Glacial River in the Icelandic Highlands

 Date: 15-Sep-2019 Category:

Glacial River in the Icelandic Highlands

The Twists and Turns of a Glacial River

In late August/early September we spent 2,5 weeks exploring the remote Icelandic Highlands. The weather was moody and rain ponchos were an essential accessory during our trip, but we absolutely loved all the drama caused by the isolated showers and the sunlight occasionally breaking through. Guess we never saw that many rainbows in such a short period of time! And most of the days were practically calm, absolutely perfect for visiting Iceland's usually storm-tossed interior. Besides that, the preceding warm summer allowed us to scout a lot of new places, since the majority of the rivers carried less water than usual and the fords were rather easy to cross with our Toyota Landcruiser (the best rental car for touring the Highlands besides the Land Rover Defender that we had last year). To our delight the large icefield on the way to Hrafntinnusker within Fjallabak Nature Reserve finally melted away, providing quicker access to this fascinating geothermal area far off the beaten path. I loved exploring all those bubbling mud pools in Austur Reykjadalir and we also found a little geyser (maybe the mysterious Kátur?).

Basically we drove on all the main mountain roads (labeled with "F" in their names) surrounding the glaciers Mýrdalsjoküll, Eyjafjallajökull, Tindfjallajökull and Torfajökull as well as some less travelled and pretty adventurous jeep trails. Steffen enjoyed crossing all those innumerous creeks and streams, and once we even forded a LAKE! The "road" completely disappeared for about 500 m/ 550 yards under the lake's water. I enjoyed all that river fording a little bit less to be honest ;-) but I loved where those roads took us! Lots of new trailheads and new vistas. Some of them - such as the one featured as this month's image - left us breathless, not just due to the elevation covered but also because of the scenery being so much "out of this world". We did some "Aerial Photography in Iceland" a couple of years ago, so we were already familiar with glacial rivers and their crazy patterns and colors. But standing there all alone in the middle of nowhere, far away from any paved roads on top of a mountain with a 360° view is a whole different experience.

Last year Steffen and I agreed on doing "just one more trip" to Iceland. All we needed was "a week or two" to visit a couple of places in the Icelandic Highlands, we hadn't been able to see yet. And now although doing most of the things we had in mind, we returned home with even more stuff on our bucket list. And what's worse: This photography trip was one of our best and most productive so far, so I am not sure when (or "if"...) we will be ever "done with Iceland". ;-)

To be continued... (and more images coming up during the next weeks!)


Image data: 1/10 s at f/16, ISO 100; Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM at 24 mm, Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Related Links: Our images from Iceland