I’m in the photo credits for this project. They used some of my 2008 Iceland photographs
Archive for the 'Iceland' Category
Iceland has hell, but Iceland also has heaven. If there is a paradise on earth, it might very well be the famous Blue Lagoon.
Once again, those simple 2-dimensional collections of lifeless pixels won’t really be able to convey the full force of the Blue Lagoon experience. It’s not just the marvellous, striking blue colors.
It’s everything you don’t see on the pictures. It’s the context, the mindblowing power plant lost in the middle of a huge lava field.
It’s the impossibly fresh air. It’s the temperature difference between the warm water and the cool air. It’s the relaxing warmth, the torpor that captures you there and makes you all sleepy, never wanting to leave.
So now, dear readers, fellow workers, I just hope you finally start to understand why I’ve been a huge fan of this country for years. No, it has nothing to do with Björk. It is just an amazing country where anybody can take postcard-perfect pictures with any cheap, automatic digital camera.
Finally, we reached one of the most impressive places I’ve seen in Iceland: the bubbling mud pots of Namafjall Hverir. This place is hell. If pictures can’t properly convey the beauty of Iceland, they can at least gives you some ideas. However there’s something they completely miss: the smell. For those mud pots, believe me, it’s a good thing. Two words: rotten eggs. To the power of ten.
We continued to Dimmuborgir, and to the Krafla Geothermal Power Station, a.k.a. Kröflustöd. On the way we saw this impressive ridge, cracking the earth open. Jules Vernes wrote that the journey to the center of the earth begins in the Snaefells, but I’d say that huge crevasse makes a good runner up!
Time for some action! Nearby the Golden Circle there’s a glacier called Langjökull. It is possible to drive a snowmobile there, and, well, that’s what we did.
On the way to the glacier, the landscapes are desolated, dramatic, a mixture of lava fields and rocky mountains. We went there while listening to Björk all the way
We had our shares of surprises with the snowmobile experience. Bad luck or Murphy’s Law, our machine broke while we were in the middle of the glacier. So we made a part of the ride along with the Activity Group guys, and let’s just say they drove a lot faster than us. Then, on the way back, we inherited one of their snowmobiles, which was a much much more powerful toy than the ones they usually let between tourists’ hands…………
A few kids joined for the ride. This one was eager to start a snowball fight on the glacier, but he was really alone for this one…
The “Golden Circle” is the classic tour that you make when you arrive in Iceland. It has 3 main components:
Thingvellir has many nice features, including some exceptionally clear water. This clear water is what makes the Silfra fissure, located nearby, such an interesting site for divers.
This is the classic view from Gullfoss.
Geysir is so famous I don’t think I need to talk much about it. Just enjoy the pictures from the two small ponds nearby, named Blesi. The first one is completely opaque like the Blue Lagoon, and the second one is extremely transparent - even though the two ponds are connected to eachother underneath the ground.
Geysir, the geyser that gave its name to all others, is not active anymore. The big active geyser here is actually another one, Strokkur, located just nearby.
The big game for photographers here is to capture the bubble just before it bursts…
The Jökulsárlón is a glacial lagoon located to the south-east of the Vatnajökull. This is a beautiful, amazing place, very quiet, full of serenity. The floating ice has extraordinary colors and shades of blue. The pictures below may look good. But it’s a lot better in real.
For many people, the South Coast has Iceland’s best features and sites. I don’t know if I fully agree with this, but it’s certainly worth the trip!
The Skogafoss waterfall. This was the first “big” waterfall we saw, and I made a stupid mistake here: I went nearby. I ended up completely wet, as if the weather had suddenly turned to hell.
The beach nearby the small town of Vik is famous for its black sand. I gathered some of it in a bottle and took it back as a souvenir. Much better than what they sell in the numerous tourist traps nearby
The amazing Seljalandsfoss, probably my favorite in Iceland. I don’t like the big waterfalls like Dettifoss / Gullfoss, they all look the same to me. This one however, has its own identity. You can walk behind it if you don’t fear getting wet. The rainbow seems to be permanently there, as it appears on numerous postcards and pictures from Seljalandsfoss.
I was in Iceland for a week, and it was bloody fantastic. Before I left, some clueless people asked me why the hell I would want to spend my holiday in a place called Iceland, since I’m living in a “far better place to begin with” - i.e. Barcelona.
A picture is worth a thousand words, so let me share with you a small subset of the (let me check…) 1170 pictures I took out there.
In July, there is no night in Iceland. It is always bright, looking like a late european afternoon. The sun is very low on the horizon, creating dramatic shadows.
The following pictures were taken in Reykjavik, around 11 PM. This is my girlfriend Jasmina, enjoying the midnight sun.
The sky was on fire this day, with amazing shades of orange and blue. The picture below was taken from the shore, nearby the hotel.
For the first excursion out of the city we went walking in the Landmannalaugar. Words fail to describe the “emotional landscapes” that Björk sang about a while back. You just have to be there to believe it.