Sunday, 17th JanuaryKeflavík
The adventure begins, the plane landed at Keflavík. We rented a car and we went to the capital (Reykjavík) immediately.
We wanted to go to Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa but it was closed for refurbishment. No luck...
Keflavík is a town in the Reykjanes region in southwest Iceland. In 2009 its population was of 8,169. In 1995 it merged with Njarðvík and Hafnir to form a municipality called Reykjanesbær with a population of 13,971.
Reykjavík is the capital and largest city of Iceland. It is located in southwestern Iceland, on the southern shore of the Faxaflói Bay. With a population of around 120,000, it is the heart of Iceland's cultural, economic and governmental activity.
At 73 metres (244 ft), it is the largest church in Iceland and the sixth tallest architectural structure in Iceland.
Monday, 18th JanuaryLaugarvatn
We heard about an another SPA (opened, lucky we were) near the Laugarvatn's lake.
We arrived at destination for our first bath.
Laugarvatn is a lake and small town in the south of Iceland.
The town has a population of about 200, and lies predominantly along the west side of the lake. The lake contains geothermal springs under its surface, making it a popular swimming spot with some warm patches along the shoreline year-round.
Next step? Geysir...
Here's what we met on the road.
Geysir is a geyser in southwestern of Iceland. It was the first geyser described in a printed source and the first known to modern Europeans.
Eruptions at Geysir can hurl boiling water up to 70 metres in the air. However, eruptions may be infrequent, and have in the past stopped altogether for years at a time.
End of the dayGullfoss
Before the night falls we visited a famous waterfall not far away. Gullfoss is a waterfall located in the canyon of Hvítá river in southwest of Iceland.
Gullfoss is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland. The average amount of water running over this waterfall is 140 m³/s in the summertime and 80 m³/s in the wintertime. The highest flood measured was 2000 m³/s.
Gullfoss is one of the sights of Iceland. It is a magnificent waterfall on the Hvitá, where the white water of the river cascades over a series of step-like barriers stretching from side to side, and then plunges finally over a ledge of very hard rock into a yawning abyss more than a hundred feet deep, whence it throws up clouds of spray that are carried hither and thither as the wind sweeps first this way and then that; so thick is the spray, that one's clothing soon becomes saturated on incautiously getting into it.
Tuesday, 19th JanuaryHella
We slept in a guest house on the road number 1 at the south of the Hekla volcano.
Hella is an Icelandic town in the municipality of Rangárþing ytra south of the island, along the Ytri-Rangá River in Suðurland Region. In 2011 the village had 781 people.
In the morning, we decided to do a local horse riding at the next door's ranch.
We drove towards the East looking for new adventures. On our way we stopped to see this waterfall. This is one of the best known waterfalls in Iceland.
Seljalandsfoss is situated between Selfoss and Skógafoss, where Road 1 (the Ring Road) meets the track going to Þórsmörk. This waterfall of the river Seljalandsá drops 60 metres (200 ft) over the cliffs of the former coastline. It is possible to walk behind the waterfall.
Seljavallalaug is a protected 25 meters outdoor swimming pool in southern Iceland. The pool is one of the oldest swimming pools in Iceland and was built in 1923.
Seljavallalaug is located not far from Seljavellir. The construction was headed by Bjorn Andrésson Berjaneskoti, who received the Ungmennafélagið Eyfelling for the work. Courses in the pool were initiated as part of compulsory education in 1927. The pool is 25 meters long and 10 meters wide and was the largest pool in Iceland until 1936.
We had to walk few minutes through the volcanic rock to find it.
Sólheimasandur beachFamous plane crash
It’s one of Iceland’s most iconic & haunting photography locations. On Saturday Nov 24, 1973 a United States Navy Douglas Super DC-3 airplane was forced to land on Sólheimasandur’s black sand beach in the south of Iceland after experiencing some severe icing.
Luckily all crew members survived the crash, but the airplane’s fuselage was abandoned. Now it became a photography dream location.
After that we drove to find Vík, where we slept. An unexpected turn in our journey led us to many impressive places.
Wednesday, 20th JanuaryThe glaciers
To go to the glacier, that was quite far away...
Glaciers cover 11.1% of the land surface of Iceland (about 11 400 km² with a total area of 103,125 km²) and have a significant impact on its landscape.
Grimsvotn caldera is 100 km², and the Bárðarbungu is 60 km². When volcanic activity occurs beneath a glacier, water from melting can lead to a sudden glacial Icelandic debacle known as the jökulhlaup.
Hof, in Öræfi, is a cluster of farms in the municipality of Sveitarfélagið Hornafjörður in southeast Iceland, close to Vatnajökull glacier, and twenty two kilometres south of Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park. It's located on the Road 1 southwest of Höfn, in the narrow strip between the sea coast and the glacier.
Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all of one’s lifetime. — Mark Twain
Tours to glacier ice caves and ice tunnels.
Vatnajökull, also known as the Vatna Glacier, is the largest and most voluminous ice cap in Iceland, and one of the largest in area in Europe. It is the second largest glacier in area after Austfonna on Svalbard in Norway. It is located in the south east of island, covering more than 8 percent of the country.
With an area of 8,100 km², Vatnajökull is the largest ice cap in Europe by volume (3,100 km³) and the second-largest (after Austfonna on Nordaustlandet, Svalbard, Norway) in area (not counting the still larger Severny Island ice cap of Novaya Zemlya, Russia, which may be regarded as located in the extreme northeast of Europe). On 7 June 2008, it became a part of the Vatnajökull National Park.
After a long day we went to the beach iceberg hoping to see some seals, in vain.
Jökulsárlón is a large glacial lake in southeast Iceland, on the edge of Vatnajökull National Park. Situated at the head of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier, it developed into a lake after the glacier started receding from the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.
Thursday, 21st JanuaryHöfn
We took a local flight to return to the West.
ReykjavíkBack to the capital
We enjoyed our last day in the capital to discover this beautiful place. We walked the main streets looking for memories to take back home.
Friday, 22nd JanuaryThe end of the adventure
All things come to an end. We flew back to France, early in the morning with a lot of memories.
This adventure gave me a taste for travel, I want to thank you every one from near and far. I was able to experience another culture in other horizons. I wish every one to live an amazing experience like this. I post on this page some of the beautiful pictures I took (I can't put them all, unfortunately).
Take only memories, leave only footprints. — Chief Seattle