Kleifarvatn..

Travelling on Route 42 between the south coast of the Reykjanes Peninsular to the north (where you’ll find Keflavik and Reykjavik), you’ll come upon Kleifarvatn.  Kleifvatn is a very beautiful lake which when we visited, was largely frozen.

With no river running in, or out, of the lake the depth at around 97m or 318ft, varies with ground water levels.  After an earthquake that struck in 2000, a fissure opened up beneath the lake and the water began to drain rapidly.  It was like a giant bath plug had been pulled.  The fissure has since been sealed itself however and the water levels have gradually returned to pre-2000 levels.

Rather like Loch Ness, a serpent like creature the size of a whale is said to  inhabit the lake and has been seen to surface for as long as two minutes on occasion.  With no photographic evidence to go on, not even the shaky rather dubious kind that Loch Ness has produced, I’m going to have to go with the Nessie model on this one and guess the two are related.  There are, after-all, very close ties between the Icelanders and the Scots given that when the vikings visited Scotland, they wooed dozens of Scottish lassies with the tap of a big club to the back of the head and carried them off in their Viking long boats.  Thinking about it however, if they’d wooed a Nessie with a particularly big club, even a youngster, we might have historical accounts of such a feat, a Nessie Viking saga at the very least.

Kleifarvatn70mm f/10 1/60 sec. ISO-100

Taking route 42 turned out to be quite interesting on a day when the winds were near hurricane force and blizzards descended every now and then but we’ve had a lot of those, interesting experiences I mean, motoring through Icelandic in February.

Keifarvatn IIIf/11 1/40 sec. ISO-100

In the photo below, although the weather is clear ahead having left the heavy snow behind us, you can clearly see snow being blown from the top of the bluff on the right.  Not having such good eyes these days I thought that it was cloud on the horizon when I took the picture, but we soon learned otherwise.  It’s not always falling snow you need to worry about when the wind’s blowing of course.

Keifarvatn II24mm f/11 1/60 sec. ISO-100

SpacerKeifarvatn II70mm f/10 1/160 sec. ISO-100

Spacer

Adrian Theze Photo logo_2

Spacer

72 responses

  1. It is nice to see this photos with snow…this winter I did not enjoy in snow in place where I live…so I like this photos…

    February 21, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    • Thank you very much! I’m so glad you enjoyed the pictures.

      February 21, 2016 at 5:56 pm

  2. beautiful! Unfortunately, I don’t like the cold so much so I’m waiting for the weather to warm up so I can take pictures haha

    February 21, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    • Thank you Nina! For this reason alone, and there are many, I hope the weather warms up very soon then! :-)

      February 21, 2016 at 5:58 pm

  3. You never disappoint. Beautiful!

    February 21, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    • Thank you very much! :-)

      February 21, 2016 at 5:58 pm

  4. These image’s are incredible, although I’ve come to expect that from your work :) Keep it up.

    February 21, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    • That’s very kind. Thank you! :-)

      February 21, 2016 at 6:04 pm

  5. This is a gorgeous winterlandscape.

    February 21, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    • It really was a beautiful place to be Lou! :-)

      February 22, 2016 at 9:01 am

  6. Stunning!!!! So different with snow than how it looks in summer: grey, brown and black… Like a completely different place!!!! I wrote a post about Reykjanes two weeks ago and it’s like another planet, hahaha
    Your photographs are wonderful, specially the last one: impressive!!!! Love it

    February 21, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    • I’ve just taken a look at your post Mercedes. Good to see Reykjanes in summer as I never have. It is an interesting place. I must admit, on landing at Keflavik on my first visit to Iceland, that was in November ’14 before the snow, I picked up the hire car, drove a few miles and thought ‘what have I done?’ I knew very little about Iceland and my first impressions, looking at the flat brown and grey lava landscape, were not terribly high. The next 11 days changed all that of course. :-)

      February 22, 2016 at 9:14 am

      • I know! I though the same the first kilometres from Reykjavik to Gardur…. But then, after that, everything changed!! The road from Gardur to Reykjanesviti was full of antic terns and horse farms, and then there was the little church, the lakes, the geothermal areas, the cliffs….. everything looked so colourful and different from any other place I ever visited… and that was just the first day!
        I think Reykjanes is a bit undervaluated compared with Sneafellsness and the rest of Iceland, but I like this small peninsula and it’s not so busy as the other famous places!!! :)

