Today I continued heading east. The first stop on the route was a gorge, called Fjaðrárgljúfur. It’s located just a mile or so off the ring road so was easy to find. A path leads you along the top of one side, and looking back from the end makes for an impressive view.

fjaðrárgljúfur is a canyon around 2km long off the ring road in southern Iceland

16mm, f/8, 1/8 sec, ISO100
fjaðrárgljúfur is a canyon around 2km long off the ring road in southern Iceland

fjaðrárgljúfur is a canyon around 2km long off the ring road in southern Iceland

29mm, f/8, 1/20 sec, ISO160
fjaðrárgljúfur is a canyon around 2km long off the ring road in southern Iceland

fjaðrárgljúfur is a canyon around 2km long off the ring road in southern Iceland

17mm, f/10, 1/8 sec, ISO100
fjaðrárgljúfur is a canyon around 2km long off the ring road in southern Iceland

On my way back to the main road, I passed a couple of Iceland horses (they’re very common, and I’ve passed quite a few “rent-a-horse” farms!)

Friendly Icelandic pony near Fjaðrárgljúfur

35mm, f/5.6, 1/100 sec, ISO160
Friendly Icelandic pony near Fjaðrárgljúfur

Back on the road, I continued through more lava fields, then some fields (with sheep all marching in a line- seems suspicious)

Do sheep normally march in line?

35mm, f/5.6, 1/125 sec, ISO160
Do sheep normally march in line?

Then more lava fields with dramatic mountains at the edge (the one below being Lómagnúpur, some 688 metres high)

Large mountain in the Katla Geopark area of Iceland

16mm, f/8, 1/200 sec, ISO160
Large mountain in the Katla Geopark area of Iceland

I then ended up at Skaftafell, a national park flanked by glaciers. There’s a whole bunch of hikes here, I did one that first took me up to a lookout point over one of the glaciers, then looped back round past Svartifoss waterfall. The lava columns around the waterfall (similar to Giants Causeway) inspired the design of Reykjavik church.

Glacier tongue coming down from Vatnajokull, taken from Skaftafell

16mm, f/11, 1/80 sec, ISO100
Glacier tongue coming down from Vatnajokull, taken from Skaftafell

Svartifoss waterfall. The basalt columns inspired the design of the church in Reykjavik.

0mm, f/0, 1/40 sec, ISO200
Svartifoss waterfall. The basalt columns inspired the design of the church in Reykjavik.

Snow covered peaks higher up in the Vatnajokull park, taken from the Svartifoss trail.

91mm, f/7.1, 1/250 sec, ISO100
Snow covered peaks higher up in the Vatnajokull park, taken from the Svartifoss trail.

Once I was done at Skaftafell I filled up (both the car and myself), before continuing east. I was heading towards the glacier lagoon Jökulsárlón, but there is another smaller one just before you get to it- Fjallsárlón.

I had time to spare so looked here first:

Fjallsárlón glacial lake, a few km west from the more famous Jökulsárlón

35mm, f/8, 1/160 sec, ISO100
Fjallsárlón glacial lake, a few km west from the more famous Jökulsárlón

Fjallsárlón glacial lake, a few km west from the more famous Jökulsárlón

25mm, f/8, 1/125 sec, ISO100
Fjallsárlón glacial lake, a few km west from the more famous Jökulsárlón

At Jökulsárlón I first went to the beach. Icebergs that break off the glacier into the lagoon head out to sea via a small river (the main Route 1 crosses this) before getting washed back up onto the black sand beach.

Lumps of ice on the black sand beach at Jökulsárlón.

16mm, f/6.3, 1/250 sec, ISO100
Lumps of ice on the black sand beach at Jökulsárlón.

Lumps of ice on the black sand beach at Jökulsárlón.

22mm, f/7.1, 1/400 sec, ISO100
Lumps of ice on the black sand beach at Jökulsárlón.

Lumps of ice on the black sand beach at Jökulsárlón.

93mm, f/5.6, 1/100 sec, ISO100
Lumps of ice on the black sand beach at Jökulsárlón.

I then went back over the road to the lake-side for a look around – it’s pretty impressive (and has been used in several movies including a couple of Bond ones). I also saw a seal but he’d vanished by the time I switched to my longer lens 🙁

Jökulsárlón is popular with photographers:

Jökulsárlón is very popular for taking photos!

151mm, f/5.6, 1/30 sec, ISO100
Jökulsárlón is very popular for taking photos!

And you can see why…

Sunset view of the ice floating in Jökulsárlón

16mm, f/8, 1/100 sec, ISO100
Sunset view of the ice floating in Jökulsárlón

Small lump of ice on the shore of Jökulsárlón

101mm, f/5.6, 1/160 sec, ISO100
Small lump of ice on the shore of Jökulsárlón

Ice floating in the water at Jökulsárlón, late afternoon.

35mm, f/8, 1/80 sec, ISO100
Ice floating in the water at Jökulsárlón, late afternoon.

Ice floating in the water at Jökulsárlón, late afternoon.

18mm, f/7.1, 1/30 sec, ISO100
Ice floating in the water at Jökulsárlón, late afternoon.

Once the sun dropped behind the thicker clouds, I continued the final few km to my overnight stop. After grabbing dinner in a nearby restaurant, I drove back up to the lake as the sky had cleared. A band of light was visible in the sky, and the eastern end brightened for a while. Not a spectacular display (more grey to eye, rather than green), but came out ok on camera.

Northern lights over Jökulsárlón.

16mm, f/4, 15 sec, ISO2500
Northern lights over Jökulsárlón.


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Today I continued heading east. The first stop on the route was a gorge, called Fjaðrárgljúfur. It’s located just a mile or so off the...

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Today I continued heading east. The first stop on the route was a gorge, called Fjaðrárgljúfur. It’s located just a mile or so off the...

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