Iceland

Iceland pictures. 100,000 square kilometres (75 percent of the size of England) for 300,000 people (0,6% of the population of England) - Iceland is one of the most sparsely populated countries (on par with Australia) and has an apparently endless list of incredible landscapes barely touched by humans (if at all).

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Gullfoss

Iceland

The barren landscape surrounding Gullfoss

Warning sign indicating that the road will turn into a dirt track soon, marking the beginning of Iceland's interior, the uninhabited desert

Gullfoss, a massive waterfall on the River Hvítá

Vegetation is scarce due to the loose soil and strong winds

The strong winds of Iceland are ideal for kite-flying

A lot of - apparently unused - land is surrounded by fences, although the purpose of this is often not clear (though it's quite common to see a single heavy-duty engineering vehicle digging in the middle of a field)

Towards the interior

Scarecrow

The tundra

Boardwalk to Gullfoss in the middle of nowhere

Vik

On the volcanic black sand of Vík's beach

Black & white

A desolate place

Horses on an extremely windy (or perhaps normal for this area) day

Not a nice day

An ideal day for a walk on the beach (summer temperatures in Iceland go as high as 14C)

Massive basalt formations off the coast near Vík

Iceland is still volcanically active, which can dramatically transform the landscape

Thingvellir

Almannagjá, the fault line between the European (to the left) and American (to the right) tectonic plates, which are still in motion at a very slow rate

Lake Thingvallavatn at 11pm in May (Iceland, though still mostly south of the Artic Circle, enjoys very long summer days, but also very short winter ones)

The first Icelandic parliament (one of the oldest parliaments in the world, founded in 930 AD) had its seat nearby - many members had to traverse desolate central areas of Iceland over several weeks to get here

Thingvellir National Park

Thingvellir as seen from the Almannagjá fault (Mid-Atlantic Ridge)

Ring Road

Side roads can quickly turn into dirt tracks after a few miles

Iceland's weather is notoriously fickle

Due to the high level of geothermal activity on the island a large part of Iceland's energy is generated by geothermal power plants

Minor roads like this branch off (at seemingly random places) the main Route 1, the ring road along Iceland's coast

Waterfalls blown away by the wind as soon as they leave the hillside - Iceland's very windy

Route365

View from Route 365, a minor and rarely used dirt track

A desolate place

A lot of roads in Iceland are only recommended for 4WDs to avoid getting stuck in the loose soil or mud

Approaching Mordor

Off the beaten path

Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon, the geothermally heated thermal bath in the middle of a bleak volcanic landscape

The water of the Blue Lagoon is heated by the Svartsengi geothermal power plant

This is an actual banknote (depicting 17th century seamstress Ragnheidur Jónsdóttir)

Svartsengi power plant

Impossibly blue waters (due to the water's high silica content) in a black lava field

Geysir

The great Geysir (which geysers were named after), doesn't erupt very often any more, but nearby Strokkur still does every few minutes

Tundra covers most of Iceland

Small, incredibly blue (probably due to silica in the water) pond near the Strokkur geyser

A bit of suburban planning in the middle of a massive empty plain

Looking towards the uninhabited interior of Iceland

View from a hill near Geysir

Reykjanes Peninsula

Dirt track winding across the lava fields of Reykjanes Peninsula

Kleifarvatn Lake

The Reykjanes Peninsula

Route 427 descending towards Grindavík

Around Kleifarvatn Lake

On The Road

Dirt track near Myrdalsjökull glacier

In the middle of nowhere

Settlement (a farm?)

The midnight sun


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