The next morning we woke up and headed straight for the Seljalandsfoss waterfall.
The next morning. Just look at the sky.
Beautiful nature continues. We are on our way to Reykjavik.
Iceland is located at the juncture of the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. And it's only about 200 km away from Greenland. First scenes of this land outside the window.
We didn't know what to expect so we just enjoyed wonderful nature.
Even though it is called Iceland you can't really see much of an ice. At least in this part of the island.
A house in the middle of nowhere.
It's a shame we didn't get to see the arctic lights.
And these are the trucks that've been waiting for us. We all were pretty amazed. You can see a person near it to realise the scale of them.
Closing in to the waterfall.
Time to move out. Some local cars.
The other one had 6 doors and reminded of more like a limo.
You can see how rocks have fallen down during last eruption and earthquake.
It turned out our vehicles are not the largest ones.
So we headed for our first destination. Real volcanic land. If you've ever been to a volcano you would find the nature very similar to it. It really looked like an airport is in the middle of nowhere.
And here we are.
Our driver. I personally am about 194 cm tall and he was much taller than me. :)
The Seljalandsfoss waterfall, Iceland.
Lonely house in the middle of nowhere.
Not many cars on the roads either.
I guess this bench was placed here on purpose. Great way to admire the waterfall.
Here we are closing in to our first destination. You can see clouds of steam ahead.
It actually is possible to go round the waterfall, but not at this weather.
And here it is - the Gulfoss waterfall.
We are heading for the geothermal spa which is one of the most visited attractions in Iceland.
Wind was quite strong so..
One of the largest in Iceland and the most popular.
The spa is located in a lava field. The water here is unbelievably clean and healthy. The color of it is just amazing.
..everything around the waterfall immediately turned into ice.
Of course the weather wasn't the best one. Every bit of the road got completely frozen which made it absolutely impossible to walk.
This place is called "The Blue Lagoon".
Here are some closer shots.
When we had to come down to the waterfall everybody just hold on to the rope. Otherwise you would just slide down at quite high speed.
A walk to the entrance through the lava field.
The same happens with you and the camera lenses in seconds.
The problem was that the people who were going up were using the same rope, so we kind of stuck there. :) And the freezing wind with water didn't help.
The first thing that amazes you is the color of the water and the second is the temperature of it.
I immediately was covered in ice. I didn't even got wet, water instantly froze all over me.
You can see that every bit of land is totally frozen and covered in ice.
The warm waters are rich in minerals like silica and sulphur and bathing in the Blue Lagoon is reputed to help some people suffering from skin diseases such as psoriasis.
Would really recommend to have a weatherproof camera here.
You can feel the mighty power of it.
The water temperature in the bathing and swimming area of the lagoon averages 37–39 °C (98–102 °F).
It's really difficult to move or just stand still in such strong wind and slippery surface.
Superheated water is vented from the ground near a lava flow and used to run turbines that generate electricity. After going through the turbines, the steam and hot water passes through a heat exchanger to provide heat for a municipal water heating system. Then the water is fed into the lagoon for recreational and medicinal users to bathe in.
Because of the strong wind and ice it is almost impossible to stand here.
But the waterfall itself looks quite amazing.
Blue Lagoon, Iceland.
What used to be grass.
As one first approaches the falls, the crevice is obscured from view, so that it appears that a mighty river simply vanishes into the earth.
It's quite extreme. The temperature outside was about -2C, but the water was about 40C. So the hardest thing is to get out of the house in your swimming shorts and quickly jump into the pool. The watchman demonstrates how cold it really was outside. The only problem is that your ears keep freezing.
The closest I was able to get to the waterfall.
The average amount of water running over this waterfall is 140 m³/s in the summertime and 80 m³/s in the wintertime. The highest flood measured was 2000 m³/s.
Very useful place when the wind is too strong.
Good thing they have a sign. Otherwise I would never know. :)
Really an amazing place. You can swim there all year long even when outside temperature drops below -20 C.
Trying to stand still.
After "Blue Lagoon" we continued our first day journey through the island.
Camera freezes even more quickly then we are, so you have to be quick. Otherwise the lenses will get covered in ice.
