Iceland – chapter 5 (nature)

Back to the natural wonders of Iceland. 

Late one morning, we mapped our journey to include another popular waterfall – Skogarfoss.  It was a popular spot and had lots of tourists.  I wasn’t patient enough to wait for a clear shot.

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However, I was able to capture a shot with a rainbow from the mist.

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The mist made the (smooth) rocks extremely slippery.  This was one of our coldest mornings and yes, ice was prevalent.

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While the falls were amazing, there was a chance for another view………..up these stairs.  Really?

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Yes, really.  I told Adrienne go ahead, let me go at my own pace.  I did see this little bird on the way up.  Yeah, that’s the reason I stopped midway, several times.  Had to take a photo, ha! He popped out of a little burrow in the hillside looking for something to eat.

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450+ steps later, I made it near the top.

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And pushed myself the final 50+ steps for this view.  No puffins on this trip, those are seagulls nesting since we’re so close to the arctic ocean.

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In my first post, I mentioned these 1-lane bridges.  We kept running into these signs as we were driving the ring road.

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I did some reading and discovered they are easier to replace than 2-lane bridges.  Why would this matter?   A glacial melt caused flooding to such a degree this bridge was washed out.  And, in my opinion, this looked like a sturdy bridge.

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As a reminder of the power of glaciers and water, nearby were the bridge girders at a convenient pull-off with details.  The  background below (left side) was our first glimpse of a glacier.

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So………..bridges.  We had crossed numerous 1- lane bridges but we ran across this bridge with 2 spots for wait & pass within the span of the bridge.  We didn’t need it, but it would have been tight depending upon who we were meeting.  There were lots of tour buses on these roads – even in November.

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We saw some amazing landscapes driving the ring road around the perimeter of Iceland (hence the name 🙂 ).  My pictures during our drive cannot truly do it credible justice – you have to go see if for yourself.  Maybe if I had the new I-phone with the awesome camera…………………hon?

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Our goal this day was a drive to our eastern most destination point – the glacial lagoon or Jokulsarlon.  We’re (okay Adrienne)was  driving, driving, driving and the landscape is flat:  water on one side, rising rock formations on the other side.  Then………..you drive through another (1-lane) suspension bridge and go “WOW!”  Yes, that was the exact word out of my mouth, very prophetic.  The lagoon was hidden behind some large rock piles and unseen until you were driving through the bridge.

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It was an amazing (sorry, I keep using that word) site!  Hope you can play the video I included below.

A few points to note:

  • Only 10% of the iceberg was visible above the water level.
  • The icebergs melt rapidly due to warm saltwater entering the lagoon.
  • Glacial ice is a mixture of ice, sand, gravel, tephra (material produced by a volcanic eruption) and air bubbles.
  • The blue color of the dense ice is due to the fact ice absorbs all colors of the spectrum, except blue.  Clear ice appears blue.

Seems like there are always ‘interesting’ signs at these sites.  Got to believe that someone did these actions, otherwise no signs would be needed.

The temps were ice-cold (pun intended) and I had a hard time paring down all of the photos I took.  This was one of my top personal choices for Icelandic sites I had seen thus far.

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While the glacial lagoon was eye-catching………….not as much as the Diamond Beach on the other side of the 1-lane bridge.  I think this site quickly became my top personal favorite.  The icebergs escaping the lagoon were headed out to sea.  Back in the distance you can see waves crashing.

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Ice sculptures abound, man-made or not.

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I walked along the surf and couldn’t stop the picture-taking.

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I can’t say this was an original idea but as I was walking back to the car (Adrienne had given up on my wandering and her hands were cold.) I made a few adaptations on the idea  from the glacier shards along the beachfront.

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An amazing (yes, used that word again) day seeing amazing sites.  Next up, food!

Ginny

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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