Friday, October 5, 2012

Iceland {Part III}

Day 5: 
  • Take a warm morning soak to thaw us after a cold night in the highlands
  • Drive through the interior toward Dettifoss, Selfoss, Hafragilsfoss, and Krafla geothermal area
  • Stop when the mood strikes
Fun facts:
  • Very few roads are paved - even the ring road is gravelly in some places - and F roads are marked, warning drivers that only 4WD vehicles can take 'em!
  • More than 85% of homes and buildings use geothermal energy as their only heat source! 
Laugarfell - free hot pots and cheap showers

view of Snaefell Mtn

F Roads

gas in the middle of nowhere

Saenautasel - an old sod homestead that is now a museum and small farm

now there's a car for the F roads

Dettifoss. Hypnotizing. My favorite foss, by far.

so much power flowing through this otherwise barren, desolate landscape

Selfoss, a 1-mile hike above Dettifoss

campsite downstream from a geothermal plant - the creek here was lukewarm

Day 6:
  • Explore geothermal areas full of steam, calderas and lava beds
  • Check out Lake Myvatn
  • Get up to Akureyri and explore the city
Fun Facts (pertinent to the pictures ahead):
  • Pseudocraters (like those at Lake Myvatn) look like volcanic craters, but were not caused by magma eruption. They occur when hot lava flows over ground that contains water, causing the water to rapidly steam and explode up through the lava layer! There are also pseudocraters on Mars!
  • Lava pillars at Dimmuborgir were similarly formed. As hot lava passed over this marshy area the marsh water boiled, causing the steam vapor to rise up through the lava and form tall pillars and arches!
  • Fell or Fjall? According to our guide book the crater was named Hverfell originally, but has been called Hverfjall for the last 150 years. Recently, a local man took the issue to court to have the name changed back, and won! The suffix -fell means small hill and -fjall means mountain!

Krafla Geothermal Power Station - in operation since 1977

Krafla caldera

Leirhnjukur lava field formed during eruptions between 1975-1984


Hverir geothermal fields, just down the road from Krafla

bubbling mud cauldron

steam vents, sulphur deposits


approaching Hverfell crater

rim is 1km in diameter

Dimmuborgur, home of the Yule Lads (naughty Christmas trolls) and hardened lava pillars

lunch spot on Lake Myvatn


quick stop at Godafoss

drove on to Akureyri, population 18,000

wandered around this quaint college town

found free wifi, ate a real meal...

...and set up camp a few miles outside of town.


Taryn said...

you sure had quite the adventure. yeah for a real meal! Did you get to eat the bacon the man had in the previous entry? = )

Unknown said...

Great photos, like the drinking one reflecting the picture on the wall