Iceland – Circumnavigation

I’ve just got back from a month of travel in New Zealand but I feel that I must  wind up my traveler’s tales from Iceland before continuing on to the latest expedition.

My last posts from Iceland were about the ‘Book of Baer’ that I was working on in my residency and the exhibition that we held at Baer on the last day. The next day Sandra arrived after a long flight from NY and a drive up from Reykjavik (tired, jet lagged and driving in a foreign country – brave lass!). We rested a day at Baer to give Sandra a chance to catch her breath and have a sniff around.

Then it was off on our circumnavigation of Iceland.  East across the Northern edge savoring the surprising and powerful waterfalls of Goðafoss (trans. – a good place to hurl carven images) and Dettifoss (trans – dental floss) en route.

Goðafoss where in 1000AD the Icelandic Loregiver Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði abnegated Nordic paganism in favor of the minority religion Christianity for his whole nation by hurling carved icons of his deposed gods over the falls.

Goðafoss where in 1000AD the Icelandic Loregiver Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði abnegated Nordic paganism in favor of the minority religion Christianity for his whole nation by hurling carved icons of his deposed gods over the falls.

Dettifoss, Europe's most powerful waterfall. Surrounded by a rocky wasteland with no good reason readily apparent for such a mighty flow.

Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall. Surrounded by a rocky wasteland with no good reason readily apparent for such a mighty flow.

My friend and Icelandic cultural guide John Zurier, compared it to watching 50,000 gallons of cement being poured every minute.

We continued our way across the barren northern landscape savoring cracted laval fields and bubbling fumaroles (love saying that).

Cracked lava field

Cracked lava field

lava closeup

lava closeup

bubbling fumarole!

bubbling mud pits too!

Until Highway 1 dissolved into a mesh of dirt roads all feeding more or less East. After winding up and down creek lined and troll infested (presumably) hills we wound down on to a mist clouded South East Coast.

Lowering fog and drizzle

Lowering fog and drizzle.

Winding further south we finally saw the advancing tongues of glaciers flowing down from Iceland’s huge Southern Ice cap.

"sliding enexorably" or catastrophically evaporating? The latter it would seem.

“sliding enexorably” or catastrophically evaporating? The latter it would seem.

After several fleeting glimpses from afar, suddenly the highway crosses a lagoon of ice calved off from the nearby glacier.

Glaciers at the beach - only in Iceland!

Glaciers at the beach – only in Iceland!

Subtle and seductive color.

Subtle and seductive color.

Tourists taking a closer look!

Tourists taking a closer look! quick! quack!

Finally, after a huge lamb dinner, we arrived at our campsite at the foot of Skaftafell.

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