140602 Hotel Nupar to Sellfoss

ISLAND 2014-05-28--06-04
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© NF Photos 140602

We left "the container",Island hotel Nupar, after breakfast. A heavenly one at that . They were serving waffles. You baked them yourself so they were all fresh.
Driving west along the coast. Our first stop was a gorgeous canyon, the Fjadrargljufur Gorge! I take so many photos and it seem hopeless to share this place with one photo. This place is the proof that Iceland is being teared apart. One side is moving towards Europe. The other side towards America
We also made a stop at Katla Geopark. A place where lots of volcanoes erupted 1783. The Laki eruption

Next stop was a beach, Dyrhólaey,  with lots of lava pillars and other fancy nature stuff like caves and birds. It is located close to the city of Vik i Myrdal. "This is the southernmost coastal hamlet of the country and the only one without a harbour. The flat, black beach south of the village was declared one of the 10 most beautiful island beaches of the world by the Iceland Magazine."

 After the visit at the beach we drove back to Vik for a lunch break. As I brought something with me I went out checking out the surroundings. Turned out to be more interesting. Fine beach and great birds and even  more lava pillars.
Well, the others finally had eaten and bought whatever souvenirs they wanted and we left again. Now aiming for Skógafoss waterfall. Close to the waterfall was a Museum as we visited as well. Skogasafn! A museum of old Iceland history, both nature and how people lived. Quite amazing!

The saddles in the museum is for rich ladies. But I think I remember a note saying it also was used for newly wed couples. hen not used as saddles anymore they converted them to chairs.
We continued west to the next waterfall, Seljalandsfoss. This waterfall was a bit unusual as it was possible to go around the falling water. That was cool but you got wet! And so did your camera. Fun nevertheless!  See image below.
Arriving at Hotel Selfoss rather early and dinner at 20.00h would give us time to go to the local swimming pool. But to our disappointment is was closed for reparations. So, I took a walk along the river instead. And had time to take a shower before dinner. I was given a room with gorgeous view over the river. Had quite fun watching gulls playing like children in the river currents. :)

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140601 Breiðdalsvík to Island hotel Nupar Jokulsárlón

ISLAND 2014-05-28--06-04
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© NF Photos 140601
140601 Breiðdalsvík to Island hotel Nupar  Jokulsárlón

After breakfast I had a little time to go to the fjord close to Hotell Blafell, Breiðdalsvík. It was just around the corner. One of the ladies had told me she spotted an Icelandic Loon. But of course, when I arrived it was gone. But I got some nice shots of Eiders and a few waders and common snipes in the air. Love their sound.

Ruddy Turnstone and Common Ringed Plover on the image.

We left that gorgeous little place and headed west along the coast. We made a short stop at the beach ans I think I saw a Loon but it was very far out on the water. Later on a funny thing happened on the road. An Oystercatcher was driving goats away from it´s, I suppose, nest.


This morning we had rather much time to spare so there was several shorter stops. First one at a waterfall. Lots of those in Iceland.

 We visited a village, a former fishing village, Djupivigor.They had some astonish Stone Eggs, on display at the harbour. Eggin í Gleðivík

We had some refreshments at a coffee shop. The coffee shop had a lot of nice art on it´s walls one could enjoy. Think it was from local artists.  And then a visit to a souvenirshop where I bought myself a calender for next year


Then we made a detour to a local airport , it was also a well known birding location. Our guide was reluctant of staying too long but we was out of the bus anyway.  I ran like crazy as I had seen a Black-tailed Godwith ( rödspov), in a very beautiful plumage, at the turning point and I wanted some shots.
I got them! 


We made another stop at the ocean hoping to see looms but failed. Then we arrived at the tunnel of Almannaskarð. Before we drove through the tunnel we drove up to a viewpoint. Overlooking the bay below and a city far off.
The old road can be seen on the hillside. It was rather  hazardous in wintertime.

