First Glimpse of Iceland
3 August 2012  I have dreamt of going to Iceland  for a very long time. If I hadn't been  such a lame duck in physics in school  my first choice of profession would have  been volcanologist. That was many years  ago. But Iceland still remained on the top  of my list of travel destinations. Then I  received an airline newsletter one night  last November. Hamburg to Keflavík at an  unbeatable budget price for the best  travelling season: summer. Next morning  I got the permission of my collegues and  boss to be away for three weeks in August  and booked the flight on the same day.   The coming months I plagued all people around  me with my enthusiasm for vacation. Then  came the morning of departure. I hadn't slept  during the night due to a bunch of butterflies  in my stomach. At 5:30 am I closed  the appartment door behind me.
The plane took flight in northern direction over Denmark.  It seemed not much later when the coast of Norway could  be spotted in the distance. Then we crossed the Athlantic  and for a while the world below was blue dotted with little  white foam heads and a few ships. I listened to music and  zapped through the media system to busy myself. The flight  took just three hours and sooner than expected I spotted  Iceland before us with snowcapped mountains. Not long  afterwards the vast expanse of the Vatnajökull was visible  under the clouds, the biggest glacier on the European tectonic  plate. I could even distinguish Jökulsárlón. The glacier lagoon  was dotted with little white spots. Icebergs drifting into the open  Atlantic. Further along the coast green pasture, rivers and desert  like scenery stretched out. Houses appeared and a few minutes  later we touched ground. A friendly goodby of the board  staff, then everybody poured out into the terminal.
I picked my backpack from conveyor belt and headed  for the foreign currency exchange and bought a bus ticket.  The bus took us to a strange landscape. Lava covered  with moss. Mountains in the distance. Heather or thyme  was starting to add a touch of faint pink to the dominating  brown, black and green grounds. Everybody was dropped  off at their hotels. Mine proofed to be quite away from the  center at a loud road in an industrial area. The place looked  very unconvincing and after I saw the room and other  facilities I decided I did not want to stay there. It was still  morning. So I left the place and headed downtown to see,  if the tourist information could help me to find a bus connection and a nice place to stay somewhere outside of Reykjavík.
The Vatnajökull with its glacier tongues Fjallsjökull to the left ending in Fjallsárlon and the huge Breiđamerkurjökull in the center ending in the glacier lagoon Jökulsárlon
Breiđamerkurjökull and the glacier lagoon Jökulsárlon. Jökull = glacier, á (-r, -r) = river, lon = lagoon
Örćfajökull volcano with Iceland's highest peak: Hvannadalshnjúkur, 2109.6 metres. Hnjúkur = mountain peak.
From back to front: Skaftafell (1126 m), Skaftfellsjökull, Hrútsfjall, Hrútsfjallstindar (1875 m), Svínafellsjökull, Hvannadalshnjúkur (2109.6 m), Virkisjökull, Falljökull
Skeiđarárjökull, Skaftafellsfjöll, Vatnajökull and the dark spot in the middle of the glacier might be the volcano Grímsvötn, which last broke out in May 2011.
Hekla (1491 m)
Ţjórá (230 km) is the largest Icelandic river. This section lies in ţjórárdalur west of Hekla.
Top: Hvítá (white river), whose most famous sight is the waterfall Gullfoss. Below: ţjórá.
Above the Hvítá is the lake Hestvatn.
On the right hand side the rivers Sog and Hvítá are meeting and become the river Ölfusá, that soon afterwards flows through the town Sveitarfélagiđ Árborg
Where Ölfusá meets the Atlantic: Flói Nature Reserve
The curved road is ţrengslavegur. The horizontal road below the houses Suđurstrandarvegur. The road leading southwest is ţorákshafnarvegur.
Geitafell (509 m)
Stóra Eldborg ( = big fire castle)
Stóra Eldborg ( = big fire castle)
Lava falling down the cliffs at Suđurstrandarvegur (road 427) next to Geitahliđfjall east of Stóra Eldborg.
Along Reykjanesbraut (road no. 41) between Keflavík and Reykjavík