        February 22, 2016 at 9:22 am

      • I think you’re right Mercedes. I have spent a couple of days travelling around Reykjanes and there are some real gems to be found and it was at Gardur that we enjoyed the fabulous northern lights back in October so I’ve a real fond spot for this area. :-)

        February 22, 2016 at 10:21 am

  7. Beautiful white – enjoying immensely!

    February 21, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    • Thank you Ann Christine, I’m so glad! :-)

      February 22, 2016 at 9:14 am

  8. Looks amazing!

    February 21, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    • Iceland is, thank you! :-)

      February 22, 2016 at 9:14 am

  9. Beautiful. Is #4 a crop from #2? Great sky.

    February 21, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    • Thank you Dave! It isn’t but it could have been. This snow storm had been following us for about 300km and it was producing some very interesting, very dramatic skies.

      February 22, 2016 at 9:16 am

  10. Amazing images as always, Adrian. Blizzards and gale force winds aren’t my kind of weather, so I’m very happy to come armchair travelling with you and your magic camera. :)

    February 21, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    • Thank you Sylvia. I know you like the sunshine. I do too but there is something so raw and elemental about this landscape in winter and as long as one is dressed correctly, it really isn’t so bad. Cornwall is definetly worse at this time of year.. it’s the damp, horrible. I’m more than a little envious of you right now looking out on yet another wet, grey and drizzly day. We’ve not had two dry days in a row since October and the dry days we’ve had, you can count on one hand. :-)

      February 22, 2016 at 10:02 am

  11. Wow! Very impressive! Absolutely stunning shots.

    February 21, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    • Thank you Isabel! :-)

      February 22, 2016 at 10:02 am

  12. very dramatic scenery here.

    February 21, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    • It is a very dramatic landscape Shimon and so much more so in winter. I love it!

      February 22, 2016 at 10:03 am

  13. What a mystical wonderland you’ve found for us and shared it. Thank you!

    February 22, 2016 at 3:51 am

    • Thank you for looking Gunta and you’re more than welcome. It’s a real pleasure to share. :-)

      February 22, 2016 at 10:03 am

  14. Lovely Adrian – but looks REALLY cold!!!!

    February 22, 2016 at 4:41 am

    • I think it was about -8°C when I took these shots Tina. I didn’t stand admiring the scenery too long, I got out of the car for a couple of quick shots so didn’t get fully togged up. That takes such an age. As the wind was blowing so hard it was difficult to stand, doubly so given the ice but I’m happy with the shots I got! :-)

      February 22, 2016 at 10:07 am

  15. So picturesque! And the skies are amazing.

    February 22, 2016 at 5:03 am

    • It is! Thank you so much! :-)

      February 22, 2016 at 10:07 am

  16. We unintentionally took the road past this lake, taking the ‘back’ road back to Reykjavik over the mountains from the Blue Lagoon. It was blowing a gale, black sand was blasting across the road, which steadily deteriorated the further we went, getting rougher, narrower and more potholes! But nevertheless, spectacularly beautiful. Your photos are wonderful Adrian, I am so enjoying these!

    February 22, 2016 at 7:02 am

    • At least we didn’t have the potholes to contend with given they were all full of ice and snow Anna. I did sit at the junction for some time contemplating whether to take this road or drive back to Selfoss. I knew it was a gravel road but these can be good. Given the conditions as I said, it turned out to be an interesting drive and on the way back down the other side toward Hafnarfjörður, we encountered a few people having problems with the ice and snow and having to turn around. I’m glad we took the risk and got through. The frozen lake really was so very beautiful. :-)

      February 22, 2016 at 10:15 am

  17. Sue

    Stunning images, as ever, Adrian! I love the light in these

    February 22, 2016 at 8:41 am

    • Thank you Sue. Rather like it very frequently is in Cornwall, the weather was very different on the north side of the peninsular to the south. Being in the middle with clear skies to the north and blizzards to the south, the light was an interesting mix.

      February 22, 2016 at 10:18 am

      • Sue

        It must have been!

