Return to Reykjavik

Day 78 to 80. 16th to 18th September. Kirkjubæjarklaustur to Reykjavik, Iceland.

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Continuing from the previous three posts….  I had got stuck in the snow in a remote highlands road with a storm approaching.  I was rescued by Emergency Services who got the vehicle out but we then had to abandon it.  I was dropped at an hotel in Kirkjubæjarklaustur.  Had it just been freeing the vehicle there would have been no charge but I got charged a significant amount for the lift to Kirkjubæjarklaustur which was fair enough.

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Architecture, Highlands, History, Iceland, Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reykjavik, Travel, Wilderness

When the storm came, it was a freak storm even by Icelandic standards, with winds up to 200 kilometres per hour, rather like a cold climate cyclone, typhoon or hurricane.  On the main road along the south coast, some cars had their windscreens blown in and some small cars were blown off the road and rolled.  Not a good situation to be in.  This is the next day on that road, with most of the storm blown over but still pretty wild.  The driver of our vehicle tried to wave at one small car to persuade them to turn round and go back.

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Architecture, Highlands, History, Iceland, Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reykjavik, Travel, Wilderness

Some people from the rental company, J. S. Campers, drove out to pick me up and were intending to pick up the campervan and take it back with them but this required the cooperation of emergency services and proved not possible.  So they drove back and dropped me at Reykjavik.  Now when you take a rental car into the highlands there is virtually no possibility of insurance so I had to pay a very considerable sum for repair of the vehicle.  No complaints there, I knew about this before I hired the vehicle and still got a good deal.  Should I be in the market to hire a 4wd campervan in Iceland again, I would probably go back to J. S. Campers.

Before I left Iceland, we knew what had happened to the camper van.  It wasn’t just that the engine needed rebuilding.   The vehicle had been left on an exposed plain and when the storm hit, wild winds loaded with scoria particles had effectively sandblasted it.  Consequently, it also needed repainting.

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Architecture, Highlands, History, Iceland, Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reykjavik, Travel, Wilderness

When I got back to Australia, they sent me some photos of the vehicle.  As well as the general sandblasting, the winds were so ferocious that the rear window of the campervan was blown in.  Had I been in it, I would have clamped down the expandable top of the campervan because that was obviously unstable, but I would not have expected the window to blow in.  The couch in the image above where the glass is lying would also have been my bed.  Mind you, the place where I was originally bogged was on an uphill slope in a perhaps more sheltered valley facing in a different direction so perhaps this may not have happened there.  However, had I been inside the campervan and had the window blown in, I would have been in a very uncomfortable and perilous situation.

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Architecture, Highlands, History, Iceland, Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reykjavik, Travel, Wilderness

Going back to the journey from Kirkjubæjarklaustur to Reykjavik:  I took occasional photographs, often through the window in the back seat of the car.

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Architecture, Highlands, History, Iceland, Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reykjavik, Travel, Wilderness

Here at the foot of a cliff is an old house or barn with dry stone walls and a turf roof, with a more modern structure built behind it.

(Click on an image if you’d like to see more detail).

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Architecture, Highlands, History, Iceland, Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reykjavik, Travel, Wilderness

More old structures with turf rooves, though the fascia is clearly twentieth century.

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Architecture, Highlands, History, Iceland, Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reykjavik, Travel, Wilderness

Modern farm buildings with old structures out the back.

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Architecture, Highlands, History, Iceland, Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reykjavik, Travel, Wilderness

A large house or inn dwarfed by the landscape.

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Architecture, Highlands, History, Iceland, Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reykjavik, Travel, Wilderness

A farm with its own waterfall.

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Architecture, Highlands, History, Iceland, Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reykjavik, Travel, Wilderness

A different waterfall but very close by.

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Architecture, Highlands, History, Iceland, Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reykjavik, Travel, Wilderness

This is Seljalandsfoss, which I had photographed eleven days earlier on a still, fine day.

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Architecture, Highlands, History, Iceland, Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reykjavik, Travel, Wilderness

You can see how much gusts of wind are affecting the waterfall.

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Architecture, Highlands, History, Iceland, Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reykjavik, Travel, Wilderness .

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Architecture, Highlands, History, Iceland, Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reykjavik, Travel, Wilderness

This is probably Hekla in the distance.

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Architecture,

Farms and clouds.

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Architecture, Highlands, History, Iceland, Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reykjavik, Travel, Wilderness

We are now in Reykjavik.  This is an archæological site under city buildings, featuring a Viking long house from the original time of settlement.  It is at The Settlement Exhibition Reykjavík 871±2.

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Architecture, Highlands, History, Iceland, Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reykjavik, Travel, Wilderness

This is from a charming locality near the centre of Reykjavik.  From memory the red building dates back to the eighteenth century.   Due to my unplanned adventures I did not have as much time in Reykjavik as I intended but it was never a major focus for me.  On the next day I flew back to Australia.

So this is the end of my journey in Iceland and my last sequential Iceland post.  There have been over fifty posts and nearly 900 images.  It is also the end of my larger journey where I also visited Scotland, the outer islands, the Lofoten Islands, Spitsbergen and Greenland.

Next will be a live music post.  Then about another half dozen posts from Iceland, monochrome conversions of selected images already posted in colour.

 

 

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8 comments on “Return to Reykjavik

  1. Robert D. Hayes, D.O. says:

    Jealous of such a wonderful experience Murray, but I’ll admit, I’m way too old to get that crazy now. Fantastic, magnificent images.

    Like

  2. leecleland says:

    Glad you were safely tucked away when the storm hit and not in your campervan. Maybe turf houses have something going for them in storms like that. An experience not to be repeated, but what an experience!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. George says:

    Glad you weren’t in that campervan!

    Liked by 1 person

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