Iceland – Duart McLean

We travelled to Iceland just over 12 months ago in the first week of September 2018. After spending time in  Edinburgh and the Isle of Mull in Scotland   we departed from Glasgow to take an approx. 2 hour to Reykjavik Airport in Iceland

We undertook a Photo Tour which was a great way to see  spots which might not always be on the  Tourist track.

Iceland is an incredibly spectacular landscape – a land of wild weather, volcanoes, waterfalls, Glaciers and Thermal activity such as Geysers and steam rising out of the ground.

Iceland 1 -Wild West Coasta

Wild West coast

We started on the west coast of Iceland – the weather was very classic as to what we expected – quite heavy showers and blowing a gale and about 5 deg C. However, despite this the rain did stop enough times for us to take a few photos

This is a demonstration of the strong wind blowing up heavy  seas crashing against the tall cliffs on the coast. We were well prepared for the wild weather so coped quite well.

Iceland 2 Fire and Water

Fire and water.

Still on the West Coast. This is quite a classic photo of Iceland – this is one of the most photographed spots in Iceland – the extinct volcano with the waterfall in the foreground .

Iceland 3 - Lava Fields

Lava Fields

We were quite fascinated by these lava fields which seemed to stretch for kilometre after kilometre and as far as the eye could see. Iceland Geology is quite recent and Volcanoes are still active in the country and erupt every so often

Iceland 4 - Breakaway Glacier

Breakaway Glacier – Southern Iceland.

 Land of GlaciersGlaciers take up the entire top of the Mountain Range and valleys are taken up with what are called Breakaway Glaciers. This one breaks off Icebergs into  a Glacial lake

The Glaciers are receding with the onset of a warmer environment.

Iceland 5 - Glacier wall

Glacial wall

The end wall of the Glacier in the previous photo – huge wall – around 100m high and dwarfs the Zodiac approaching for a close look. You can see where Icebergs have broken off into the lake below.

Iceland 6 - Glacial lake

 Glacial Lake

The icebergs which break off in to the Glacial Lake eventually make the track out to the open sea – the Bridge shown in the Photo is the Major Highway which circumnavigates the island Country.

Glacial Lake s provide a very peaceful scene with the occasional rumble when a piece of the iceberg breaks off and the iceberg resettles with the new weight.

The icebergs float out to sea and are washed up onto the Black Beach – next photos.

Iceland 7 - Iceberg Swirls

Ice berg Swirls

The icebergs sit on the Black Beach ( called Diamond Beach a/c the ‘diamond like’ icebergs) and are washed by the waves. We spent a considerable amount of time using continuous sheeting to pickup the patterns as the waves washed around and receded from the icebergs. This photos is taken in the afternoon.

Iceland 8 - Morning Iceberg

Morning  Icebergs

We awoke before dawn ( around 5am)   to return to the Diamond Beach before sunrise (  around 6am) to capture the sun rising and shining through the Icebergs – the sun took much longer time to rise than in Australia so had plenty of time to try a number of positions seeking that ultimate position for the photo.

Much better time of day to take photos as less people around’

Iceland 9 - Classic landscape

Classic Landscape

This photo demonstrates the typical landscape in the Southern Coastal parts of Ice land – flat from Coast to the Mountain range covered by a Gigantic Glacier. One of these Glaciers has a Volcano underneath which erupts around twice per century –  there is  600 meters of ice on top of the Volcano – as you can image the explosion is spectacular and creates a gigantic Glacial flood which washes away everything in ist path including major road Bridges.

Iceland 10 - Behind the Water fall

 Behind the waterfall

This is a popular waterfall in the Southern part of Iceland and plenty of people around this location viewing and taking photos – quite an unique opportunity to be able t climb behind the waterfall – care had to be taken as rocks were a  little slippery from the spray.

Iceland 11- Another Waterfall

Another waterfall

 Waterfalls galore in Iceland – the lack of trees on the southern side of Iceland creates a unique experience as mostly we see waterfalls amongst usually heavily  treed areas as water is abundant

Iceland 12 - Scenic Farm

Scenic Farm

I was really taken with the location of this farm – this one is just a typical example of the many farms we saw – quite a scenic view each  to view each you wake up living on this farm

Iceland 13 - Enjoying the thermal Pool

Enjoying the thermal Pool

We did not have the opportunity to enjoy the pool heated naturally by the Thermal activity in this area – everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves enjoying the warmth of the pool  –  like having a giant bath.

Iceland Power is 100% renewal using the steam from the natural Thermal activity to generate their power.

iceland 14a Geyser

Geyser – Southern Iceland.

The Geyser is part of what is called the Golden Circle in Southern  Iceland only approx. 2 hours from the Capital, Reykjavik

Interesting that we could stand quite close to the Geyser – not like in NZ where you are some distance away protected by fences to stop people getting too close – we were barely 5 metres away from the Geyser – had a fence – but was quite close.

Icelanders seem to believe that you have a responsibility to look after yourself rather than the State being totally responsible for what you might do.

Iceland 15- Northern Lights

Northern Lights

We had a very long day on this day – we had visited the Diamond Beach at Sunrise over the icebergs – then we found out that there was a chance to see the Northern Lights near Vik that same evening– this photo with a 15 second exposure was taken around midnight. We were positioned next to a lake to maximise the opportunity for reflections of the Lights – we were very privileged to be able to view the lights as not always prevalent in the early September

Iceland 16- Town of Vik

Town of Vik

Vik is the southern most village in Iceland – is growing with the increase in  tourism since the Volcanic eruption of a Volcano not far from Vik  in 2010 which shut down airports across Europe. There is a bigger Volcano , Katla, which lies under the Glacier in the mountains behind Vik which has erupted very 40 to 80 years  over the centuries. The last major eruption was in 1918 – hence expectations are that this will erupt soon and hence is being closely monitored.

A very scenic village and provides access to many  sites to see in Southern Iceland

Cheers Duart