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.



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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  1. Hi, Rose
    These pictures are beautiful, regardless of who took them! I tried to share them with my oldest daughter. She has become quite a photographer herself — this would be a beautiful place to take pictures of. I need to make sure my camera is in good shape, too
    Thank you so very much for sharing your trips and pictures!
    One of one your friends from Texas!
    Doe Harden

    • Thank you so much, Doe. The whole country is just incredibly beautiful – I’m so pleased that I was able to visit it. Best wishes for the new year.

  2. You obviously had an awesome trip – it looks like a stunningly beautiful place. Thank you so much for sharing your visit to Iceland with us and for educating me.

    • Hi June. Iceland truly is a beautiful country. So glad that I have visited it. I’m also glad that I bought snow boots for my trip – they’ve come in really handy since I returned to all the snow in Birmingham!

  3. Dorian Bingham says:

    Beautiful Rose, thanks for sharing it!

  4. A BEAUTIFUL Quilt and love the photos of Iceland (and all the places you’ve been) ,As a young child I remember being able to view the Northern Lights in Montreal QC Canada. I love travelling but no longer confident about travelling alone. You are so lucky that your daughter has the travel bug in her veins, I will be going to Maui in 2018 with my Son and Grand children. SOO looking forward to going back.

    • Hi Elizajane. How lovely to be able to view the Northern Lights regularly when you were in Montreal. I know that I’m very lucky to be able to go away with my daughter – she makes all the arrangements and I just tag along!

  5. Rose, thanks so much for sharing the photos andvideo with us. The geyser reminds me of Rotorua in NZ with all it’s boiling mud pools too.

    • Hi Judi. The Icelandic people get most of their heating from the geothermal energy. The guide told us that if they get too warm in their houses they just open the windows – something that I wouldn’t dream of doing in the winter in Birmingham! I hadn’t realised that you had geysers in New Zealand as well.

  6. Cheryle Perkins says:

    Thank you for sharing. Pictures are wonderful. Seeing the Northern Lights is one of biggest dreams.

    • Thanks Cheryle. They were also something that I wanted to see, so I was really pleased when my daughter suggested it. She did all the planning and all I had to do was turn up with my passport!

  7. Terrific photos Rose, one day I hope to get a visit to Iceland and some of those other northern countries. Love your newest quilt! My quilting list just keeps growing, but I will preserver. Was your trip a scheduled tour? Or did you and daughter just wing it ? Thank you for sharing, it’s always a pleasure to receive your emails, I very much look forward to them, have a good one. Lou

    • Hi Lou. My quilting list is rather long as well, so I know how you feel! The trip that we took was a package that included flights, hotel and a coach trip one evening to see the Northern Lights. The rest of our time was free so we walked around Reykjavik, took the hop on-hop off bus and then took a trip called the Golden Circle which included the National Park, geyser, waterfall and lake. The northern lights trip is pot luck – you may not see the lights, but we were lucky enough that we did see them.

  8. Sandra Barnett says:

    Oh Rose,
    Thank you for sharing these photos. My husband and I both enjoyed looking at them. The geyser remind us of Old Faithful. Love the lights and the cathedral. Absolutely beautiful. Thank you. Looks a magical place to visit.

    • Hi Sandra. It was a magical trip and I’m so pleased that others enjoy the photos as well. It’s been snowing in Birmingham today but I can feel smug knowing that I faced far colder weather last week in Iceland!

  9. Lesley Shaw says:

    Fantastic photos Rose,

    How lucky to be able to visit this beautiful place. My Dad was stationed there and always said how lovely it was.

    Thank you for sharing your experience.

    Best wishes


  10. Lola Howard says:

    Rose,these are beautiful puctures, thank you so much for sharing with us .I saw people standing near , I would have thought the steam would have been hot when the geyser erupted. Thank you again for sharing .

    • Hi Lola. They had ropes to stop anyone getting too close. It is surprising how quickly the steam cools down in those temperatures.

  11. Mignol Gregory says:

    Hi Rose it’s been a long time pictures of Iceland are beautiful thank for sharing them are you going to turn any of your pictures into a quilt that would be lovely Mignol