Our tour of Iceland revealed a country of somewhat stark
landscapes but with a broad range of features, including






Waterfalls towns and villages...


Fishing villages






...glacial lagoons...


Glacial lagoon


...and (mostly inactive!) volcanoes




Buildings were quite colourful


Colourful building


Another colourful building


An even more colourful building


Some of the locals were a bit strange




Another local


Reykjavik had a number of ultra-modern buildings such as "Harpa",
the city's concert hall and conference centre...




...and "Hallgrímskirkja", the Lutheran parish church in Reykjavik,
with the adjacent statue of explorer, Leif Erikson




And, then there are the ever-present tourists!

(We were joined on this trip by our friend Eva.
This trip was her retirement present to herself.)




We took a mini-bus tour operated by Arctic Adventures




Our tour took us all around the island over six days, stopping at
overnight at various towns




We visited many locations of special interest such as Þingvellir
National Park, the site of Iceland's first parliament (930 AD).

Today, the most notable feature is its location on the crest of the
North Atlantic Ridge - the junction of the North American and
Eurasian tectonic plates


North Atlantic Ridge


North American and Eurasian tectonic plates


Some other geological features for which Iceland is famous are
the various hot springs located across the country.


Hot springs


So, what are all these people waiting for?


Wait for it!


A geysir! The first geysir is called, not surprisingly, "Geysir" and gave its name to other similar features around the world. Today the
original geysir is not very active, but "Strokkur" erupts every few
minutes and shoots a column of water 20-40 m into the air




Other thermally-active areas have bubbling mud puddles...


Boiling mud


...or pools of boiling water


Boiling water


Thermally-active areas videos
Thermally-active areas

Download the videos:

bubbling_mud.mp4 (16.7 MB)

boiling_water.mp4 (51.1 MB)


On a large scale, such hot-water sources are captured and piped to
nearby towns to supply residential heating


Piped hot water


On a smaller scale, a bore hole provides hot water and steam. The
steam is separated and used to drive a turbine to produce electricity,
while the hot water is used locally to heat greenhouses and/or
nearby residences.


Borehole complex






Our tour company is aptly named, featuring a series of Icelandic
adventures. Here, we set out to walk on a glacier...


Glacier tour


"Our" glacier


Climbing up the terminal moraine to reach the ice


Terminal moraine


Fully prepared - with ice axes and crampons!


Fully prepared


The hike across - or rather down! - the glacial ice


Down the slope


Some of the old buildings in Iceland used turf for much of their
construction such as "Hofskirkja"




The National Museum of Iceland maintains the Glaumbær turf
farm complex in Skagafjörður


Turf houses


The construction process with turf for both doorways and walls is both interesting and exact!


Turf lintel


Turf wall


This trip was basically a cultural/adventure tour, but we did take


Guy with binoculars


And we saw a number of common European birds, including...

Greylag Goose


Greylag Goose


Whooper Swan


Whooper Swan


Lesser Black-backed Gull


Lesser Black-backed Gull


But, our best bird - a lifer! - was a Great Skua, a predatory
seabird in the same family as the North-American jaegers


Great Skua


And now it's time for another of our arctic adventures - a trip up to
and around a volcano (Grábrók)




The crater


The right side of the crater wall collapsed allowing the lava to run
off to create an immense lava field


Collapsed crater wall


The lava fields are a major component of Iceland's landscape and
are slowly being covered by vegetation


Lava field


Some of the lava cools and creates hexagonal columns of basalt
in spectacular formations


Columnar basalt


While this wasn't a birding trip, the tour did visit one village
(Borgarfjörður Eystri) with colonies of nesting seabirds


Borgarfjörður Eystri


Black-legged Kittiwake


Black-legged Kittiwake


Atlantic Puffin


Atlantic Puffin


Atlantic Puffin and chick


Atlantic Puffins


Atlantic Puffin


Our three intrepid adventurers kitted out to go to sea...


Off to sea see whales...


Whale watching


...but also to do a little fishing




And, we've hooked...


On the line


...a big one!


The catch


The catch (Atlantic Cod) is processed on board


Processing the catch


Nothing is wasted with a flock of Northern Fulmars shadowing the
boat on the way back to harbour


Northern Fulmar


The freshest grilled fish in Iceland - Thanks Eva!


Grilled fish


Another spectacular feature of Iceland - its waterfalls

This is Hengifoss, a series of waterfalls stretching up the hill




The upper waterfall is the third highest in Iceland, with a vertical
drop of 128 m


Upper waterfall


Today's adventure was to hike to the upper waterfall


Hike summit


Iceland's waterfalls are quite varied in their form. This is Dettifoss
the most powerfull waterfall in Europe




Hraunfossar is a broad series of more delicate waterfalls...




...while Seljalandsfoss is a more classic waterfall




Waterfall videos

Download the video:

Dettifoss.mp4 (48.3 MB)

Seljalandsfoss.mp4 (7.0 MB)


Some other notable features of Iceland - a sense of humour!




And, a special breed - the Icelandic Horse


Icelandic Horse


And, finally, it's time to say goodbye from our three Icelandic
adventurers... Bless