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

     

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

     

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)

     

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 <i>very</i> windy

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

Dirt track winding across the lava fields of Reykjanes Peninsula

     

Kleifarvatn Lake

     

The Reykjanes Peninsula

     

Route 427 descending towards Grindavík

     

Around Kleifarvatn Lake

     

Dirt track near Myrdalsjökull glacier

     

In the middle of nowhere

     

Settlement (a farm?)

     

The midnight sun

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