Iceland in October
Iceland in October 2019
Impressions of a photographic journey and road trip with my friend Friedemann in a 4x4 camper van. Stops: Reykjavík – Landmannalaugar – Seljalandsfoss – Diamond Beach – Vík – Stokksnes
Arriving in Reykjavík
We arrived in Reykjavík at blue hour in the evening. We where very lucky to catch the opera house ‘Harper’ and the Sun Voyager sculpture (Icelandic: Sólfar) on the way to our apartment. We even managed to take some freehand shots of both.
After we had some dinner in a bar we decided to come back for some aurora shots at the Sun Voyager. KP level forcast was high and the sky was clear – a good opportunity to catch nice aurora pics.
From Reykjavík to Landmannalaugar
On the next day we started with a fantastic breakfast with the most famous cinnamon rolls at Brauð bakery. We bought also some really good bread for our next days in Landmannalaugar.
This bakery is very close to one of the highlights in Reykjavík, Hallgrímskirkja, designed by the architect Guðjón Samúelsson. We visited the church early in the morning at sunrise.
After that we picked up our camper van, shopped for food and beverages and started our trip.
On the way to Landmannalaugar we had some photo stops, one was at Þjóðveldisbær, a replica of an old farm house which was buried under volcanic ash in 1104 following the eruption of the volcano Hekla.
Later we had to cross some little creeks wich flow through this fantastic volcanic landscape. The last one, close to the campsite at Landmannalaugar, was filled with warm spring water.
We spent the night under a clear sky filled with stars and aurora.
A day in Landmannalaugar
We started our first day at Landmannalaugar before sunrise. It was a clear cold morning with some foggy layers around the camp site. We discovered a lava field with colourful mountains and a sulphurous smell in the air. We got some fantastic impressions of this area and returned to our car for breakfast in the sun and a relaxing bath in the hot spring nearby.
In the hot spring it wasn’t as relaxing as it could have been, because a loud beer drinking group of tourists came along. But it could have been worse. After that a group of approximately 60 hikers overran the pool. I guess we were lucky, in a way.
In the afternoon we took a walk of about 6 km round the lava field. Little clouds started covering the sky. They moved very slowly because there was no wind. A very special thing in Iceland. We discovered a very interesting and beautiful landscape and some special views over the lava field.
We took pictures until nightfall, then quickly packed our equipment, strapped on the headlamps and walked back to the campsite. We returned to our van in total darkness. Hungry, tired and happy.
Landmannalaugar and Seljalandsfoss
In the morning of day four we started very early to be on location before sunrise. Friedemann and me took different routes. I preferred an easier track because of my torn meniscus seven weeks before. Normally you should stay together in the Icelandic nature due to possibly rapidly changing weather conditions, but we felt we could risk it. The air was clear and windless, we knew our routes and we even could keep eye contact over great distances. We agreed to meet around 10 o’clock.
It was an absolutely stunning morning. The calm weather allowed to catch the steam from the hot springs rising vertically into the air. You can find the best shots of this spot in my Iceland Collection, with pictures from October 2019 and May 2015.
We were back at the camper van at noon, had a quick lunch and drove to the next campsite, close to Seljalandsfoss. It was a very basic camp site, an old farm house with toilets in the stable. The plan was to get some evening shots of the setting sun seen from behind the waterfall.
It’s quite difficult to take pictures there, because many people walk behind the waterfall and it’s very wet.
Gljúfrabúi to Svartifoss
In the mornign wie started with the spectacular Gljúfrabúi, it’s a little cave with a narrow entrance zone and the water is falling into the cave. Well it’s very wet inside and a perfect testing area for your rainproof clothes.
Than we started to Svartifosss waterfall, with a little stop at Vík for lunch. We found a brewery with fantastic beer and burgers and decided to come back again.
Well we arrived about 2 hours before sunset at the Skaftafell Camping, arranged the registration and started directly form the campsite with an 45 min. walk up to the waterfall. You could first see it from a plateau, from this point the way becomes a small trecking path, down to the waterfall. In front of the waterfall is a comfortable visitors plattform.
Back on the campsite we enjoyed the new clean washing facililities. They are realy rare on icelandic campsites.
Diamonds Beach, Jökulsárlón and Vatnajökull
We arrived early in the morning at the Diamonds Beach to catch some nice sunrise pictures with some icebergs on the black sand.
On this very morning were just small ice cubes and no icebergs at the beach but the dramatic sky with the glimps of sunlight at the horizon was fantastic.
After some good pictures at the beach I tried to get some pictures with sunlight and heavy clouds of Jökulsárlón and Vatnajökull on the other side of the road. The weather was changeing very fast and rain comes in. It was possible to get some quick shots of the glacier, the lagon and some seals between the icebergs with sunlight.
In the afternoon on the way back to our campsite, we had a little stop over at diamonds beach. This time it was very very crowded with people an huge icebergs on the beach.
It was funny to watch people posing for social media on the cubes, making fashion clips and much more.
After some minutes an old man from India talked to me because of camera technique and his visit of Iceland with his family, he was very polite and friendly. Than he said he is a soothsayer and he wants to read me. Well I gave him my hand and he read me with the prophecy of a long and happy life. He made my day.