We loose 3 of our group today – clear skies and sunshine lovely start to the day, although we did have rain over night.
Heading to pingvellir today.
Pingvellir is a historic site and national park in Iceland, east of Reykjavík. It’s known for the Alþing (Althing), the site of Iceland’s parliament from the 10th to 18th centuries. On the site are the Þingvellir Church and the ruins of old stone shelters. The park sits in a rift valley caused by the separation of 2 tectonic plates, with rocky cliffs and fissures like the huge Almannagjá fault.
Glorious sunny day.
Then in to Reykjavik for a couple of hours whilst the 3 vehicles are taken to the docks and hotels, then into a crater for the evening.
Namaskard ‘hot sulfuric mud springs and steam springs (solfataras and fumaroles’ , Krafla is a caldera of about 10 km in diameter with a 90 km long fissure zone, Volcanic craters from the Myvatn fires, then head off back into the interior to what other people that have been with us named death canyon. Before we visit the new lava field and head along the southern F910.
Askja (means caldera) – is an 8km wide volcanic depression formed from a collapsed subterrean magma chamber. In the centre it has 217 m deep lake oskuvatn – steel grey waters in the middle of a colossal lava field. Öskjuvatn is a large lake that fills much of the smaller caldera resulting from the 1875 eruption. Its surface lies about 50 m below the level of the main caldera floor and covers about 12 km². When the lake originally formed it was warm, but today it is frozen over for most of the year. Öskjuvatn is the second deepest lake in Iceland at 220 m 721 ft deep.
Follow the Jökulsá á Fjöllum is the second longest river in Iceland from the glacier to Dettifoss & Selfoss.
Heading into the interior to Kverkfjoll through lava deserts and to a remote village.
Kreppa river – is a short tributary of the 206 kilometres long Jokulsa a Fjollum. Flood water from Kverkfjokull.
Odadahraun lava field half the size of Yorkshire 2600 square miles it is known as the desert of miss deads lives under the rain shadow of vatnajokull, there is also a view of dyngjufjoll (pronounce ding you felk) mountain range – this houses askja volcano. Black gravel and pebbles (grjot pronounced gree ow) – from eruptions from Trölladyngja (pronounce tro ulk a ding yer) is the biggest of the Icelandic shield volcanoes, reaching a height of 1,468 metres (4,816 ft) above sea level, and rising almost 600 metres above the surroundingdesert and lava fields.
Kverkfjoll (nook mountain) last erupted May 23rd 1968 a VEI ‘1’ Gentle. It is classed as dormant at the moment it has a glacier that splits the mountain region north-south and can be seen for miles.
After leaving the ferry at Seydisfjordur we travel over the mountain pass toEgilsstadir where we shop and fuel up for 3 days.
We then meet the rest of the tour and head back into the interior.
First stop Snaefell, in the east of the Icelandic highlands, is the highest freestanding mountain in the country. It is located within the vast Vatnajokull National Park. and a walk on the glacier. We were hoping to see reindeer but were unsuccessful.
How much it has changed in the 2 weeks.
Kárahnjúkar Hydropower Plant officially called Fljótsdalur Power Station is a hydroelectric power plant n Fljótsdalshérað municipality in eastern Iceland, designed to produce 4,600 gigawatt-hours (17,000 TJ) annually for Alcoa’s Fjarðaál aluminum smelter 75 kilometres (47 mi) to the east in Reyðarfjörður. With the installed capacity of 690 megawatts (930,000 hp), the plant is the largest power plant in Iceland. The project, named after the nearby Kárahnjúkar mountains, involves damming the rivers Jökulsá á Dal and Jökulsá í Fljótsdal with five dams, creating three reservoirs. Water from the reservoirs is diverted through 73 kilometres (45 mi) of underground water tunnels and down a 420-metre (1,380 ft) vertical penstock towards a single underground power station. The smelter became fully operational in 2008 and the hydropower project was completed in 2009.
Tuesday – Heading back towards Seyðisfjörður to drop of 2 of our party, we are glacier hunting today.
Svínafellsjökull from the massive ice cap Vatnajökull, there are many glacier tongues. On the south side, they form a fascinating landscape when you are driving the Ring Road in Iceland. Falling hundreds of meters in between cliffs and mountains at such a slow speed that it is impossible for the human eye to capture the movement.
Grimsvotn – Icelanders will long remember November 5, 1996.
On that day the largest flood in living memory swept from the terminus (bottom end) of Skeidarár Glacier. Icelanders call such sudden drainage events jökulhlaups, literally, “glacier bursts.” It is these that lead to mega-scale flooding with devastating consequences.
Jökulsárlón is a glacial lagoon, bordering Vatnajökull National Park in southeastern Iceland. Its still, blue waters are dotted with icebergs from the surrounding Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier, part of larger Vatnajökull Glacier. The Glacier Lagoon flows through a short waterway into the Atlantic Ocean, leaving chunks of ice on a black sand beach.
After a very very windy night and lots of rain we decided that it would be better for the drivers to have a lighter driving day so we had a sightseeing day. Monday.
I took a video at 4am this morning:
Vík í Mýrdal is a remote seafront village in south Iceland. It sits in the shadow of Mýrdalsjökull glacier, which covers the Katla volcano. Reyniskirkja is a wooden church dating to 1929. Reynisfjara beach has black pebbles, basalt columns and the Reynisdrangar offshore rock formations. The cliffs of Reynisfjall mountain are home to seabirds such as puffins. Just west, the Dyrhólaey peninsula has a large rock arch.
Skogafoss waterfall, and Hjörleifshöfði is named after the Viking settler, Hjörleifur Hróðmarsson, the blood brother of Ingólfur Arnarson who was our first Viking settler in around 874 AD.