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We were up early and had a small breakfast at the hostel in Seydisfjordur. It was May 25th and the first leg of our trip would take us back over the mountains to Egilsstaðir. Our scheduled stops for the day were Selfoss, Dettifoss, Goðafoss Namafjall and Myvatn.

Selfoss-Iceland-16-6-_2111

We encountered this small waterfall as we were leaving Seydisfjordur. It would have been great to have more time to explore the area around Seydisfjordur because it has so many waterfalls.

Waterfall-outside-Seydisfjordur-Iceland-16-6-_2004

As we drove up the steep winding road out of Seydisfjordur we passed a group of cyclists heading into the highlands. I’m not sure cycling around Iceland is the best thing to do. The roads are narrow and there are no shoulders on the roads.

There was still a lot of snow in the mountains. There were not many places to pull off and take photos. Fortunately early in the morning there was almost no traffic so we just stopped in the middle of the road and took a few photos.

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Highway-93-Seydisfjordur-to-Egilsstaðir-Iceland-16-6-_2013

As we came back down to Egilsstaðir which is the largest town of East Iceland and its main service, transportation, and administration center for the region. We stopped to take photos of the large forest outside the town. Large is a relative term. It was a large forest for Iceland but nothing like the forest on the farm.

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We stopped at a bakery on our way out of town and purchased some treats to go with our free coffee from the gas station. As we drove toward the highlands along the Jökulsá á Dal River we encountered a number of waterfalls.

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We soon reached the highlands where there was still a lot of snow. There were small ponds where the snow had started to melt and some of the rivers were open in spots. We did spot quite a few Whooper Swans swimming around in small ponds. Unfortunately there was never a place to stop to get a photo.

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In the USA almost every gas station has something to clean the bugs off of the car window. We had been driving for eight days and had yet to find anything to clean the windows with at gas stations. Maybe it was too early in the season because there were not that many bugs out. The red neck solution to the problem was to stop along the road and use some snow to clean off the windows. I should note that we later discovered that many gas stations have an area where you can wash your car for free. Once we found this out we did take advantage of it.

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Our next stop was two of the major waterfalls in northern Iceland. We crossed the bridge over the Jokulsa a Fjollum River before making the turn to Selfoss and Dettifoss.

Bridge-over-Jokulsa-a-Fjollum-River-Iceland-16-6-_2090

On the road to Selfoss we started encountering more snow. When we reached the parking lot it had not been totally cleared of snow and what was cleared was almost full of cars. We had to drive through some snow to find a spot to park. The trail into the falls was covered with deep snow and there were only a few tracks that were packed down. Signs along the trail indicated that there was deep water below the snow so it was best to stay on the trails. To make matters worse it started to rain just as we were leaving to hike to the falls.

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Selfoss was the first waterfall we hiked to. Conditions were not very good. It was raining and the viewing area was limited and photographers had to take turns to get their photos. I managed to get a few shots.

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Selfoss-Iceland-16-6-_2111

We then backtracked and walked over to Dettifoss. Conditions were much worse and it was difficult to get any good photos. Clearly this is a place that should be visited later in the summer. Our original plan was to photograph the waterfalls from both sides. Unfortunately the road to the other side was closed. We found out a few days later that access from this side was also closed because of poor trail conditions.

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This was the only day on our 21 day trip that we encountered any rain and this only occurred while we were at the waterfalls. We started to wonder why we spent so much time selecting rain gear and testing it out before we left home. Of course if we didn’t have rain gear it would have rained every day.

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As we left the waterfall area it started to clear and there were some beautiful views of the highlands and the mountains. our next planned stop was Goðafoss. However when we reached this waterfall the weather was not good and the wind was blowing so hard that it was almost impossible to stand up. We decided to keep going to Namafjall.

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When we reached Namafjall the winds were howling. We thought this might be one of the times when the door would blow off of the car. We sat it the car for a little while then took a couple of quick shots of people looking at the geysers.  What appears to be steam blowing in the photo is actually volcanic ash blowing around. We decided to keep going.

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When we reached Reykjahlíð we stopped at the visitors center. They said there were gale warnings out. This was a bit rare for this time of year but occurred several times a week in the winter. Sounds like a fun place to live. Given the weather we decided to drive on to our Laugar where we stayed in a guesthouse.

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Called it an early day because of the weather. It was difficult to unload the car because of the wind. We had a choice of eating at the guesthouse for 6,000 kroner each or driving back to the N1 station. The N1 pizza was very good. We even broke down and purchased a beer.

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The wind continued to blow throughout the night. The whole building shook.

More photos and a complete listing of my Icelandic blogs can be found on my website.

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2 Comments

  1. A great pictorial representation of Iceland, thank you!


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