Landmannahellir

Day 75. 13th September. Landmannahellir and Landmannaleið, Highlands, Iceland.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

This is Landmannahellir at dawn in front of Hellistjall (the small mountains). There is also a formation of birds in the sky.

Landmannahellir was a major stopping place when the major route from the south east to the west ran through here, both for cargo transport and for sheep herding.  There is a cave here behind the houses somewhere said to be able to house seventy to eight horses and another side cave for the people to sleep in.  I did not know about this at the time so did not visit it.  These days you can stay in one of the cottages and go for walks from here.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

From Landmannahellir I drove to Landmannalaugar through the snow along the ancient route Landmannaleið.  Most of the images are near Landmannahellir and all well before encountering the F208 “main road” to Landmannalaugar.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

Looking in the other direction, towards the peaks of Sáta and Langasáta (from left to right).

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

A little later, a similar view from a different viewpoint with the dawn receding.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

Another view at Landmannahellir, probably to the right of the first image.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

Grass covered by snow and frost.  Many other places there is only moss but there is some degree of wetlands here, likely more water in the soil and therefore better growing conditions foe the grass.  Thus no doubt not a coincidence that this was a focus for sheep herding.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

Looking towards the nearby lake of Löðmundurvatn with some distant sheep in front of it.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

Here are a couple of sheep at the side of the road with a misty mountain background.

Iceland sheep are their own distinct breed, descending from the Norwegian sheep of one thousand years ago.  I suspect these ones are due to be rounded up and taken to a big barn for the winter.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

Delicate light through the foggy clouds.

The mountains in this area are generally hyaloclastic, a “hydrated tuff-like breccia rich in black volcanic glass”, deriving from volcanic eruptions under glaciers.  Conversely, the rocks a bit further south in the Torfajökull caldera are predominately rhyolite, a volcanic equivalent of granite with a high silica content, which also accounts for the high degree of colour variation in the landscapes of that region.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

A little further along I came across a car abandoned by the side of the road.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

Closer inspection reveals a broken exhaust pipe (maybe an incautious fording of a river?).

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

This was my vehicle.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

A wild landscape in snow.  A river runs across the mid foreground.  You can see the road continuing in the distance at the left.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

Another view of Löðmundurvatn (the lake) with Löðmundur (the mountain) in the background.  The scale is probably larger than it looks.  You can see the fence posts for a clue.  The distance to the far side of the lake is about a kilometre.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

And so we proceed….

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness .

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

You can see a cairn in the centre of the image.  The is probably an original nineteenth century cairn to guide people riding their horses along Landmannaleið with their cargo or sheep .

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

We are now a fair distance from Löðmundurvatn so that glint in the distance must be a view of Lifrarfjallarvatn or Dómadalsvatn (two small lakes close to one another).

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

Patterns in the rocks, covered in snow.

.

Highlands, Iceland, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleið, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snow, Travel, Wilderness

No tyre tracks ahead but the road is clear enough.

.

3 comments on “Landmannahellir

  1. ngfayeng says:

    Must have been an amazing experience. Would kill to go there!

    Like

    • Murray Foote says:

      Definitely amazing and I’d like to go back. It’s a wonderful place for photography, very friendly people, fascinating history, good food, very safe. A bit expensive though. I think you’ll get there if you’re patient enough and want it enough.

      Liked by 1 person

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