Then it was finally time for today´s highlight, Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, the reason why I choose this particular tour. I only had wanted a little bit of sunshine. But you can´t have it all, can you?
I have already shared one image on my Polarbear on my Photo and Art  blog

Well, our guide was not that impressed by the tour on Glacier Lagoon. Afterwards he drove us to another, smaller, part of the glacier. And he was right, no boats on that little lake, but such a glorious place! And with some loons swimming it. The black on the snow is lavasand.

Now we had enough of experiences for one day and we continued to the "container" home, as Jon called the Island hotel Nupar. A hotel for overnight stays only, made up of containeres trown out in the desert.  But rather pleasant inside. After a great dinner it was nice to hit the sack!

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140531 Akureyri to Breiðdalsvík

ISLAND 2014-05-28--06-04
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© NF Photos 140531

 140531 Saturday, Akureyri to Breiðdalsvík
Dep at 9.00h.

Woke up at 630.  Packed my stuff and had breakfast. Coming outside the hotel it is raining. Not fun as there were a lot on the agenda. This is a day when we really should have started of earlier.
We made a short stop at a viewpoint overlooking the Eyjafjördur, with lots of eiders, and Akureyri before we headed east leaving for our first stop, Godafoss.
We were lucky as the rain stopped when we left the bus to take a walk passing the waterfall to the other side. It was a nice walk and the waterfall is a beauty. Could have been much better in sunshine though. 
Next stop was the black lava, volcanic area that erupted 2000 years ago. Dimmuborgir! Very unusual in shape. And for that we almost run through half the area. Time for coffee again.   As usual I stayed on the path for some more shots.

We continued to Myvatn and a place where there was supposed to be lots of birds. But it was a little disappointing. Very beautiful to walk in the midst of Icelandic Birch to the water but not that much birds. Despite the huge amount of flies. But there was some action on the lake. Icelandic Golden eye had some fun.

And now, lunch! A late one! At Jardbodin Nature Bath.  Apart from lunch and souvenirs there was also a possibility to take a swim in the hot water pool.


Last stop in the north was Dettiforss. Here we had to hike for a km in rough terrain and very wet too due to melting snow and rain.  But it was worth it.

From now on we drove eastward and south. A long drive over Iceland's highland desert. No stop here. I only took shots from the bus.

When we spotted the sandstorm we were quite happy sitting in the bus. It was shaky enough with the strong wind.
 Dimmifjallgarður location for the sandstorm.
There was one farm,  Mödrudalur, on the highland north of Vatnajokull glacier . With a coffee shop of course. And this time I had a cup and a bun that was very tasty.
We were told it was only one farm. But they has a small Turf house Museum, an old gas station and a church. :) Not bad!

From now on there was mostly highland, waterfalls and snow everywhere. We had a stop in a city for filling up the bus. The further south we came it started to get foggy and rainy. That seemed to be common in that area. Making people work in the south but live up north where the sun shone. .
We arrived at the hotel when it was almost 20.00h and had our dinner as soon as possible. The room was  a nice mountain woody style. I liked it.

Road to Namaskard
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140530 Whale Watching at Husavik and volcanic activity Krafla

ISLAND 2014-05-28--06-04
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© NF Photos 140530

140530 Friday  Whale Watching at Husavik and a bit more.

Woke up at 6.30. Made myself ready for the day and had breakfast. Better be ready for cold and windy weather on teh sea I so dressed for that. I had tiem for a short morning walk as well. Iceland is very rich in artwork and sagas. You find it everywhere. This is a nice statue close to the harbour.
We left at 8.30 We headed north to go to Husavik for our trip to watch wales. On route Jon guided us on history events on that road. We arrived to Husavik on time to embarked the boat. This time our guide did not get any coffee break. :) But he did not go on the boat so I bet he had some coffee after all.

We headed out at 10 for a three h trip. First thing I saw was Gannets. Happy me. I love them. It was a nice day with very calm ´wind. Nobody got seasick I believe. The only backdraw was that there was rather much people and it got very crowded when everybody stayed at the same side trying to watch the dolphins and whales and puffins. I can´t say I saw many whales, but I did see a few fins.  Whales or dolphins? How can I tell them apart?

