I haven’t finished with Iceland yet, not by a long shot. I will add more posts from time to time, when I get thoughts organized. This time I’m presenting some of the more out of the ordinary sights, stuff you’ll probably not see many others show.
Most of the roads I drove on in Iceland were 2-lane roads, even “Route 1”, the main road circling the country was 2-lane most of the time. Near Reykjavik it became a divided 4-lane highway, but that’s not much of its length. Most of the other roads were the same, so I did come across some strange signage. The first one I stopped to get a photo of was this one at Laugarvatn, a small hamlet in southwestern Iceland. You’ll pass this if you drive from Reykjavik to Þingvellir or on the way to the Geysers in Geysir or Gullfoss (golden Falls). The sign like this warns of a Built-uparea. In the background of this photo you see how “built-up” this town is. Laugarvatin isn’t that large, only about 2 sq KM. (about 0.8 sq mi) There is a resort hotel, which I didn’t see and an “N1” station – the local fuel and food stop. I guess I should call it a Gas station, but Diesel was what I needed for the Skota I rented for the week.
Then of course when leaving a built-up area one would come to its matching sign. I guess it’s better than the City Limits signs one sees in the US, which don’t tell if you are entering or leaving the city. We even saw signs that showed locations of swimming pools, hot springs and, showers.
After flying into Iceland, driving about 20 minutes south, still on the Reykjanes peninsula one will find a foot bridge out in the middle of nowhere, or so it seems. This is Midlina. This bridge crosses the fault that separates the Eurasian plate from the North American plate. The two continents are moving past each other at about 2cm per year. Yes you can walk from Europe to North America, and if you want, walk down the ‘avenue’ between continents, climbing up and down the walls as you make that journey. The floor of that fault is a very fine, black sand and not easy to walk on. I don’t understand the meaning, but I’ve been told that these locks on the bridge at Midlina are a German custom, when a couple gets married.
Most everywhere that one finds open fields one can see rocks. Iceland’s past is Volcanic, it’s covered with rocks remaining from eruptions. Some are large, but moss covers the smaller rocks, in places it seems like it is almost 6″ thick, and hard to walk on. The large rocks are where I discovered most of the Geocaches I was looking for.
In some valleys one will find a few open fields and pastures. Most farms that I saw raised Sheep, but I did see a few with horses and cows. Where I saw operating farms they mostly had orange roofs. This is just a sample of the many ranch/farms that somehow fit into the rugged mountainous country side. Funny though, when I saw these farms I didn’t see any animals.
The sheep seemed to prefer more rugged terrain.
Many KM east of the Reiyjans, and involving some hiking one comes to Dyrhólaey a peninsula with a couple high promontories. The most picturesque one has a lighthouse and the Door Hole, a tunnel through the rocks. It’s one of the iconic photo sites of Iceland, but there are plenty other sights to see while out there, I prefer to take my photos, not what everyone else takes.