Iceland

In many towns and villages in Iceland, a nearby mountain is often a symbol for the town. It is not uncommon for towns to claim that their precious little mountain is the most beautiful mountain in the whole country. This is probably truer in Gundarfjörður on the Snæfellsnes peninsula than in any other town in Iceland. Most people that visit the town of Grundarfjörður would also agree that they have a case or at least a rightful claim. The mountain Kirkjufell is probably one of the most beautiful mountains in Iceland.

A nearby mountain is often a symbol for the town

Skinny-dipping in Hell does not sound like a particularly pleasant idea. But this is what many visitors and locals love to do in the middle of the Icelandic Highland. Víti, or Hell as it translates into English, is one of the many fascinating natural wonders in Iceland. It is an explosion crater on the northeast shore of Öskjuvatn in the middle of the Icelandic Highland. The crater is approximately 150 meters in diameter and contains a geothermal lake of mineral-rich warm water.

Skinny-dipping in Hell

Twenty years ago, in January 1995, a 400-meter snow avalanche fell on the small village of Súðavík in the West Fjords. On the day of the avalanche, the weather was nothing less than devastating. People were buried in the snow and rescue squads faced number of obstacles and difficulties bringing help. The whole nation was in shock. After hours of digging and searching it was reviled that many homes had demolished, and fourteen people had lost their lives, among them eight children. Today the village has been rebuilt, although the area where the snow avalanche fell is empty.

20 years ago avalanche fell on the small village of Súðavík

Although Icelanders are not particularly religious as a nation, the church as an institution has always played a large role for many centuries. That is one of the reasons you see so many churches all over the country. There is a church in every single small town and village. There are also many churches in rural districts and rural municipals. In recent years, Icelanders have not built many churches since so many were constructed in the 19th and 20th century.

The church in the small village Tálknafjörður

The Highland in Iceland is a vast area of hundreds of magical and peaceful places. It is a wonderful place to hike. It is also an exciting place for adventures four-wheel driving, with tough roads and difficult river crossing. All marked and well-known roads. It is a place of mysterious stories and a place of large and unexpected natural forces, eruption and earthquakes. But even though the Icelandic Highland has many powerful natural forces, it is one of the best places on the planet to find total peace in heart and mind, your private little sanctuary.

The Highland in Iceland is a vast area

Food report: For many decades when traveling in Iceland outside Reykjavík, the best you could expect if you were looking for food, was a bad hamburger with french fries or a hot dog. Usually, the service was provided at a mini-market fast food grill by the roadside or at the entrance of a town or a village. Fortunately, this has changed dramatically for the better. Today you can find a reasonably good restaurant or café in almost all of the fifty small towns and villages around the country.

Old Café Rif on the Snæfellsnes peninsula has the best fish soup

Somehow sheep and horses seem to be everywhere when you are driving in Iceland. The Icelandic horse is an interesting animal and is different from horses in both Europe and North America. Some people claim that the Icelandic horse is more intelligent and more independent that other horses. At least they are powerful animals, and it is always interesting to have them part of a landscape photo.

Somehow sheep and horses seem to be everywhere

There are probably hundreds or thousands of waterfalls in Iceland. When driving from Ísafjörður to Reykjavík you drive by so many waterfalls of all kinds that it would probably stretch the trip up to eight or ten hours if you wanted to stop and photograph all of them. This waterfall is not famous in any tourist attraction catalog but quite interesting. The location is in the fjord of Seyðisfjörður in Ísafjarðardjúp at the bottom of the fjord. Like so many waterfalls in Iceland, it probably doesn't have a name.

There are probably hundreds or thousands of waterfalls in Iceland

There are many deserted and decaying buildings in the countryside in Iceland. Many of those houses have seen better times and played an important role in the lives of people and families. After changes in the agricultural society and people started to seek better lives in towns and villages the houses stopped playing their important role. Today most of those houses are interesting subjects for photographers. Depending on the light, day of time, the day of the year, side of the house, etc. the outcome can differ substantially.

There are many decaying buildings in the countryside in Iceland

To some people, it might seem strange how many swimming pools Icelanders have around the country. Even in tiny places that are so small that we don't define the cluster of houses as a village, there is a swimming pool. Probably because Iceland is an island and also because of the long history of fishing most Icelanders know how to swim. This tiny swimming pool is at Barðaströnd in the southern part of the Wes fjord peninsula. Although small and kind of remote, the swimming pool has a great view to Snæfellsjökull on the Snæfellsnes peninsula.

Yo will always find a swimming pool near by in Iceland

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