Husavik

Day 61 to 62. 28th to 29th August. Husavic, Iceland (North).

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Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts

This is Husavik.  I don’t show anything of the town itself.  What caught my attention were the boats moored at the dock.

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Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts

I arrived at Husavik in the late afternoon, coming from Dettifoss, Selfoss, Verterdalur and Ásbyrgi earlier in the day.

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Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts

Husavik was the first Scandinavian settlement in Iceland.  The Swedish Viking Garðar Svavarsson sailed round Iceland and wintered here in 870.  He built a house on shore and hence Husavik means Bay of Houses.

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Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts

The Landnámabók or Book of Settlements relates early settlement events between about 870 and 930 and the first version probably dates back to the 12th century.   It is the source of information for Garðar Svavarsson’s adventures.  It records that when he sailed away the next spring, a man called Náttfari escaped from the party in a boat with a young servant woman.  They settled on the other side of the bay from Husavik and thus became the first permanent settlers in Iceland, apart from a few Irish monks.

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Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts

For the next thousand years there was not much at Husavik.  It only became a town in the late nineteenth century when it became a port for exporting sulphur to Europe to make gunpowder (sulphur being plentiful in volcanic Iceland).

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Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts

There is a Whale Museum here and I remember visiting it but little more.  I presume that Husavik was a centre of whaling at the turn of the nineteenth century though I can find no explicit reference to this on the web.

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Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts

It was certainly a fishing port and in the early 1960s the viability of the fishing industry began to recede so the town reinvented itself as a centre for whale watching and tourism.

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Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts .

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Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts .

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Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts .

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Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts .

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Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts

Here is one of the whale watching boats coming in…

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Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts

…and the passengers disembarking.

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Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts .

Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts .

Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts

Next morning now, around dawn.

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Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts .

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Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts .

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Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts .

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Husavik, Iceland, Landscape, Photography, Reflections, seascape, Travel, Yachts .

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Ásbyrgi

Day 61. 28th August. Ásbyrgi, Iceland (Northeast).

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Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness

From Vesterdalur to Ásbyrgi, a giant horseshoe-shaped canyon.  It is 3.5 kilometres deep and 1.1 kilometres wide and there is a large rock formation at its entrance called Eyjan (or the Island).  It was formed when Odin’s eight-legged horse Sleipnir briefly touched down with one of its hooves, though there don’t appear to be any actual eyewitness accounts of this on the web.

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Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness

It is not far from Vesterdalur and still in Jökulsárgljúfur National Park.

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Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness

Here’s looking up one of the cliffs, which are one hundred metres high.

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Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness

The canyon was once on the path of the river, which is now a few miles to the east.  It is said to have been formed in a couple of catastrophic events since the last ice age when a large lake built up behind glacial walls, the  walls were breached and a sudden and dramatic flash flood of unimaginable proportions ensued.

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Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness

Ásbyrgi Canyon is also said to be the capital of the huldufólk or hidden folk or elves, living in the cliffs in wonderful buildings.  But only some can see them.

It is said that a young couple were living in separate farms, one in the canyon and one just outside, but social rank prevented their union.  One of the huldufólk told them her lover had been taken by a creature living in the cliffs and turned into a beast that lived in the pond.  The beast would surface only when the midnight sun played over the cliff face.  On the elf’s instruction they threw some of their most treasured possessions into the mouth of the beast when it surfaces which broke the spell.  The elf then made sure the young couple could marry.

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Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness

Botnstjörn Lake is at the foot of the cliffs at the apex of the canyon, which makes it very protected and still, thus providing great reflections.

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Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness .

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Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness .

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Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness ..

 

Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness

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Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness

Green-winged Teal (female).  (Click for larger view).

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Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness

Green-winged Teal.

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Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness .

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Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness

Greeen-winged Teal

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Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness

Ring-necked duck (female).

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Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness1 .

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Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness .

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Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness .

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Ásbyrgi, Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Travel, Wilderness

According to the date/time stamp on the image, this is about a third of the way from Ásbyrgi to Husavik but I can’t be more specific than that.  You’d probably have to click on the image to see it larger but there is a house in the distance at the top left which must have a magnificent view indeed.

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20th February: Hokkaido – Rausu

In the late afternoon we arrived at Rausu, a small fishing port near the north-east tip of Hokkaido.  We stopped for a while to take some photographs around the fishing boats.

Rausu

Fishermen organising their nets after returning for the day.  The lightbulbs are mounted on the boat and indicate night fishing.  Alternatively, they may be preparing to go out.