Heading back to Reykjavik to meet the Iceland+ tour we found clear skies and an amazing northern light show.
Tuesday – Glacier Day
Start the day with a lovely water crossing
Grímsvötn volcano has a 6×8 km large caldera, whose southern rim is exposed. The caldera contains a lake of liquid water, due to the thermal energy from the volcano. The lake is covered by the ice of the glacier, but during eruptions or times of increased hydrothermal activity from the volcano, the amount of melt water and the pressure of the lake against the ice above becomes strong enough to lift the ice dam and pour out at the South side of the glacier in devastating floods known as jökulhlaups.
Svínafellsjökull in an outlet glacier of Vatnajökull, the largest ice cap in Europe.
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.
Then an interesting drive above the glacier.
Laki & Lakagigar
The system erupted violently over an eight-month period between June 1783 and February 1784 from the Laki fissure and the adjoining volcano Grímsvötn, pouring out an estimated 42 billion tons 14 km3 (3.4 cu mi) of basalt lava and clouds of poisonous hydrofluoric acid and sulfur dioxide compounds that contaminated the soil, leading to the death of over 50% of Iceland’s livestock population, and the destruction of the vast majority of all crops. This led to a famine which then killed approximately 25% of the island’s human population. The lava flows also destroyed 20 villages.
The Laki eruption and its aftermath caused a drop in global temperatures, as 120 million tons of sulfur dioxide was spewed into the Northern Hemisphere. This caused crop failures in Europe and may have caused droughts in North Africa and India.
The eruption, also known as the Skaftáreldar (“Skaftá fires”) or Síðueldur was a VEI 6, produced an estimated 14 km3 (3.4 cu mi) of basalt lava, and the total volume of tephra emitted was 0.91 km3 (0.2 cu mi). Lava fountains were estimated to have reached heights of 800 to 1,400 m (2,600 to 4,600 ft). The gases were carried by the convective eruption column to altitudes of about 15 km (10 mi).
first stop fagrifoss.
Thórsmörk is a mountain ridge in Iceland that was named after the Norse god Thor.
Eyjafjallajökull gigjokull all the melt water from the 2010 eruption came down gig jokull.
Stakkholtsgjá Canyon waterfall.
Waterfall Gljúfrabúi meaning “Canyon dweller”
Katla is busy again:
Travelling through the Landmannalaugar region with its colourful rhyolite mountains. Rhyolite is an igneous, volcanic rock, of felsic (silica-rich) composition.
Krakatindur is a 858 m volcano in Rangarvallasysla in South Iceland. The volcano is located in the Nyjahraun lava field and belongs to the Hekla volcanic system.
Sandstorm at dragon mountain next to Myrdalsjökull icecap which houses Katla Volcano.
Some very interesting driving some of which was technical in places.
Walk around the Krysuvik seltun geothermal area.
On to arnes for the campsite,
Viking-era Long house. Þjórsárdalur
then visiting Haifoss is situated near the volcano Hekla in the south of Iceland. The river Fossá, a tributary of Þjórsá, drops here from a height of 122 m, gjain a small valley Gjáin with its small waterfalls, ponds, and volcanic structures and Hjálparfoss – (Help’s Falls) is another beautiful waterfall in the river Fossá in Þjórsárdalur valley.
Tomorrow is back into the interior.
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.