Category Archives: travel

Kirkjufell is Real

Tourism is an industry. Here are some industrial views of Kirkjufoss, the most-photographed mountain in Iceland.

Tour busses race past Kolgrafafjörður …

Why would you rush past such a dawn?

… to get you to it. If you go on December 24 (not in a tour bus. It will drive past), Kirkjufell might look like this at sundown:

Mind you, if you turn around, you might see other miracles:

Few do. There is no time. The 8 p.m. Aurora bus is waiting in Reykjavik, and it’s many hours and a world away. Besides, industrial images are soooooo seductive:

I don’t think this is quite how people in Grundarfjörður experience the mountain. This is certainly one way, though:

The Eastern Burbs

And this is another.

The forest walk from the campground in November.

Iceland is real.

The November view from town.

It takes time for a mountain to speak. You can’t force it.

The Two Ways of Puffins

In Borgarfjörður Eystrim , the puffin nesting grounds are covered with netting, so that the puffins don’t ruin their home by being too, well, puffinish.

At Raudanes, they are free to do as they wish. As you can see below, the result is quite different.

There are fewer puffins, but they are wilder. Ain’t that the thing, eh.

Njardvik: the Green Fjord

The road along the coast behind the farm Borg races on past the Cross on the cape that keeps the ogre at bay, on to the puffins in Borgarfjörður Eystri, and back.

Few stop anymore to walk in this emerald, or to see the path this water makes as it hides itself, as all creatures from the other world do, on to test the walls of the houses of men. It is the greenest fjord in Iceland. This image is made from the old Stapavik trail, the right way to come upon it, unless you come by boat, of course. Imagine the first long boat that touched this beach, and the people that stepped ashore in wonder. They are your ancestors as soon as you get out of the car. And then what? Well, friend, then you are lost. And then you are found.

What Happens to a Farm Over Time is a Variable Thing

Some farms that no one lives on anymore are still being farmed for hay. Note the fine tractor road here in Reydisfjörður.

Others have gone wild, although they are still farms and can be claimed again. This one, in Neskaupstaðir, is accessible only by foot. A boat looks out of the question.

I bet there are eiðars, though!

When You’re on the Road to Nowhere, Get Off

Then you’ll be somewhere.

Most visitors to Iceland land at Keflavik Airport, just north of this beautiful landscape, and then race northwest to Reykjavik, missing out on the opportunity to hear the land speak.


The Icelanders have arranged it this way. Have you ever wondered why?

Reykjanes is calling!

Blending In: An Icelandic Fashion Journey

So, you have a bunch of troll bones in a stream at Skeljanes. Weird troll writing on it. How are you going to blend in with that so you look like you own the place?

Easy guys.


This next one is trying to blend in with the sea at the same time. All those waves, eh.

That’s how it’s done. And if someone says your head is as hard as a rock, ha, that would be, like, a double compliment!

Beach Wrack in Iceland Washes High Up On Shore

The sky cries tears in Iceland. Viennese waltzes warping in a banana box in a window, old hi-fi junk, and all the books of the world wash up on the shore otherwise called Hverfisgata.

Not much different than a knot of broken fishing nets and cast-off plastic knocking against the knees of kelp-eating sheep, really.

 

Out of Bounds

This photographer on Dyrhólaey is out of bounds. She crossed a barrier to get here. Thousands do.

Some die. Is this view not good enough?

Is this one not good enough?

What about this? So bad you need to die to get a different one?

We’d rather you were alive, really. Really. Besides, if you just turn around, you can see almost forever.

Then we could all go back and grill a lamb or something, drink some lava beer and have a great good time.

Well, ok, maybe not that.