And since we have these enormous trucks why not to go offroading a little bit.
Trying to stand against the wind.
A view from the inside.
As you keep going you see water just floating out of the mountains.
You immediately get frozen. It wasn't raining or snowing. The water from the waterfall just freezes right on your clothes.
In was quite unusual driving roads that are this steep.
Since this water comes from the glaciers it's extremely clear.
On our way back we decided to take a different root by climbing a hill.
The higher we got the stronger the wind became.
Passing huge lava field, going for Eyjafjallajökull volcano where eruption took place a couple years ago.
It was much easier than to go back down that frozen road.
On top of the hill the wind became so strong that it was impossible to get out of the cars.
Not the easiest road to be honest.
From up here you can see the whole beauty of it.
So we took some pictures from the inside. It was safer and easier.
I'm not sure if it's a good idea to come to Iceland on your own and renting a car. I would never try to come to these places if I was on my own. And even if I wanted I wouldn't be able to as well.
If you look straight ahead to the ocean there would be absolutely no land at all, all the way to Antarctica.
Closing in to the glacier. The lava from the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull was going right through this valley. You can see a light blue ice in front of you.
We were told that in rainy seasons all this valley where water falls floats up till the very edge.
Looks like a very hostile environment but at the same time incredibly healthy.
This is very old ice that got uncovered after the eruption and that has been hidden underneath the upper layers of the ice for thousands of years.
Wouldn't be the best place for rafting I guess.
You can see a pipe going down the road. This is the hot water from the geyser they transfer and use to heat their houses.
It's hard to see it on a photo but it's really huge. And this is just one of the glaciers coming down from this mountain.
Here is a closer look.
Glacier in Iceland.
Best place to take photos.
Finally back on the civilised road. By the way the condition of the road is close to ideal.
We are now standing on a brand new ground that is just a couple years old.
Gulfoss waterfall, Iceland.
Typical Icelandic scene. Coastline, a fishing boat and some mountains.
I think it's impossible to get here with a normal car.
The reason why I'm sitting is because it was impossible to stand because of the strong wind.
Had to take at least one photo of me as well. :)
Beautiful view on the valley.
This really is an astonishing land.
So we continue our trip to see some geysers. You can already see the steaming water.
It would take several hours to climb up that glacier.
Like it. :)
And here they are. First thing you notice is the smell. It's quite nasty. The smell of hydrogen sulfide gives that "rotten eggs" smell.
The scale of a human comparing to the mountains.
Here you can see the scale of the waterfall comparing to humans.
Geysers require a specific set of geological conditions.
The higher we went the more beautiful it got.
And this is how it looks in winter time. Amazing. It's really beautiful here during any season.
First, heat from a magma very near the earth's surface.
Feels more like you are on the moon.
Second, a supply of water that can circulate deep enough to be heated by the magma.
Until the eruption all this valley was covered in ice. Thousands and thousands of cubic meters of ice just vanished.
We managed to visit some stores as well. Icelanders really believe in elves. They are literally everywhere.
Third, cavities or pore space in the rocks just below ground level that can act as a pressure chamber.
The clearest and healthiest water.
Fourth, silica rich rocks that will provide abundant silica to seal the pressure chamber and keep the pressure contained until the eruption results.
Natural fur. It could be really warm in it.
Geologically, having all four of these conditions at once is a relatively rare occurrence.
I liked this item the most. A can with fresh mountain air. It costs about 5$.
Here is an illustration of how this works. So weird when its freezing outside but the water is boiling at about 100 C.
Time to move on.
White bear and a mountain goat. Actually non of these animals live in Iceland.
The sun began to set so it's time to move on.
You can see that this ice was just a part of a huge glacier on the mountain.
Now it's time to go see another wonder that island hides in its depths.
Iceland - The beautiful pearl of the north.
Two more ice slides behind the hill.
Spooky mountains appear as we drive down the road.
It's quite dangerous to drive near them when it's stormy. Because of the wind going down the mountain generates speed up to 70m/s which can easily roll over your car.
Interesting abandoned houses.
