4 days in Iceland, May 2013

In the first week of may, we went to visit our son and his family in Reykjavik, where his wife had 2 months of scientific work on ice-cap issues - while our son took care of the children.
Only a few hundred meters away from their appartment, the bay revealed a lot of wildlife - mainly birds, but also at least two different species of seals.
It proved to be rather impossible to get close enough for good quality shots - but the early morning sun provided excellent light!
This is as good as I managed on this trip.

The geysir Strokkur is at this time the most active in Iceland - right next to the great Geysir (that actually named this type of volcanic phenomenons) that have been quite dormant for many years, but in recent years it has become more become more active again - but at this time only two times a day, while Strokkur erupts with boiling water and steam with only 1-10 minuttes intervals!
Geysir is just quietly simmering most of the day, and eruptions are hard to predict with any accuracy. The Litli Geysir just boils nowadays - no eruptions - quite like a few others in this rather small geothermal area in the middle of nowhere. Most only put out steam - and in some cases also next to boiling water.

The second to the 6'th picture below are taken within one second!
- Afterwards, most of the crystal clear water returns to the boiler in the depth of the hole. Very little of the water actually runs off this spectacular source. Winds carries some water away, where it will enter the astonishingly small hot streams leaving the area - most of the water seem to return again and again!

We went on to see the famous Gullfos Falls - very impressive!
- We have to see the place again some day - at a time when the grass in the plains is green!

At Thingvellir, history is blowing in the wind at a somewhat magic spot. This is the place, where the first Parlament was founded - at a place, where the American and the European geological continental plates are slowly moving apart - with aproxximately 2 centimeters a year!
- If you close your eyes, you can almost hear the 5-8000 Vikings and their descendents gathered here to attend the "All-thing" - meet old friends and enemies - get marriages / alliances arranged - sell goods, sheep and horses - settle old disputes - get rid of witches (by drowning them in a river pool) - competitions - and all sorts of other things. This is where the laws of ancient Iceland were made - on a small hill next to the river and the plains, where warriors and attending ordinary people stayed during the Allthing gathering.
It was also the place, where the first Bishop of Iceland settled.

We spent as much time as possible outdoors - taking a walk in the outskirts of Reykjavik or beyond. We also joined a short boat-ride to Puffin Island - to see the Puffins!
The small island is actually no attraction at all - but the thousands of Puffins and their nesting-holes in the ground are!
I found it very hard to get a clean shot at the many very swift birds with the camera and long lens, as the boat wobbles a bit - even on the quiet water on the day!
The volcano Kerid must be one of the most accessible in the world - right next to the main road!
- The last in a row of 12 dormant volcanoes - only a few hours drive from Reykjavik.

On the last day, the rest of the family visited the famous "Blue Lagoon", not far from the Keflavik Airport - I decided to visit the geothermal area where the Gunnuhver well is located. Again a magnificent and mostly very steaming place!
It is a rather big geothermal area with a power plant - and the Reykjanes lighthouse in the background on picture two. The power-plant is actually behind the right hand cloud oin the first picture .

Kenth Esbensen 2013