To finish off the tour we were offered a cup of chockolate and a bun.

Back at 13.00 to Husavik and people started to have lunch. As I had a little in my backpack to eat on the bus I took a walk instead.
We continued our trip at 13.45 heading south towards Krafla and Myvatn. On the way we made a short stop at another turfhouse. Not as impressive as the one yesterday. But still nice. 14.30 a photostop over the valley

Then KraflaCaldera. There was still snow at the rim of the volcano caldera so we had to walk the last part to the rim in thawing snow. It was very beautiful to see.

VitiCrater/Námaskarð was the next stop. A marvellous place IMO. Loved it, I could have stayed there all day long.  It is me beside one of the fumerols. :)

But, as usual, the guide wanted a:

Coffee break
so we had to leave that lovely place. :(

Well, true to my habit I spent the coffee breake in a different way. If you look carefully on the dark horse you can see the proof that we were in Myvatn area. Lots of flying critters in the air.

It was getting late so instead of birding at Myvatn north shore we drowe back to Akureyri. Route 87 and 848. Did see the Godafoss waterfall from a distance.  After a short round tour in Danich part of Akureyri he let us off at a Botanic Garden, Lystigardur Akureyrar, to walk the last part to the Hotel KEA and late dinner.
Dinner at 19.30  Finish the day with the usual shower and photo work.

Well, before I finish, I got to give you some fins, don´t I?

Namaskard overview

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140529 Reykjavik to Akureyri

ISLAND 2014-05-28--06-04
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© NF Photos 140529

140529 Thursday
Departure at 9.00h
Slept well but woke up once during early morning. Then I woke at 6.30. Breakfast at 8.
When we left we headed up north following ringroad 1. Weather rather good but with occasional short showers. Ole, our guide, is constantly talking. Guiding us both in “skandinavian” and English. A young couple from Singapore joined the group this morning.
We followed R1 except for a few detours to places Jon liked and wanted us to see. First was the Hvalfjordur tunnel of course, a famous one almost 6 km long.  Ole also told us about the work to make more plants grow on the island, one I remember from last time was the Alaskan Lupin. They were growing all over the place this time. Hopefully creating soil. In a way we were lucky this day, showers when we drowe and sun when we were out looking for something.

At Borganäs we visited a small garden with a Saga attached to it. This stonepillar in chains was at the entrance. Everything in Iceland seem to have a Saga attached to it. So had this one. After that we turned back a short distance and made  a short stop to check out if a White tailed eagle was sitting on a nest close to the water. Well, I did not see it.
Then it was time for a coffee break at Vennis. The guide seems to love coffee. I did not take any but instead I managed to photograph a beautiful Red wing. From that location I noted an interesting mountain top that looked like a pyramid. It seems to be some kind of volcanic feature. Probably with a hole inside it.

Next stop was at a hot water plant,Orkuveita Reykjavikur . A natural source for hot water to the villages and towns. And a beautiful place for tourists. I have an image on the photo blog from it HERE. I think I saw a lark at that location.
Then it was lunchtime and I, again, birded. Saw what I think was a common snipe. A lifer for me.

Now it was a longer drive to the northern district. We made a detour to a waterfall, Kolugljufur gorge. Very beautiful. Image at the bottom of post.
Next was the museum of Glaumbaer farm, The turf farmhouse. Very interesting buildings made of turf. Old style. I might need to do a post only for that place. I really loved the layout of the building. All in one really.

Lastly we made a stop at a scenic location. Some pointy mountaintops as opposite the flat ones we seen that far.
We arrived at hotel KEA around 18.30. Dinner at 19.30 without our guide. I took a shower before dinner. And glad I did it as dinner took a little longer then 2h.

Going through today's images and writing diary. Now it is time for bed.
The people in the group seem nice most of them. Especially two Norwegian women.

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