#iceland

The glacier Mýrdalsjökull is a very strange beast in the flora of natural wonders in Iceland. As the fourth largest ice cap in Iceland, approximately 600 square kilometers in size, it puts its mark on all its neighbors in all directions.  It is the ever- percent beauty seen from the south shore at Sólheimasandur. It is a dominating part of the landscape from at the east side at Mýrdalssandur. On the north side in the Highland, it is on your south side when driving on the Fjallabaksleið Syðri at Mælifellssandur.  On the west site, it contributes to the magnificent landscape in the oasis Þórsmörk.  It displays the stunning background of snowy white mountains for enjoyment and beauty of the landscape. But despite all the beauty and peace, the glacier throws at us from all directions it has a very dark side, it is the home of one of the most destructive forces in the Icelandic nature, the dangerous volcano Katla.

The beauty hiding the beast

With its 200-meter thick ice cap, the glacier has often, throughout the centuries and through Iceland’s geological history, transformed into a great force when Katla has erupted. When the glowing magma contacts the ice all hell breaks loose when the layer of ice starts to melt and glacial water loaded with ash, sand, rocks and lava goes out of control.  This odd unity of contrasting forces has often transformed and changed the landscape on all sides of the glacier again and again.  Sometimes forming vast canyons like Markarfljótsgljúfur on the west side or totally destroying the whole landscape for thousands of square kilometers on the east.  The most horrible thing is the fact that this could occur at any time and is not necessarily part of a long gone accent history.  Currently, it is even predicted by our leading geologists that Katla is about to erupt; it is actually overdue.

There are many interesting places around Mýrdalsjökull

Notwithstanding the danger, there are many captivating places to visit around the glacier Mýrdalsjökull.  Sólheimajökull outlet glacier being one. It is even an interesting place to visit to take a tour on a snowmobile. Mind you that today the glacier and the terrifying volcano Katla are monitored by some of the most capable geologists on the plant with state of the art technology.  Whatever the outcome might be when Katla starts to melt Mýrdalsjökull with its surfacing magma, we will know in time enough to run away under the supervision of Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management in Iceland.

The glacier Mýrdalsjökull is a very strange beast in the flora of natural wonders in Iceland.

Glaciers are a fascinating part of the Icelandic landscape.  Glaciers and Glacier tongues are often in such proximity to inhabited areas that they are an inseparable part of daily life.

​The interesting thing about glaciers
May 14 2017

If you want to keep your cost to a minimum when traveling in Iceland, you have some choices despite the popular believe that Iceland is expensive.  One thing you need to do though is spending some time preparing and looking carefully into many options for transportation, accommodation, and food.  The more you prepare and the better your organize your vacation, the less expensive it will be. One option is to take advantage of the many campsites around the country to lower your accommodation cost.

In Iceland you are not allowed to camp anywhere - it is not legal.

The weather is one of the most unpredictable factors people live with and need to accept in Iceland. This applies both visitors and citizens all year round, independent of seasons.  Although the Meteorological Office in Iceland issues a daily and weekly forecasts the weather often behaves differently.

If you plan a holiday in Iceland it is a good idea to study the weather

Seven years ago the eruption at Eyjafjallajokull volcano grabbed the attention of the world.  In recent times few eruptions have caught a similar attention.  It was almost the only thing the news media discussed for days. One of the main reasons was, of course, the concern that the volcanic ash the eruption spewed into the atmosphere would damage aircraft engines.  Consequently, most of the airspace in Europe was closed down for days and all aircraft grounded with consequence for hundreds of thousands of people.

The Eyjafjallajokull eruption put Iceland on the map for many people

Hólmsárgljúfur is a small but beautiful canyon in the river Hólmsá.  The river originates in the small glacier Torfajökull in the Highland and finds its way through a large lagoon in the Syðri Fjallabak area, Hólmsárlón, flowing through the beautiful landscape of Brytalækir all the way to the river Kúðafljót near the Ring Road.  About 20 kilometers before merging with Kúðafljót the river enters the canyon by the small mountain Atlaey or Atlis Island, an island on dry land.

A spectacular peaceful place that few visit that requires a small hike and a 4X4

Visiting Hólmsárgljúfur is a short but interesting drive from the Ring Road. The drive is about 15 kilometers north on road nr. 209 Hrífunesvegur.  You only need to drive about 5 kilometers on that road and take a turn west on the mountain road F232 to drive the ten additional kilometers.  If you like hiking, you might want to hike around the small mountains Atlaey and Háey as part of that tour. A walk that gives you a great view of the small canyon and the landscape at Syðri Fjallabak. This is a great option in Iceland for those who want to take the time to prepare, get a glimpse of the Highland and visit a place few people visit.

A river and canyon at risk because of a plan to build a dam and a power plant

One of the advantages if you climb the two small mountains Atlaey and Háey are to get a view of the Highland. To the west and north of the mountains, you see an area that the power company Landsvirkjun plans to drown to build a dam.  Another sad plan to build a hydroelectric power plant.  It is also recommended to walk by the canyon a bit to the east before circling around the two mountains.   It is fascinating for photographers to get a view of the river on the sand west of the canyon and it is also a great view to enjoy.  On the west side of the two mountains, both bearing the names of islands, there is a beautiful creek with wonderful birdlife. 
 

The Hólmsárgljúfur canyon that few have visited

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