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Iceland Day 3 - Landmannalaugar

Added: July 05, 2008

Tags: Iceland geothermal lake lava mountains photos waterfalls
Monday 16th of June we plan to go to Landmannalaugar. Later we are going to move to the Skógar.

Landmannalaugar is geothermal and volcanic area full of unbelievable colors. It was expected to be one of highlights of our holidays in Iceland and I looked forward to it for long time. Problem is that it is rather cloudy and rain is expected.


Yesterday evening we overheard dialog of Swiss pair with local mountain ranger about going to Landmannalaugar and river crossing. It sounded terrible, we picked road F208 from north because there should not be any problem. He told them that it should be possible to cross river with their car, but it is hard to say now. And ours was only a few centimeters taller than theirs... So when they left we decided it is our turn.

Herman (ranger) was really glad he got another fools that he could teach how to cross river properly :-) We have learned he is there only a few days (but he shown us his certificate!), but that is OK, because a new national park Vatnajökull was opened only a few days ago and he manages that all.

He reviewed our car rental agreement and told us: go for it! (different, but similarly enthusiastic words). He told us he is going to show us a few places and tell us a few things. Cool! Nice places, with names and context!


"You need to cross river on foot before driving through it" were Herman's first words in the morning after greetings and itroduction with Zuzka. Well, this was a bit chilly news. We decided to look interested and back off when things get cold and wet :-)

Apart from us and Swiss pair, there is also Austrian pair in our group. We got to cars and drove behind Herman.

Tourist centre at Hrauneyjar.

Buy petrol here or...

... hope you have enough for 243km.

To our surprise Herman forgot to turn to F208. Well, he is new here, remember? Even more surprising was when we got to No Entry road. But it was only the first stop with nice outlook. We stopped next to dam and learned a bit about Iceland's energy. Now I understand why Iceland produces aluminium - it is way how to export electricity, that is cheap there!


Road to Landmannalaugar

We got back to the F208, that is rather terrible road, but nothing for our 4WD :-) We drove for several hours, taking many detours from F208, with many stops for taking pictures and to listen to Herman's talks.

It is realy interesting country here - black desert formed form lava, many small hills around, twisting river Tungnaá and after a rain it even does not cause a lot of dust behind car. Still it looked terrible in the evening.

Very nice junction of two rivers Tungnaá hjá Sigöldu. We learned that dirty one comes from melting glacier while blue one is from under ground. We learned a bit about glaciers, volcanos, weather, why south of Iceland does not have many harbours and that we should not step on moss, because it grows very slowly.
Herman enjoys explaining things and he is capable teacher that engages his students in process.


Well, this was weather that day, most of other photos have enhanced contrast to be nicer, but everything looked like this. It shows Tungnaá with its complicated water course and that annoying thing on thr left is what Icelanders call eye polution. I left it there to show you (as you would believe that... of course I am lazy to delete it, but I have spent so much time last few days processing photos, removing water drops from them, then fighting with Color Management that I do not care. It also shows that part of our route was on service road underneath power lines).

People used to cross Tungnaá here. But it was before cars existed. We are lucky we do not try it here :-)


Desert with Hekla in distance.

See those power lines? I told you! Herman's car, ours, one belonging to Swiss couple and finally car of Austrian couple.

Following 3 photos should shot lake Ljótipollur. But I am not 100% sure, its name might be switched with following lake. It is in crater with red slopes, very nice, but that weather! Raining and terrible wind. Half of my pictures have droplets on them.



Lake Hnausapollur next to previous one. I am not 100% sure about these names and they can be switched. Herman told us, but who will remember? We even were not able to repeat it.