One of the things I noticed about Iceland was an apparent lack of ostentatious properties and estates with large fences around them. One gets the feeling that people are more than happy with building just what they need so you see many very modest dwellings travelling around the country. Heating large houses could of course be a consideration and perhaps one of the reasons you don’t see very many. How much nicer and cosy it is to sit in a small living room in a modest cottage with an open fire or stove..
I’ve called this post the Big House because the property below, now derelict due to a fire, is very much on the large size compared to most other properties we saw. Such a sad sight. I wondered about the history of the house and hoped that the people who lived here escaped the fire. I’ve added a few other pictures taken on the day I took the picture of the house. From blue dawn through sunrise. Click on the images for a clearer sharper view. :-)
This was the marsh, pre-dawn..
As the sun rose, the light took on a beautiful pink cast, contrasting nicely with the blue of the clouds.
Ponies are everywhere in the countryside. I know farmers to be a less than sentimental when it comes to animals. Animals are not kept if they are not productive, they have to work for their living and I wondered about this. A bit of research revealed that indeed, as I suspected, horse meat is still eaten in Iceland although not now quite so common as it once was.
Many of the ponies it seems are now being employed in the pony trekking business catering to the ever-expanding tourist industry. These particular ponies were very friendly and came trotting up to the fence when I got out of the car so I’m pretty sure these ponies are not going to end up on someone’s plate being much better employed as ponies for hire. 24mm f/11 1/3 sec. ISO-100
Útnesvegur is an incredible section of road to drive. The escarpment stark and beautiful one side and the Atlantic Ocean the other, the road to Arnastapi is stunning. We barely saw another car and with the spectacular scenery, driving was a real pleasure.
Congestion in the UK means that driving has become much more of a chore than something one would do for the sheer pleasure of it. I passed my driving test when I was 17 and loved my car, driving many thousands of miles. The roads were very much less congested than they are now however. There are now around 35 million cars on the road in the UK. I don’t know how many vehicle registrations there are in Iceland but with a population of just 323,000, it’s not going to be many. In Iceland I became acquainted once more with what a pleasure driving the open road can be.