        February 22, 2016 at 1:14 pm

      • :-)

        February 22, 2016 at 1:40 pm

  18. Your first photograph is absolutely beautiful – a fabulous landscape … and the skyscape of your last is wonderfully dramatic. The colours and contrasting details are lovely – I can see why you’re hooked on Iceland.
    …. and a Nessy to boot – it gets better and better :D

    February 22, 2016 at 9:39 am

    • Thanks Noeline. I was particularly pleased with that one and the skies that snow storm were generating were superb. I’ve a few more of those to come. This was a 300km drive with the storm following us the whole way. I was reather cynically wondering if the existence of a Nessy type creature in this lake might have come about following the amazing success of its Scottish counterpart in generating tourism. :-D

      February 22, 2016 at 1:35 pm

  19. Gorgeous images as usual Adrian. My favorite is the first…simply glorious.

    February 22, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    • Thank you Edith! One of those occasions where you don’t have to worrk hard on a compostion, it’s just there! The patch of clear water leading off into the distance, a real gift! :-)

      February 22, 2016 at 1:41 pm

  20. I was at this lake on Thursday! A very different day – sunny and blue skies – not good for photography at all. But a lovely place. Super
    collection of images.

    February 22, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    • Thank you Rachael. I’m very much looking forward to your photographs from Iceland and hearing about your trip. :)

      February 22, 2016 at 4:17 pm

  21. Another series of beautiful photos. You really get the most out of the Icelandic winter, don’t you! I can even see the open path in the lake after the whale like creature in Kleifvatn!

    February 23, 2016 at 9:15 am

    • Thank you Otto! Very much appreciated. There’s no doubt that I find this landscape very inspirational. :-)

      February 23, 2016 at 5:13 pm

  22. Iceland offer amazing light and cloud formations. It has been loved by painters because of this.
    Your first and last photo are superb

    February 23, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    • Thank you very much Leif. The light is exceptional! :-)

      February 23, 2016 at 5:15 pm

  23. Breath taking

    February 23, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    • Thank you so much! :-)

      February 23, 2016 at 5:16 pm

  24. Very beautiful! I really don’t like cold or winter, but the scenes you show do make the snow seem lovely.

    February 23, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    • It can be so very beautiful and if you are dressed correctly, the cold needn’t be a problem and you get to see very beautiful scenes like these. :-)

      February 23, 2016 at 5:17 pm

      • Thanks – maybe I’ll go outside the next time it snows : )

        February 23, 2016 at 10:34 pm

      • Give it a try, you never know! :-)

        February 24, 2016 at 7:32 pm

  25. I really like it…..perfect images

    February 23, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    • Thank you very much indeed! :-)

      February 23, 2016 at 5:17 pm

  26. The clouds are really dramatic on the last pictures ! Very pretty !

    February 23, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    • Thank you Gin! :-)

      February 24, 2016 at 7:32 pm

  27. Gorgeous! Makes me want to go back!

    February 24, 2016 at 7:49 am

    • Thank you! I can certainly understand the desire the return.. I keep returning. :-)

      February 24, 2016 at 7:30 pm

  28. The clarity in that first image is stunning, Adrian, and you’ve captured some magnificent skies too.

    February 24, 2016 at 9:02 am

    • Thank you very much Andy. This was one of those brief stops that yielded and a whole bunch of photographs. Iceland can be so rewarding. :-)

      February 24, 2016 at 7:30 pm

  29. awesome as usual :)

    February 24, 2016 at 10:31 am

    • ..And thank you again my friend! :-)

      February 24, 2016 at 7:28 pm

  30. Beautiful… thanks for sharing your pictures.

    February 24, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    • It’s a pleasure, thank you for looking! :-)

      February 24, 2016 at 7:27 pm

  31. that’s a really great shot!

    February 25, 2016 at 9:35 am

    • Thank you very much Jacqueline! :-)

      February 25, 2016 at 5:21 pm

  32. Another stunning series of photos. The first one of Kleifvatn lake seems to be perfect for a magazine cover ~ the portrait view and perspective used is a visual treat. Simply awesome :-)

    February 27, 2016 at 7:48 am

    • Thank you very much Randal. I very rarely take a landscape in portrait, after all, landscape photo sort of dictates the way things generally should be orientated but this was one of those times where it just seemed to be the natural way to go. :-)

      February 28, 2016 at 5:26 pm

      • I think that is why the photo was perfect ~ a break from the way I think and photograph, but seeing the way you shot it; you listed to what the landscape called for. :-)

        February 29, 2016 at 12:46 am

      • Thank you once again Randall! :-)

        February 29, 2016 at 6:45 pm