and grand landscapes, some of the things that caught my attention were the miniature landscapes on the ground.

.

Glacier, Iceland, Landscape, Laufskalavarda, Macro, Nature, Photography, Skaftafell, Skaftafellsjökull, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Glacier, Iceland, Landscape, Laufskalavarda, Macro, Nature, Photography, Skaftafell, Skaftafellsjökull, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Glacier, Iceland, Landscape, Laufskalavarda, Macro, Nature, Photography, Skaftafell, Skaftafellsjökull, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Glacier, Iceland, Landscape, Laufskalavarda, Macro, Nature, Photography, Skaftafell, Skaftafellsjökull, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Glacier, Iceland, Landscape, Laufskalavarda, Macro, Nature, Photography, Skaftafell, Skaftafellsjökull, Travel, Wilderness

This is Skeiðarárjökull, much larger than Skaftafellsjökull, particularly known for its massive glacier outburst floods.

.

Glacier, Iceland, Landscape, Laufskalavarda, Macro, Nature, Photography, Skaftafell, Skaftafellsjökull, Travel, Wilderness

This and following images are from the side of the road, travelling west from Skaftafell.

.

Glacier, Iceland, Landscape, Laufskalavarda, Macro, Nature, Photography, Skaftafell, Skaftafellsjökull, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Glacier, Iceland, Landscape, Laufskalavarda, Macro, Nature, Photography, Skaftafell, Skaftafellsjökull, Travel, Wilderness

Grass and moss on lava.

.

Glacier, Iceland, Landscape, Laufskalavarda, Macro, Nature, Photography, Skaftafell, Skaftafellsjökull, Travel, Wilderness8

We are now at Laufskálavarða, as shown on the map.  This is on Mýrdalssandur, a vast plain below Mýrdalsjökull, Iceland’s fourth largest glacier.  Underneath Mýrdalsjökull is Katla, Iceland’s most active volcano, which makes for some interesting geological events.  It has had more than twenty eruptions since 894 and may be due to go up soonish.  If it erupts it is likely to be much larger than the Eyjafjallajökull eruption of 2010.  That volcano is very close and all three known eruptions have been followed by eruptions of Katla.

According to tradition, there was a large farm on or near this site that was destroyed in the 894 eruption.  A natural lava cairn was then named Laufskálavarða, or Laufskála cairn, in memory of the farm.  Since perhaps that time, there has been a tradition that travellers should leave a rock on a cairn or make a cairn.  This is said to bring good luck for the journey.  Hence all the cairns.

5 comments on “Skaftafell

  1. Looks like you had a good hike! We are planning on a trip to Iceland ourselves and have been looking for help and advice from other bloggers. We would appreciate if you could leave any advice on our post so that we have as much to blog about as possible when we go. Our post about Iceland is https://thiscouplewent.wordpress.com/2016/02/07/iceland-the-planning-begins/ . If we manage to do something you suggest then we will post a link on our blog to yours. It would be nice if bloggers could help each other out!

    Like

  2. Sukanya Ramanujan says:

    I hope I can visit Iceland someday!

    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