Summer in Iceland

Pictures and video from our 20-day trip to Iceland (August 7-26, 2015).
A video montage of our Iceland trip. (4:17 mins, 60 MB) The famous Blue Lagoon geothermal spa... They were booked up when we stopped by on the morning of our arrival in Iceland, so we just checked it out and moved on.  (Lots of other swimmable geothermal pools in Iceland.) Hallgrímskirkja church in Reykjavik Hallgrímskirkja church in Reykjavik View of Reykjavik from Hallgrímskirkja church tower
Shopping with trolls in Reykjavik Painted street in Reykjavik (for gay pride event, August 2015) DSC04812 DSC06741 DSC04818 Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park
Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park Öxarárfoss waterfall in  Þingvellir National Park Lögberg ("Law Rock") in Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park Silfra fissure in Þingvellir DSC03511 Overlook at Geysir Hot Springs (part of the "Golden Circle")
Strokkur erupts every few minutes at Geyser Hot Springs Video (with slow motion) of Strokkur's frequent eruptions (16 seconds) Just as cool to watch as its frequent eruptions is the draining and rising bubble of water of Strokkur. Gulfoss waterfall (part of the "Golden Circle") Gulfoss waterfall Gulfoss waterfall
Gulfoss waterfall DSC04921 DSC04923 Approaching the Landmannalaugar region Approaching the Landmannalaugar region DSC04938
Part of the busy camping area at Landmannalaugar Fantastic colors all around Landmannalaugar DSC04982 DSC04972 DSC04989 DSC04990
DSC04991 IMG 4181v2 DSC04994 DSC04997 DSC04998 Looking off to the massive ice cap of Vatnajökull from Landmannalaugar
DSC03714 DSC05014 DSC05021 More fantastic colors in and around Landmannalaugar DSC05038 Returning from our day hike to the camp at Landmannalaugar
Enjoying the natural hot springs at Landmannalaugar camp Enjoying the natural hot springs at Landmannalaugar camp Háifoss is a fantastic set of waterfalls near Hekla, accessible via a rough road. Háifoss is apparently the second highest waterfall in Iceland at 122m (400 ft). DSC05089 DSC05090
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Gjáin is a beautiful little rift canyon near the old Stöng farm and another of many Game of Thrones filming locations in Iceland. DSC05157 DSC05161 DSC03904 DSC05166 DSC05177
DSC03937 We came to Seljalandsfoss in the early morning on our way to Skógar. At the risk of falling rocks, the cool thing at Seljalandsfoss is being able to easily get behind the falls. While not great light, we were able to beat the crowds at Seljalandsfoss early in the morning. DSC05213 On the Ring Road to Skógar, along Eyjafjallasandur.
Looking up towards Eyjafallajökull from the Ring Road. DSC05222 Early morning at the grand Skogafoss and the start of the most amazing waterfall hike... DSC05250 DSC05252 Just the beginning of the amazing trail along the gorge above Skogafoss.
The trail climbing above Skogafoss is packed with just one more incredible waterfall after another. DSC05281 DSC05283 DSC05291 More of Eyjafjallajökull coming into view on the trail above Skogafoss. DSC05300
Non-stop incredible views into the maelstrom of the river gorge above Skogafoss. DSC05309 DSC05314 DSC05322 Yeah, yeah, just another of two dozen fantastic waterfalls on the trail above Skogafoss. The last of the falls above Skogafoss and just a little bit before the bridge across the river and where we turned around to start back down.
Basalt columns on a black sand beach beach near Vik: Reynisfjara. DSC05386 Black sand beach and monoliths near Vik at Reynisfjara. It was raining pretty hard as we had to make a couple of river crossings to visit lovely Fagrifoss – very briefly, to get back across the rivers before they rose! DSC05408 Another one of a bajillion lovely waterfalls all around Iceland.
Looking back before heading east across the vast alluvial plains of Skeidarársandur. Not much to see today as we crossed the vast alluvial plains of Skeidarársandur on a foggy, rainy day. Yay! The weather cleared a bit before we finished crossing Skeidarársandur so we could at least get to see a bit of the magnificent Skaftafell mountains and glaciers. DSC05442 Looking at the glaciers pouring over from Vatnajökull near Skaftafell.  On the left, I think that's Skaftafellsjökull. DSC05443
Well, we made it to Jökulsarlon, the glacier lagoon, before dark but it was still raining hard. DSC05446 DSC05455 DSC05460 DSC05470 DSC04052
Saw some reindeer along the highway near Höfn. DSC05483 DSC05486 Okay, Petra's stone collection was pretty darn amazing.  We spent a bunch of time checking out this place! DSC05514 DSC05517
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DSC05532 DSC05538 DSC05539 DSC05541 DSC05549 One of several long, single-lane tunnels scattered around Iceland.  Definitely a new experience.
DSC05576 DSC05580 Harbor and puffin colony along the Borgarfjörður Eystri. Puffin colony in the Borgarfjördur Eystri (34 seconds) Puffin Puffins (adult and juvenile)
Puffin DSC05636 DSC05638ps DSC05647 DSC05652 DSC05659v2
DSC05667 DSC04137 My new adorable friend at the Grimsstadir guesthouse. DSC04138 Whooper Swans Whooper Swans
A panoramic view of the area near Dettifoss. DSC05703 Approaching Dettifoss from the east side Dettifoss Dettifoss Dettifoss is Europe's most powerful river, though it appeared the river flow was low while we were there. (Confirmed later by a park ranger.)
