a trip to ICELAND - July/August 98
Well, let's try to put some order here... this page lists the towns and main attractions where i've been during my summer holidays in 1998, sometimes with a word of explanation, some other times with pictures. I didnt try to be exhaustive, some books are written for that. I didnt try either to picture the main "must-see", but just the things i felt affinities with...
If you plan some trip to Iceland too, or just wanna add something to this, be it an explanation, or an advice, feel free to e-mail, everyone is welcome.
First of all, a map which will prove usefull if you dont know Iceland's geography : map
You can also see my turn around the clock on my Hringmiši, which is kind of a bus card you buy to go around Iceland.
KEFLAVÍK / NJARDVÍK
These two towns are slowly melting into one another. Keflavík is the airport, which is a military airport, 50 km distant from the capital, Reykjavík. You can sleep there in a Youth Hostel, which is a school outside the holidays period (one of the longest in the world, something like 3 months).
Reykjavík means something like "smoky bay" i guess. It's a quiet town, home to 60% of the Icelanders, (total population of the country : 300 000 ppl), but i heard it had to be seen on the week-end to plainly understand Reykjavík's life...
A view from the lake on both sides of Skothúsvegur. You can see the far away Hallgríms Church (Hallgrímskirkja) and closer, ???. Many ducks on the lake, from all kind : Iceland is an ornithologist's paradise. As far as i'm concerned, i'm more of a Zornithologist and i must say that i wasnt deceived by the incredibly good music shop called Hljómalind in Reykjavík ! one of the best in Europe, with a broad Tzadik, Drum'n'bass, Electronica, Jazz, experimental choice.
"Simi" means telephone !
Click here to hear 1 minute from Guðmundur Ingólfsson þey, þey og ró, ró
First of all, you need RealAudio or RealPlayer to do so ! Just take a look at my "download" section, in my Links page... Just a few clicks away, and worth the time spent !
Leifur Eiríksson (i mean : a statue of him !)
Perlan restaurant (The Pearl), which consists of 6 gigantic water tanks placed on a nearby hill, deserving the town. A restaurant and some exhibition rooms have been intercalated between the six tanks.
From Reykjavík, you can book a very popular tour, by bus (no trains in Iceland ! just think of the fjörds, that would be a mess).
One of the first thing you see is this gigantic explosive vulcano crater, filled with a lake. I asked myself a long time about its name, and someone told me recently it was Keriš ! (thanks to Christina for this )
Then you move on to Hveragerði, where hot-water heated greenhouses produce the only bananas from Europe.... Also some therapeutic virtues, so they say.
View from Skalhólt, which was the location of one of the first icelandic bishops. If i had pictured the landscape a little more left, you could have seen the Hekla volcano, possibly maybe.
The Golden circle tour then goes towards the Gullfoss waterfall - beautiful
On that tour, you will also experience the Geysers, two of them being named Geysir (who gave its name to the phenomenon) and Strokkur. You will also go to Þingvellir - well, if you're interested in Iceland you should know what it is... (in brief : first assembly in the world)
As i said above : hot-water sources, greenhouses, therapeutic communities... and a very friendly youth hostel.
I just passed briefly in the 3 previous towns, so i have nothing to say about them.
Vík is the most pluvious town in Iceland - and i'm proud to say that i experienced it !
A very nice walk from Reynisbrekka's Youth Hostel
A lava field - i think there was something special about this one, but what the heck was it ?
Just one advice about this town : dont try pronouncing its name in front of an Icelander... he might just wonder what you're talking about...
A national park at the feets of mighty Vatnajökull, Iceland's biggest glacier.
This is a lake formed by the arrival of the glacier Vatnajökull. A polar landscape with blue and black reflections
Nothing much here, except a good bed and breakfast... it's an obligatory stop for the bus, so ?
An icelandic reader's comment :
Thank you for the beautiful photographs.
well, yes, indeed... i arrived at the fall of night and departed the next morning. I hope the addition of your comment will help repair the injustice i did to Höfn ;)
Those two villages are nice east-fjörd locations... peacefull and calm
Egilsstadir's lake... which is said to house a monster. Hum ? you can see it on the town's blason, at least.
somewhere between EGILSSTADIR and MÝVATN
Has anyone got a clue about this place's name ? Someone told me it was Grķmstašir į fjöllum... might be.
MÝVATN and surroundings
This is one of the most interesting part of Iceland...
Kráfla region, with lava field, not far away from Reykjahlið, the main town around lake Mývatn. Here you can see solfatares with boiling water, and lava flow dating from the 1984 eruption, still smoking.
Víti (hell) crater.
Námafjáll : in this place you can smell that good old H2S gas and see the boiling mud... The yellow color is the sulfur, which was once used for canon powder.
Kálfaströnd, a place with strange lava formations emerging out of water.
Not so far away from the Grjótagjá caves...
Anyone with little germanic or scandinavian languages knowledge will have understood that Gods have something to see in here... In fact, the legend says that after Iceland's conversion to christianism, in year 1000, someone threw the old god's effigies in this waterfall...
DETTIFOSS and surroundings
The mighty Dettifoss waterfall, the strongest in Europe (44 meters high). There is an organised tour allowing you to also see Selfoss, the whole canyon, as well as Ásbyrgi (Sleipnir - Odin's horse - print)
Second town of the country, nice people.
A quiet, quiet place located on a fjörd. There is a beautiful youth hostel there : enjoy the silence !
And one day ???
This small town (400 inhabitants) is really flat, and seems to have delicately landed on the water.
A view from the ferry taking me through Breidafjördur, to Flatey and Stykkishólmur.
An island right in the middle of Breidafjördur, which has had a very important cultural role in the past. Deserted some decades ago, it is now renovated.
A general view of the town... you can see the modern church, where you can meet some very nice people, the flag locates the Youth Hostel.
The main industry here is shell fishing, and a proof of this is the numerous shells you find along the roads.
Shades of grass and moss... I must say that this is what i liked most about Iceland
A view from Helgafell, a weird mountain whose climbing allows you to make some wishes... but shhhhh ! if you tell them, everything's ruined !
Do you have any suggestion, or comment ?
send me an e-mail !
and why not a picture of you ?
SOME OTHER ICELAND PAGES ON THE WEB :