Sunday, December  15, 2019
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Elemental Iceland
The Short Report
This page exists as an alternative to the multi-section, multi-page main trip report. After all, the main report consists of thirty-seven pages of text and somewhere around seven hundred pictures. For some, this might be too much to bear, and I understand that.

So, I've created this section, which I call "The Short Report". I've taken the big report and condensed it down, from thirty-seven pages to two, and from seven hundred pictures to seventy pictures. It should give you a concise overview of what we did and saw, without incurring excessive eye strain or a caffeine overdose.

Note: If you've come here and are looking to read the main trip report, this isn't it! Please go here instead.
Before getting into individual pictures, here's a set-to-music three-minute montage of our nine-day odyssey in Iceland. Click directly on the image below to start it.

Video Montage, Elemental Iceland. - Click on video above to start

Day 1 - Southwestern Iceland and Reykjavik
Upon arriving in Iceland, we spent a day touring around the the small peninsula at the extreme southwestern tip of the country. There's quite a bit of interesting scenery and volcanic activity here, as well as Iceland's capital city, Reykjavik. We toured the peninsula, got a sense of the Icelandic countryside, then headed into Reykjavik to experience its vibe and to have a tasty evening meal at Icelandic Fish and Chips.
Arriving in Iceland
Admiring a sea stack
Chris and momma
Hallgrimskirkja
Downtown Reykjavik
Day 2 - Geothermal Power, a Natural Hot Spa, Geysers, and Waterfalls
Our second day in Iceland was a mixed bag of things, all of them somehow related to water: we visited a modern geothermal power plant - a significant bit of infrastructure for a volcanically-active country like Iceland; we hiked up a valley to a geothermally-heated "hot" stream, and found a nice spot to have a spa-like soak; we visited the active geyser field of Geysir (note the name similarity - Geysir is where the english word geyser comes from); we then visited Gulfoss, one of Iceland's biggest and most beautiful waterfalls.

At the end of the day, with the above whirlwind of visits completed, we drove along Iceland's south ring road to stay at a beautiful campground very close to another beautiful waterfall - Seljalandsfoss.
Extracting the Earth's heat
To a Hot Spring (er... River)
Nature's Spa
Geyser and Hot Spring
Strokkur's Bubble
Gullfoss
courtesy CHatko
Southern Icelandic Farm
Distant Seljalandsfoss
Dinner under Seljalandsfoss
Seljalandsfoss Sunset
Day 3 - A Backpack between Volcanoes, Part I
The morning of our third day was spent setting up for a 2-day backpack that would lead us up and over a mountain pass separating two of Iceland's active volcanoes - one of which was the famous Eyjafjallajökull volcano that erupted and disrupted air traffic in 2010. A bit of bus logistics allowed us to leave our rental van at the southern end of the backpack route, and dropped us off at the northern end, in the very scenic Þorsmörk valley.
Farmlands and Westman Islands
Bus to Þorsmörk
Lunch at Básar
The first part of the backpack, leading up from Þorsmörk to the pass, was one of the scenic highlights of our trip. Fantastic valley and mountain scenery (along with good weather) from the start of the hike all the way up to the pass.
courtesy BConnell
Scenic Crags
The Boys and the Glaciers
Nearing the plateau
courtesy CHatko
Crossing the plateau
Crossing Brattafönn
Towards Mt Doom
At the pass, we got to see the fresh lava flows deposited in the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull - still hot and steaming under our feet.

We spent the night in an austere mountain hut just beyond the pass.
courtesy BConnell
Jenn amidst cooling lava
The Baldvinsskali Hut
Dinner at Baldvinsskali
Day 4 - A Backpack between Volcanoes, Part II
Day four of our trip saw us hike down in slightly drizzly conditions from our mountain hut to the community of Skógar, at the southern terminus of our backpack. Along the way, we witnessed the most amazing parade of incredible waterfall after waterfall, culiminating at the bottom with the largest - Skógafoss - another of Iceland's most famous waterfalls.
courtesy CHatko
Desolate canyon
Double fall
Braided trail
Roland and Skógafoss
After the backpack, we spent a very pleasant few hours driving east along the ring road, stopping at several scenic and/or historic sites.
Reynisdrangar Sea Stacks
Church beneath Reynisfjall
Núpsstaður turf buildings
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[ Return to "Elemental Iceland" Home page | Introduction | To Iceland! | Day 1-Reykjanes Peninsula | Day 1-Reykjavik | Day 2-Hellisheiði Geothermal Plant | Day 2-Reykjadalur Hot River | Day 2-Geysir and Gullfoss | Day 2-Seljalandsfoss | Day 3-Backpack between volcanoes I | Day 4-Backpack between volcanoes II | Day 4-Skógar to Skaftafell | Day 5-Climbing Iceland's Highpoint | Day 6-Lagoons, Coasts, and Deserts | Day 7-Dettifoss | Day 7-Hverir, Krafla, and Lake Myvatn Area | Day 7-Turf Farm at Laufás | Day 7-Akureyri | Day 8-The Troll Peninsula | Day 8-Eirik's Homestead | Day 9-Final Tour
| Supplemental Images | Where we drove | The "Short Report" | Video Clip Index | GPS Data ]


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