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Puffins on Vigur Island in the far west of Iceland.

puffin

puffins

A redshank.

redshank

A young Guillemot

Guillimot


Colours

boiling water

colours


 


Weather...

Be prepared for anything and everything on Iceland, even in midsummer. Wind, blowing across the major ice- fields of the glaciers, is unsurprisingly chilly at any time. But the weather is also famously changeable, so one should not despair.

 


Why inflict an Amazon advert on you?

I'm not suggesting that you should shop on Amazon, but if you do, it would be helpful to me if you would click through from this website.

Although I receive very little from these advertisements, they do bring in just a few pounds each month to offset the cost of running the website.

Well, yes, I know I'd do it anyway; but a tiny slice of Amazon's profit, at no cost to you, would come in very handy.

 

 

 

Iceland

Eyjarfjordur and Akureyri

coastline

My first impression of Iceland was of the beauty and the wildness of its coastline, as we sailed into Eyjarfjordur on the north coast, and headed down towards Akureyri, 272 miles north of Reykyavik and only 60 miles south of the arctic circle.

Akureyri

Here at Akureyri, as everywhere in Iceland, even in June, human habitation is set against a background of snow, mountains and, a bit further inland, the huge glacial ice sheets.

whale

Cruising the fjord, we saw a number of whales, this one quite near our port side.

mountains

With the possible exception of Reykyavik itself, there is no escaping the overwhelming sense of space, and of the fragility of human settlement beneath the mountain slopes..

tern landing

An arctic tern comes into land above its nest in the midsh of a swarm of little flies. Appreciating the birdline if not without its hazards, however. The arctic terns are particularly acrobatic and aggressive. Defending their nests they have a particularly negative attitude to bald men. I wore a hat, but even then a turn tried to snatch it off my head!

seals

The Hveragerdi geothermal area and Stokkur geyser

geyser

Although the Stokkur geyser fires off regularly, the column of water and steam lasts for only a few seconds, surprising the encircling crowds who had been holding their cameras at the ready.

geothermal

But however impressive its burst of energy, the surrounding area is equally impressive with its smaller vents and mineral colours. And, in the distance, the row of mountains leads onto the Langjökull Glacier.

Gullfoss

gullfoss

gullfoss

Pingvellir

Pingvellir

Pingvellir

Pingvellir  marks the point at which the Eurasian and North American Plates are moving apart. It was the original political centre of Iceland, where local chiefs met to establish their laws, and is still used as the place to celebrate national events.

 

 

 

Wildlife...

tern

Iceland is a spectacular place to observe wildlife, whether your interest is in whales, seals or the many varieties of bird.

tern about to attack

whale


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Geyser

geyser

The spout of steam dwarfs the onlookers.


 


Water...

waterfall


Tectonic plates

Pingvellir

cracks

The European and North American tectonic plates are pulling apart. by about 2 cm per year. Consequently, Iceland is growing by the same amount.