Photo Essay

Step into another world

As you land in Keflavik International Airport you will get the feeling that you have arrived in a different world rather than another country.  This is Iceland.

The terrain surrounding Keflavik and Reykjavik is dark, arid and surprisingly flat contrasting with radiant glimmers of a green moss cover.  Yet drive an hour eastwards and the ground will explode with colour, bursting at its seams producing mountain ranges to adorn the best of photo back drops.

The magnitude of some of the mountains means that on a clear day you can see the glaciers atop.

On less clear days visibility of the glacier, even from the glacier itself will be minimal.  Yet still impressive and stark in contrast to the world below.

Langjokull glacier

From the mountains run the powerful glacial waters.  At points to the south of the island you will be unable to avoid seeing a waterfall.  From smaller falls like Gluggafoss, to the larger commanding falls of Skogafoss you will mesmerised by the rushing water.

Gluggafoss waterfall

Skogafoss waterfall

As you take the scenic drive following the water along its route to the sea you will inevitably reach the black sand beaches, so called for their volcanic ash colouring.  The waters along the shoreline are menacing and dominant so try not to become too distracted by the curious sands, dominant cliffs, hidden caves and rock formations – be cautious when visiting.

Reynisfjara

Reynisfjara

Head back inland and witness the tectonic plate boundaries of North America and Europe.  At Pingvallir (Thingvallir translated) National Park you can see the break in the two plates, walk the land which has subsided between them and watch the waters of Oxarafoss rush by.

Oxarafoss waterall / Tectonic plates

When you begin travelling west, the landscape will turn from moon to mars.  The dark rocky nature falls away and large expanses of hot, red land will appear.  The heated earth spurts hot steam and water at any point which it can escape.

Gunnuvhur, Reykjanes Peninsula

Gunnuvhur, Reykjanes Peninsula

Conversely, on occasion the dynamic nature of this land has caused the terrain to cave in.

Crater Kerid

The beauty behind these vivid blue waters is the natural silica which washes down from the mountains.  The best example can be seen at the Blue Lagoon, which for all its tourist traits is still a wonder to see.

Blue Lagoon

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *