Monday, June 29, 2015

Photo Tour completed, Training Wheels Off and now Rolling on our Own,

As of last Thursday, our Photo Tour with a group of a dozen hardy photography nerds has wrapped up.

The map below depicts the general itinerary for the organized photo trip, we've been sharing. It starting with #1 at the international airport at Keflavik. We then toured a bit of #2 Reykjavik, meeting up with our group, 2 leaders (William and Iurie), and 1 driver (Bjorn), before heading north. See numbered spots where we stopped for the night this past week. Our route was altered a bit between # 5 & # 6, due to persistent snows closing the roads in the Highlands area, between the two stops. After making it out eastward slightly beyond the lagoon at Jokulsarlon, # 8,  we returned westward along the southern coast to Reykjavik. After a final dinner together and farewells, the group members dispersed to return home or to stay for a few more days. Paul and I rented a car and headed north and west to Iceland's second largest city, Akureryi. Our plan is to travel the Ring Road, Route 1, around the perimeter of Iceland, mostly to northern and eastern sites we've not yet sampled.

Leaving Reykjavik, we were blessed with sunny weather so paused to take in some of the scenery and make a few side trips. Below are photos of spectacular Viking era look-outs used to keep watch over the countryside and fjords below or withstand sieges from invaders.

Clear skies and cheerful dandelions create a bucolic setting for a precious stone church on the Vatnsnes peninsula.

Boats in the Hofsos harbor.

Snowclad mountains feed the waterfalls and lush grasses/flowers below on the road to Siglufjordur on the Trollaskagi peninsula.

 Siglufjordur was once the beneficiary of the "Silver from the Sea", and the herring processing capital of the world when the herring industry boomed. When the fish suddenly disappeared, the boats and businesses fell idle, decimating the population. The area has slowly recovered by diversifying into other businesses. Much of the material involved in the herring processing was re-purposed - including the scraps that went into constructing the two gents below and the unusual chairs for outdoor seating.

 This photo shows the light in far northern Iceland at 10 PM. Time for more sunscreen! The sunsets are very prolonged and the sunrise starts around 2 AM. 

So, though our organized photo tour has wrapped up, Paul and I will be driving on Route 1, the "Ring Road" in a clock-wise fashion, around the perimeter of the country during the next few days to taste a bit more of what Iceland has to offer visitors. We'll be sending a few more pics from "Part Deux"

Barbara and Paul

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