culture, history, landscape, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, review, travel, world

I’m back …

… from Iceland (again – finally).

This trip wasn’t planned long ahead. Instead, a friend asked for company for his trip with the option to fit my own plans into the schedule. It was a fantastic road-trip around the island in 15 days. While Iceland and its weather were very cooperative, the surrounding circumstances weren’t 😬 Our departure tickets were booked for June 13th in February, but the governments decided to open the borders not before June 15th and my departure airport was not offered until a week later. So we needed to re-schedule the flights and I had to book an additional train ticket to Frankfurt 😕. The next problem was the connection train to Frankfurt was canceled, but an alternative worked (despite the extra effort for further train changes 🙁). Fortunately, the departure terminal in Frankfurt also changed, but to the one reachable more easily and even faster.

The way back home also came with lots of problems. Online check-in didn’t work by using the airline‘s mobile app. When using my computer I noticed, my flight was canceled without notification. So, I hung in the queue for getting an agent to help me solve the problem. Originally I booked a flight with a stopover in Oslo. Suddenly the Webpage said, my flight was rescheduled to July 1st instead of June 30th and would end in Oslo instead of Düsseldorf. My travel agency was unwilling to help me keep my schedule. The only offered a cancellation with a refund.

So, I booked on my own with a different airline by using the airline sales portal instead of ordering via the travel agency again. But instead of departing at noon, my flight started at 7:45 a.m. which meant I had to get up at about 3:15 a.m. In addition, I had no breakfast and lost 6 hours on the phone. So, the last day of the trip was a complete disaster. While writing this, I‘m sitting in Copenhagen waiting for my connection flight. 2 hours are over, two more to wait.

Now to the better part 😊. In the end, I have 515GB images (= 5422 raw files) and about 1000 images taken with my mobile on my disk 😳. All the images are presorted but still not reviewed. So, a lot of work is waiting for me 😲.

Our trip led us counter-clock-wise around the island. Nearly 4000 km! That’s about 2400 miles. Our days started early: about 8:00 with breakfast and at around 9:30/10:00 we sat in the car, a 4×4 offroad pickup with a hardcase above the platform for our luggage and containers with food. Despite the hardcase a lot of dirt came inside the cargo bay 😳😲😫. Apartments and hotel rooms were booked ahead, each for 1-2 nights. Usually, we were able to get in the rooms without assistance, as we usually arrived very late. Often around midnight: midnight-sun made it possible! 😊😊

During the last days, I was thinking about, which image I’d choose for today’s post. I wanted an image representing not only a certain part of Iceland or a special event. Finally, I decided to take an image taken with my smartphone instead of my camera (only 4 of my camera images are developed until now). Despite it is taken at a very specific place and thus can’t represent the whole island or the whole trip, it does represent Iceland.

When the Vikings arrived in Iceland more than a thousand years ago, they were astonished by the nature of the island. Initially, they assumed to have arrived in Valhalla, the heaven in their belief because many parts seemed to have sprung up from their sagas. In one place they met a pool, where the water quite regularly sprung high in the air, which they named: Geyser. And nowadays the name of that first natural water fountain is the generic term to describe all of these hot springs around the world.

The term ‘geyser’ dates in English to the late 18th century originating from Icelandic Geysir, the name of a particular spring in Iceland. It is related to the Icelandic word geysa ‘to gush – Wikipedia

Sidenote: the original geyser isn’t active anymore but a couple of meters beside a new one erupts approximately every 5 minutes. Once, the fountain of Geyser was 70-80 m high, while the fountain of Strokkur only reaches 25-35m. Gesyer erupted last in 2000 after an earthquake.

Take care!

 

art, culture, history, landscape, nature, photography, plants, world

Throwback Thursday: Eyjafjallajökull

March 26th, 2010 looking west

Today, this image turns 10. You can see how red the sky is. That’s a result of the series of eruptions of the volcano Eyjafjallajökull in southern Iceland, which started on March 20th. The huge amount of volcanic ashed blasted in the sky during the eruptions forced the aviation to pause for a couple of weeks. The impact was worldwide in the northern hemisphere because of the enormous power of the eruption which brought the ashes to the upper layers of the atmosphere where it could be spread quickly by the jetstreams.

while prop airliners are quite resistant to these ashes, jet engines are at risk to get broken because of the ashes might melt inside the jet engine and dispose of the movable parts of the engine and glaze them over. When this happens the engine is broken and the plane is about to crash.