Views are just staggering.
Our next destination is the volcanic cave. This is the entrance. If you don't know it's here you will never find it.
I guess it's impossible to drive here. Interesting that signs are chained to the ground so that they wouldn't be blown away by strong winds.
As we drove higher first snow appeared.
Plus you need special equipment to enter it. Quite hard to climb slippery stones with a camera.
On our way had to cross some rivers as well. Didn't feel that safe about this idea at the beginning.
Getting closer to our destination.
When the eruption occurred the lava flow went underground created a very long round cave. Later the lava disappeared leaving the cave. This one is about 1.5km long and about 15m high.
But it turned out quite well and funny in the end.
It is the site of a rift valley that marks the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. It is also home to Þingvallavatn, the largest natural lake in Iceland.
Really an amazing one life experience. :)
In short this is a place where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates meet. You can see huge American plate is coming over European plate.
We went only about 100m inside of it. The further we went the darker it got. I'm not sure that I would want to go all 1500m till the end of it. But still, very interesting place.
Finally we've reached campings.
The continental drift between the North American and Eurasian Plates can be clearly seen in the cracks or faults.
Our last destination of the day were another geysers. Before we've seen the water just boiling and evaporating. This time we're about to see the erupting geysers - Haukadalur.
Met an amazing Icelandic dog. :)
This also causes the often-measurable earthquakes in the area.
The erupting geyser in Haukadalur valley are the oldest known geyser in the world.
Huge thanks to our great vehicles and drivers.
Some of the rifts are full of surprisingly clear water.
Here is a small one. You can see the boiling water in it from the heat underground.
Decided to climb up the nearest hill.
The water is unbelievably clear. At some places you can see 60m deep.
And here is the larger geyser. The water in it don't just evaporate. It erupts. Also take a look at the sky and clouds. Very unusual shapes.
Astonishing view. Can imagine how it is like here in the summer time.
One, Nikulásargjá, is better known as Peningagjá, as it is littered with coins at its bottom. After being bridged in 1907 for the arrival of King Frederick VIII of Denmark, visitors began to throw coins in the fissure, to see how really deep it is and how far it can be seen.
The eruption occurs every 8-10 minutes. All this time the water keeps warming up, and when the temperature reaches its maximum it blows up in to the air or erupts.
It looks like the river floating down the valley. But in reality it's an ash from volcano. This is were the lava went during the eruption.
Here you can see some coins as well.
Here you can see the difference in about a second. One moment it's stable and the other you can see a huge explosion that goes abut 20m up in the air.
Taking a walk by this this wonderful land.
And even though the water is 100 C hot the temperature outside is so cold that it immediately cools down making no damage to the people around it.
Looks like we're not the first ones here. People have been here a long time ago.
The tectonic plate itself. It goes for hundreds of kilometers and continues under the ocean.
After the eruption the water fills the hole once again and the whole cycle continues.
This really is an astonishing land.
You can easily walk between these to plates.
If you're lucky you can catch the very beginning of eruption. The bubble. It appears only for a moment, much less than a second before exploding.
We've spent all day in the mountains, so at the evening we headed back for a camp side.
And here goes the eruption.
To the left is North American plate, to the right - European plate.
Beautiful and amazing.
Taking a walk from Europe to America.
Geyser eruption, Iceland
Probably the only place in the world where you can do that.
Some smaller non erupting geysers.
Finally we are on top. And just look at this view.
It is forbidden to walk around the field. Only down the specific path. Otherwise it can be very dangerous.
Here is again an illustration of how these geysers work.
I'm on top of the world watching two plates coming onto each other.
Time to go for our camp side. I just love driving these roads.
A church by the coastline on the beautiful sunset background.
You can see Þingvallavatn - a lake in south-western Iceland. With a surface of 84 km² it is the largest natural lake in Iceland. Its greatest depth is at 114 m.
Looks like we made it.
Hard to describe feeling when you're standing there. Despite freaking cold and wind of course.
A place of geographical center as well.
I should definitely return here.
After Þingvellir it's time to visit our final destination - Reykjavik - the capital of Iceland.comments powered by Disqus