November, 2018

now browsing by month



While there are only four days left before Isabelle and Emile go back, VivaLaVida hits the road to the touristic Snæfellsness peninsula and its various natural attractions.
1. Lava flows in the ocean.

2. Recent volcanic geology…

3. … interspersed with a few small fjords.

4. The famous Kirkjufell mountain, so photographed but invaded by mass tourism. I chose a different perspective, not doing the same as everyone else… 😉

5. To escape the crowd, VivaLaVida climbs to the Snæfellsjökull ice cap for the night.

6. Camp at the crossroads of two deserted trails. Do you see VLV all the way down? 😀

7. Wind clouds while many snowfields persist even if we are only about 2,000 feet above sea level.

8. The next morning, the cap is hidden in the clouds, to the chagrin of Isabelle.

9. But the surroundings are worth seeing…

10. … and the view of the beach, 1,800 feet lower under the clouds, is beautiful.

11. Peninsula South coast.

12. Another highly visited spot, the lava cliffs of Londrangar.

13. The cute little church of Búdir.

14. From the South Coast Road.

15. Stop near a spectacular wall of basalt columns.

16. These pillars, which have a penta- and hexagonal shape of approx. 3-5 feet in diameter, are between 20 and 60 feet high for their visible part.

17. We walk to a pretty little church nestled at the bottom of a crater.

18. Wild camp at the edge of a small river…

19. At 23:00, while I go out to do some natural needs, surprise, I discover a sky adorned with Northern lights…

20. … as much in the Northeast as in the Southeast.

21. I hurry up to get camera and tripod. First of limited intensity, aurora intensifies while I frame VLV in the field.

22. Then without warning, in a few moments, it becomes incredibly intense!

23. Colorful purple fringes appear.

24. And the trails swirl at full speed throughout the sky.

25. Even with an ultra wide angle lens mounted, I can only encompass part of it…

26. I constantly shoot to immortalize this moment of intense contemplative emotion…

27. I feel so small under so much cosmic energy.

28. Then after a few minutes, the show calms down…

29. …

30. I had never been able to see a dawn so bright and dynamic aurora until then.

After more than two hours enjoying this beautiful surprise in the cold, frozen, I go back to bed and look forward to the heating in VivaLaVida…

Fjords of North West

1. Great weather in the morning!

2. Icebergs are still there.

3. Stop on our way to observe seals.

4. When some rest, others seem to play in the water.

5. Under the eyes of ubiquitous and placid sheeps.

6. Small lighthouse on the coast.

7. I draw the portrait to one of these famous Icelandic small horses with long manes.

8. Small church along a fjord. There are many, always small and often with only one house around.

9. As VivaLaVida crosses a small pass between two fjords, the horizon deepens.

10. …

11. To reach a large beach far west of the fjords, the road is endless: while in a straight line, the GPS indicates 55 miles, it will take 125 miles of winding road to get there!

12. The end of day light is spectacular.

13. Rauðarsandur beach is behind this point…

14. VivaLaVida will finally reach it at sunset, enjoying last sun rays on its pretty black church.

15. Calm morning on the inlet.

16. Rauðarsandur beach is Iceland’s largest and its color denotes with omnipresent black elsewhere. Wonder where does this colorful sand come from.

17. Refelction behind the beach.

18. Patchwork at rising tide.

19. Marine atmosphere…

20. In a nearby bay, stop near a ship wreck.

21. These fjords are beautiful and constitute the least visited part of Iceland and let us enjoy more solitude.

22. We camp on the bank of a fjord sheltering hundreds of swans.

Discovery of Snæfellsness Peninsula coming soon. 😉

North Coast and traditional habitat

1. The Ásbyrgi Canyon is amazing with its high basalt cliffs.

2. Beautiful bay on Arctic Ocean North of Husavik.

3. We stop there for the lunch…

4. … the opportunity for Emile to play on the beach.

5. The small harbor town of Husavik still has some old houses.

6. Its small harbor is famous for whale watching.

7. Old houses on the harbor.

8. We return to the bay to spend the night.

9. Sunset is gorgeous!

10. Deformed sun on the horizon. We even had two sunsets, the first on the cliff then, the race of the sun being almost tangent to the horizon, the second on the ocean.

11. Iceland is not that famous for offering colorful sunsets but this one was an exception.

12. On the road to Akureyi, the big city of the North.

13. Interesting feature: in Akureyri, to support the morale of the population during the last financial crash, the red lights are heart shaped… 😉

14. At the end of the day, we go to visit the historic Glaumbær farm, one of the few unspoiled which is now a museum.

15. House from the beginning of the last century.

16. The windows often had candles, supposed to limit the heat loss of the little insulated glass…

17. The farm, older, is partially buried for better insulation. Buildings are contiguous to limit areas exposed to cold.

18. Built in peat and covered with peat and moss, it was the best way to protect oneself from the cold for poor people.

19. Not far away, the beautiful old church of Vidimyrarkirkia.

20. Continuing our journey on the north coast, we come across this curious road going directly into the ocean!

21. Arrival at the end of the day on the site of Hvítserkur Rock.

22. A spectacular lava block that rises on the ocean and evokes a troll or some extinct dinosaur grazing algae…

23. Húnafjordur Bay.

24. We camp near this little house…

25. … and discover large icebergs far on the horizon.

Next coming soon in the Northwest fjords.

Lava and waterfalls of North-East

1. In the Lake Mývatn area, a pond along the trail leading to some lava tunnel.

2. Isabelle exceeds her fear and descends into the tunnel entrance.

3. Here, the lava textures are pretty incredible.

4. Flanks of Hverfjall crater.

5. Lake Mývatn and its lava concretions in the rain.

6. …

7. Rainwear, with smile. 😉

8. Rainwear again.

9. Wild camp in some grassland South of the lake.

10. Light beam…

11. Sunset sky.

12. …

13. The next day, we seek to reach Aldeyjarfoss waterfall by a little used trail and, after about 35 miles and some pretty wet swamps, VivaLaVida arrives in front of this powerful river. The abandoned ford doesn’t inspire me much and I give up attempting its crossing, especially as even with binoculars, I cannot distinguish the trail on the other side…

14. Lunch time.

15. Moor to infinity…

16. Here is the spectacular Aldeyjarfoss !

17. The river dives into a deep canyon with basalt organs.

18. I go down in the canyon for a less classic composition.

19. Not far upstream, we discover another waterfall: Hrafnabjargafoss. What a pronunciation! 😉

20. Secondary falls at sunset…

21. Skjálfandafljót River downstream from Aldeyjarfossen.

22. Further downstream, the famous Godafoss, the falls of God, such touristic because located along the road nb1, the paved road that goes around Iceland.

23. A few miles eastward, we visit another waterfall: Detifoss. It is said to be the most powerful waterfall in Europe.

24. Selfoss, a few hundred yards upstream.

We finish the day at the very neat Ásbyrgi campground where the shower is welcomed! The next article will be in a more maritime atmosphere… 🙂