Visiting Reykjavik – Iceland – Photos

Sunrise in Iceland

Sunrise in Iceland

Visiting Reykjavik was an enchanting experience.

My daughter and I had gone there specifically to see the Northern Lights, but the whole area is unbelievably beautiful.

We passed this lake at sunrise and the views were quite breathtaking.  The lake is the largest natural lake in Iceland and it is apparently the same size as Manhattan island in New York.




 

Northern Lights

Northern Lights

Northern Lights

We did get to see the Northern Lights, but my camera couldn’t cope with the dark so I’m afraid that I can’t bring you any images of my own.  I’ve cheated and shown you an image from the Visit Norway website.  We didn’t see all those colours, but the lights were like stardust spread in plumes all across the sky.

You could see the stars behind them so you could tell that the lights were moving and waving in the sky.  What an experience!

Reykjavik bay

Reykjavik bay

Visiting Reykjavik City

Our hotel was in Reykjavik itself and this was the view across the bay.  It looks cold and it was cold!  There were lovely patterns in the mountains where the rocks showed through the snow.

Reykjavik Cathedral

Reykjavik Cathedral

The cathedral in Reykjavik was stunning.  This photo was taken at sunset – there wasn’t a lot of time between sunrise and sunset.

The structure is a very modern stepped design and this stepping was used within the cathedral for the ends of the pews.

Every morning at 11 o’clock someone plays the organ and we were lucky enough to be there while the organ was playing – that really lent a lovely atmosphere to the cathedral.

Cathedral interior

Cathedral interior

The inside of the cathedral was also very modern and very, very simple.  There was very little adornment, no stained glass windows and the effect was very striking.

The simplicity was a statement in itself.  It felt really peaceful in there.

The theatre was also very attractive.  The design made me think of Birmingham Library – sorry but I didn’t get any photos of that.

The rift

The rift

The National Park

Iceland lies along two tectonic plates.  The rift is the line running along the diagonal of the photo.

One side is the American plate and the other side is the Eurasian plate.  This is the reason that Iceland has so much volcanic activity – the plates moving against each other causing instability.  It’s also the reason that they have such easy access to thermal springs and geo thermal power.

This is the same area as the lake that I mentioned at the top of the page.

Geyser

Geyser

The Geysers

We visited a delightful area where the steam was hissing out from the ground.  When the temperature reaches a certain level the hot water bursts out from the hole in the ground with a loud pop and a huge cloud of steam.

Apparently this particular geyser at Geysir was the one studied by Robert Bunsen to provide the explanation of how geysers work.

Frozen waterfall

Frozen waterfall

The Waterfalls

We visited this waterfall and you’d think that all the water was frozen, but in fact there was a huge roaring of water going over the falls.  There must have been just as much area of water as there was ice.  It was so cold here that our eyes hurt!

Volcano crater

Volcano crater

Volcanic Crater

I’m sure we all remember the volcano that threatened to erupt in Iceland a few years ago.  All flights in the area were forbidden and many people missed their holidays.

This volcano that we visited was dormant and the frozen lake inside the crater was really peaceful looking.  You can just see people walking on the lake below – I shudder to think how they got down there.

Troll at the airport

Troll at the airport

Farewell to Reykjavik

Iceland is full of folklore, particularly tales of trolls.  At the airport this guy was waiting to have his next meal.  The bowl in front of him was big enough to hold a person, so people were climbing into it, pretending that the troll was eating them!

I’ve put together a very short video showing the waterfall and the geyser eruption:

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