In the third part of my series showing photographs taken on sunny days as opposed to my preferred, rather more dramatic weather days, I’ve included pictures of some of Iceland’s most iconic landmarks, in the sunshine. Some of these images you will have seen before but I think they can stand a dusting off and a second showing. The reality for a lot of people visiting Iceland is a lot of very grey weather. I’m lucky to have visited enough times now to capture some of these places at their very best.
The Seljalandsfoss pictures were bizarrely taken at midnight after a very long day of commercial photography in the central highlands for a Reykjavik car hire company. Getting back to the apartment late after a long and difficult drive on deeply rutted dirt roads, I saw the barely setting sun and I knew my day wasn’t over. I had to make the hour long drive to the falls. I’m so glad that I did.
Click on the images for a larger, sharper view.. :-)
I hope you’ve enjoyed this tour of Iceland on the sunny side over the last few posts. I’ve been very lucky to visit Iceland many times now experiencing all seasons and all weathers. An incredible and very beautiful place and very warm and welcoming people. I have made a lot of friends in Iceland. Their hospitality second to none.
Anyone following my posts from Iceland will know that I’ve for the most part only encountered ice and thankfully no fire on my various visits. However, every now and then when visiting Iceland, you’ll come to a place where you’re made very aware just how thin the earth’s crust is where you’re standing. It may just be a whiff of hydrogen sulphide on the air (which may or may not make you hanker after an egg salad sandwich as it has frequently done to me on these trips) or you might see a column of steam rising from a mountainside.
On this latest visit, equipped with a vehicle capable of tackling one of the main mountain ‘F’ roads that crosses the interior of Iceland, I decided to visit Hveravellir, a very beautiful place of thermal springs and bubbling fumaroles.
A fumarole is a small hole or vent in Earth’s surface through which volcanic gases escape from underground. Fumaroles are also known as steam vents because the most common gas they emit is water vapor or steam.Fumaroles have little water in their system unlike other types of hot springs. What does enter the system is boiled away before it reaches the surface. This leaves only steam and small amounts of gas such as hydrogen sulfide (already mentioned) and sulfur dioxide (the initial biting aroma of a lit match). Sometimes as the sulfur dioxide cools when it escapes from the vent, the sulfur in the vapor crystallizes around the vent, forming yellow deposits. The temperature of the gases emitted from a fumarole may reach as high as 750°F (400°C).
I spent a very happy couple of hours surrounding by boiling springs and hissing fumaroles as I marvelled at the fact that the Earth’s crust is typically between 30 and 50,000 metres (20 to 30 miles) around the world while in Iceland, it’s a mere 6 or 7,000 metres.
The colours at Hveravellir are mind-blowing. The blues, you feel you just want to dive into the colours they are so vivid. Probably not a good idea as the water is a boiling point of course.
This area of Iceland is known as the badlands where convicts were banished to. There are stories, that to survive, these convicts rustled sheep and boiled the meat in these springs.