Btw. when looking at certain paintings by William Turner starting from around 1821 you can notice a very reddish sky. Now it seems, this wasn’t artificial freedom but reality affected by the series of eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull from 1821-1823.

Take care!

 

landscape, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, travel, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #78 – Special Spot Shot

Now, nearly all festivities are over and we’re coming back to normal. So, the Lens-Artist Photo challenge starts again. Ann-Christine asks us for our special spot shots. I was on many special spots during the last years. Some of them mean a lot to me, others are only interesting and/or impressive. An example for a location that means a lot to me could be the visit to Mt. Saint Michel or my trip to Seychelles beside others.

But, for today I chose another very impressive spot: Diamond beach on Iceland

Here we have black lava sand at the beach. Not far away a river ends in the Arctic sea. The river comes from a glacier lagoon. Every now and then, icebergs fall of the glacier and drop in the lake at the foot of the glacier. From here the low tide pulls the smaller icebergs through the river to the sea where they become smaller and smaller. The in-coming high tide throws the small blocks of ice on the beach. The very low standing sun is able to inflame a fantastic warm light inside the clear iceblocks. This special moment only lasts a few minutes until the sun dropped behind the glacier and the magic minutes were over. The image is taken at 23:10 😲

I ordered a big print of this image for our dining room. Just like some other great nature images, it rotates over the year in hanging there.

Take care!

landscape, nature, photography, travel, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #73 – Cold

It’s the end of November. In the northern hemisphere this means, we’re just about at the door of winter and winter means coldness. And “cold” is the theme nominated by Tina.

In February 2016 I was in northern Norway. The winter you can find over there is much harder than the winter in my region. Although, we usually have cold winters with temperatures around -10°C and lower. Even this past week the temperature felt below 0°C painting nice decorations on the plants. Car windows were also frozen, so the drivers were complaining much.

But for this challenge, I’ve chosen something different: icebergs floating on lake Jökulsárlón in southern Iceland near sunset. You can’t imagine how cold the wind is when it comes down from the glacier to the lake even in mid summer – lousy could.

Take care!

photo-of-the-day, photography, travel, world

Throwback Thursday: Sólfar

 

Sólfar is a sculpture in Reykjavik, the Icelandic capital. It symbolizes a dragon boat with 5 Vikings sailing to the west. The Icelandic name means “Sun voyage” or “voyage to the sun”.

In this image taken at about 2 a.m. (yep, in the middle of the night), I illuminated parts of the sculpture. In the older post, you can see some other images, too.

Take care!

photo-of-the-day, photography, travel, world

Throwback Thursday: midnight sun

23:04h local time – full frame sensor, 22mm, f16, 1/160s, ISO400

Today, 5 years ago, was the last day of my first trip to Iceland.

That island is so magical. I flipped over and over again through my images to find the one, representing the island to me.

When reading the post, I linked above, you can see, we have a very wet trip. But, the light of the nearly endless summer nights ist so fantastically.

Take care!

architecture, art, cityscape, photography, street, travel, world

Throwback Thursday: Fjaðrárgljúfur closed for the public again

Last year this fantastic canyon was closed for the public for several months. As almost all of the Icelandic nature, the area is very sensitive. When rain falls, the soil becomes soft and the plants are in high danger of getting thread down when (lots of) people walk over the grass. Also the soil itself: without plants, the rain will wash the soil away.

Unfortunately, many tourists seem to have stored their brain in a locker at the departure airport or even at home, instead of bringing it with them and use it during their trip. Many of them don’t care about walking beside the paths, destroying plants or throwing their tase simply in the nature. I’m not a fan of regulations, watchmen, tourists taxes or something like that, but it seems without this these people will have destroyed the beauty of nature in a wink.

While the closing last year was prolonged several times until June 1st, the Icelandic government decided this year to close it ’til June 1st at once. Surviving winter is hard enough for the plants, even the well adapted plants of Iceland.

Take care!