DSC05718 DSC05722 The lovely west wall of the Selfoss, a little south of Dettifoss. Selfoss A little further north from Dettifoss, it's Hafragilsfoss. Fantastic basalt columns in the Jökulsárgljúfur gorge.
DSC05765 DSC04213 DSC05759 More cool formations in Jökulsárgljúfur DSC04266 DSC05791
Heading off on our deepest highlands excursion with Herðubreið looming in the distance. Thankful for this bridge, with Herðubreið looking every larger. Hiking across the snowfield atop Askja towards the crater lakes. DSC05859 DSC05858 DSC05870
Approaching Öskjuvatn crater lake and the much smaller Viti lake to the right. Little Viti in the foreground and huge Lake Askja in the background Apparently people sometimes swim in the geothermally-heated waters of Viti, but the area was cordoned off  due to recent seismic activity and a massive tidal-wave inducing landslide nearby in the much larger Askja lake. DSC04317 DSC04323 Sunset at camp next to Herðubreið.
DSC05901 Leaving Herðubreið behind us now Looking over the Krafla geothermal power station. The fissure at Grjótagjá DSC05926 DSC05937
No sign of Jon or Ygritte (from Game of Thrones) in the Grjótagjá cave. DSC04347 DSC04401 DSC05955 DSC05956 Arch at Dimmuborgir lava fields. (Reminds of the "Guardian of Forever" from Star Trek.)
DSC04450 An insane number of black flies (midges) hanging around the lake at Mývatn. Some more lava formations around Mývatn. Hey look, another waterfall! (Godafoss) DSC06007 DSC06028
Goðafoss ("waterfall of the gods") DSC04552 DSC04500 Approaching the beautiful little town (well, second largest city in Iceland) of Akureyri. DSC06041 Coastal town of Siglufjördur
There were several crews working on installing avalanche protection over the town of Siglufjördur when we arrived. The Herring Era Museum in Siglufjörður doesn't sound interesting but it's actually a really great experience walking among the unprotected displays in these old living and working spaces. DSC06049 DSC06052 DSC06057 DSC06058
DSC06061 DSC06065 DSC06082 DSC06088 Marking the northernmost point for either of us on any trip, at 66 degrees 11 minutes north, not far from the Article Circle. DSC06102
DSC06103 DSC06104 I look huge on Icelandic horses! We got to try out one of the Icelandic horse's special gaits: the tölt. DSC03446 DSC03453
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DSC06133 DSC06134 Looking west to Snaefellsjökul from our cottage on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. DSC06151 Is it the crack of doom? No, it's an amazing, tall, narrow cleft called Rauðfeldsgjá.
The view of Snæfellsnes Peninsula from the cleft of Rauðfeldsgjá. DSC06173 DSC06174 DSC06175 DSC06170 DSC06179
The troll-like monument to Bárður at Arnarstapi. DSC06186 Hiking the coast between Arnarstapi and Hellnar. DSC06192 DSC06195 DSC06196
Descending into Cave Vatnshellir, a lava tube. Deeper still into Cave Vatnshellir. Trying the old fisherman’s lifting stones at Djúpalónssandur: “Bungler” at 50 lbs, “Weak” at 119 lbs, “Half-Strong” at 220 lbs and “Fully Strong” at 340 lbs. DSC04819 DSC06274 Looking at 18th and 19th century graffiti in Sönghellir ("song cave").
DSC06285 With little visibility and no trail, choosing to turn back from our little hike up Snaefellsjökul. Helping to dig out some wayward German tourists on Snaefellsjökul. DSC06294 "And another thing!" DSC06339
DSC06360 Hey, look, another geothermal site in Iceland! (Deildartunguhver) A few seconds of video from the geothermal site, Deildartunguhver. Snorralaug (Snorri’s Pool) Entrance to the Viðgelmir lava tube Descending into Viðgelmir
DSC06482 DSC06489 DSC06512 DSC06516 DSC06523 Climbing out of Viðgelmir
DSC06539 DSC04967 Setting off to climb the glacier of Langjökull and then walk into a series of man-made tunnels dug into the glacier! DSC06553 Short video montage (95 seconds, 22 MB) from our excursion over and into the Langjökull glacier. The entrance tunnel of the "Into the Glacier" experience at Langjökull.
DSC06563 The tunnels were dripping with water during our visit due to the heavy rains seeping through the glacier from the night before. DSC06567 DSC06573 DSC06587 At this point, we're looking up into a crevasse from a wooden bridge built inside the glacier!
DSC04998 (1) DSC06598 The sun came out after we left the glacier Langjökull. Yup, more waterfalls. DSC06638 Beware of trolls in Iceland...
DSC06657 We spent our last day in Iceland hiking up to Glymur waterfalls. DSC06680 DSC06685 The stupendous gorge and falls of Glymur.  (198m / 650 ft) DSC05120 (1)
DSC05123 DSC06725 DSC06722 DSC06729 DSC06694 Looking back from Glymur falls towards Hvalfjörður.
A last farewell from Iceland