June 2010


It was a bit of a trek, but we made our way to the swimming pool close to where Eyjafjallajökull erupted on April 3rd, 2010.

What struck me most during the walk was the greyish-black landscape. There was inches of lava dust on the ground with ever resilient plant life pushing themselves through the dust. At times during the walk I was awestruck by the sheer magnetude of the devistation of the eruption; but amazed at how quickly the plant live was rebounding.

~~Double click on Images for larger view~~

Walking to the pool … notice the mountain in the background fully covered in lava dust.

©2010 Adriana Durian Photography

Water from the glacier above is collected here….

[when you double click on this, you can see the just how much lava dust is sitting on the pipes & ground]

©2010 Adriana Durian Photography

…and runs through pipes into the pool

©2010 Adriana Durian Photography

The Pool

To see what this area looked like before the eruption, go to

©2010 Adriana Durian Photography

Not at all daunted by the signage that declared the pool closed, the boys changed into their swimsuits and went for a dip.

©2010 Adriana Durian Photography

©2010 Adriana Durian Photography

©2010 Adriana Durian Photography

©2010 Adriana Durian Photography

©2010 Adriana Durian Photography

Walking back

©2010 Adriana Durian Photography

©2010 Adriana Durian Photography

Bird tracks in the lava dust

©2010 Adriana Durian Photography

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Þingvellir (Thingvellir) is the National Park where the Althing [an open-air assembly, which represented the whole of Iceland]  was established in 930 and continued to meet until 1798. Over two weeks a year, the assembly set laws – seen as a covenant between free men – and settled disputes.

The Althing has deep historical and symbolic associations for the people of Iceland. The property includes the Þingvellir National Park and the remains of the Althing itself: fragments of around 50 booths built from turf and stone. Remains from the 10th century are thought to be buried underground. The site also includes remains of agricultural use from the 18th and 19th centuries. The park shows evidence of the way the landscape was husbanded over 1,000 years.

On the way to the park, we came across a field of ‘stone people’ and a beautiful lake…..

~~~Click on Images for Larger Views~~~

©2010 Adriana Durian Photography

©2010 Adriana Durian Photography

©2010 Adriana Durian Photography

©2010 Adriana Durian Photography

©2010 Adriana Durian Photography

©2010 Adriana Durian Photography

I love birds … big birds, small birds, fat birds, tall birds. I used to have a bird zoo – 7 large parrots, peacocks, ginnie fowl, chickens, ducks. I even used to have a boss whose last name was Bird .

So when Ragga took me into town for the day and we saw an older man with a young boy feeding the seagulls, we stopped and took some pictures.

~~~Click on Images for large view~~~

©2010 Adriana Durian Photography

©2010 Adriana Durian Photography

©2010 Adriana Durian Photography

©2010 Adriana Durian Photography

©2010 Adriana Durian Photography

©2010 Adriana Durian Photography

©2010 Adriana Durian Photography

©2010 Adriana Durian Photography

We drove through the Highlands of Iceland where the beautiful Mt. Herdubreid is located. It’s on the Oskjuleið Route is a 1682m high table mountain.

It is the national mountain of Iceland and often called the “Queen of Icelandic mountains” — it is beautiful and majestic…

These are the views of the “Queen” and its surrounding area, as well as an image of Egill Ar building a structure with rocks.

~~Click on Images for larger view~~

~~Double click for even larger view~~

Queen of the Islandic Mountains pinned on map

© 2010 Adriana Durian Photography

©2010 Adriana Durian Photography

©2010 Adriana Durian Photography

©2010 Adriana Durian Photography

So … we are in the middle of nowhere … well, nowhere by my standards. Ragga slowly begins to pull over to the side of the road; I’m figuring there must be another excellent natural landscape ahead that she’d like me to see, and then I began to feel the car bumping along. A flat tire??…really??

Now, for those who know me, know that my ‘automobile’ education includes only that the gas station attendant checks the oil and tire pressure, and the garage down the road takes care of the rest. To say I’m a total dud when it comes to cars would be an understatement. I asked about BCAA [or rather, the Icelandic version] and Ragga just looked at me like I was from another planet — she rolled up her sleeves and grabbed the spare from the trunk.

We were seriously ‘out there’ and not many cars were passing by – all I could to help was give Ragga words of encouragement. After a lot of trying to get the jack to lift the car, she finally asked me for help — albeit only to let her know when a car was approaching so she could stop it and perhaps get some assistance.

She flagged down a couple from Belgium and the husband changed the tire. Egill Ar appeared to want to help, while Brynjar Leó and I felt it would be most useful if we just didn’t get in the way.

Ragga called her husband in Reykjavik who found a tire repair store in the next town where the owner would come down and open the shop and put on a new tire. The incredible part was that it was late Sunday afternoon – Iceland and Icelandic people just continued to amaze me with their hospitality and generosity.

©2010 Adriana Durian Photography

©2010 Adriana Durian Photography

©2010 Adriana Durian Photography

©2010 Adriana Durian Photography

©2010 Adriana Durian Photography

Námaskarð, Mine Pass, one of Icelands geothermal lagoons, is located between Námafjall and Dalfjalland, east of Námafjall and is 410 meters (1300 feet) above sea level.

Námaskarð is known for its volcanic clusters of bubbling mud pots, [solfataras], and its fizzing jets of volcanic gasses and steam [fumaroles].

Arriving at Námaskarð, the first thing I noticed was the incredible colours and geothermal activity [‘cause at this point I hadn’t yet stepped out of the car]; once out of the car, the odor coming from the sulphurous fumes was “interesting”, but manageable [the odor will not become the next best Icelandic perfume scent].

Because of the deep red & orange colours, steam rising from the ground, bubbling mud pots, and strong sulphurous odors, some call Námaskarð the Gateway to Hell. I thought it was heavenly and was intrigued by all the geothermal activity and colours.

~Click on individual images for larger view~

© 2010 Adriana Durian Photography

© 2010 Adriana Durian Photography

© 2010 Adriana Durian Photography

© 2010 Adriana Durian Photography

© 2010 Adriana Durian Photography

© 2010 Adriana Durian Photography

© 2010 Adriana Durian Photography

On the technical side, a sign at Námaskarð explains “Cold ground water seeps down to magna intrusions, where it is heated and transformed into steam, and then comes back to the surface. Along with the steam comes fumarole gas, which contains sulphur hydroxide which is responsible for the hot spring smell most people know. In hot spring areas, sulphur deposits are formed when fumarole gas mixes with air. Besides the sulphur deposits, a mixture of silica and gypsum forms around the fumaroles. In mud pots, fumarole gas rises through surface water, producing sulphuric acid, which makes the water acid. Rock and soil dissolve in this acid water, producing the mud which is typical of mud pots and their surroundings”.

I recently had the fortune to spend 2-weeks in Iceland. A very good friend of mine, Ragnhildur [Ragga] Adalsteinsdottir and her family welcomed me into their homes, and Ragga & her boys took me on a road trip around the country.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting some of the images taken during my Icelandic visit. Today, I start with images taken at the Goðafoss Waterfalls.

The Goðafoss  [waterfall of the gods or waterfall of the goði] is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland. It is located in the Mývatn district of North-Central Iceland at the beginning of the Sprengisandur highland road. The water of the river Skjálfandafljót falls from a height of 12 meters over a width of 30 meters.

~~~~Click on Images for a larger view~~~~