Tourists at the Gates of Hell

Monday 8th July 2019, 1.55pm (day 2,874)

Hverir, 8/7/19

Astonishing vistas throughout our road trip today, to the east of Akureyri. Could have chosen any one of a dozen shots of the active volcanic region around the lake of Myvatn and the lava fields of Krafla. This one of Clare and Joe at the mudpools of Hverir wins though — because of the sexy curves of the hills behind, and because of their seemingly casual attitude towards wandering around a place that is as near as I’ve ever experienced to what it must be like in Mordor, or the Gates of Hell. This is, I guess, what I came to Iceland to see; something that surely doesn’t exist in many other parts of the world, and certainly not in Europe.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , ,

On the road north of Dalvik

Sunday 7th July 2019, 3.15pm (day 2,873)

North of Dalvik, 7/7/19

Reykjavik was fun and — after the first 30 hours or so — sunny and quite warm, but what we saw there could, to be honest, have been seen anywhere. Time to get out in the wilds. This morning we flew to Akureyri in the north of Iceland, picked up a car and headed further north still, and on the road between Dalvik and Ólafsfjör∂ur, there came this scene. I tried hard to get all four things in the viewfinder — the sheep, the island of Hrisey to top left, the mountain, the waterfall; although one result is that this almost looks like I’ve taken the halves of two photos and mashed them together. But I still like it. This is what was hoped for…. Now all that is needed is some volcanic activity. But that stereotype can be sought out tomorrow.

I’ll tell you what though — of all the pictures I have taken in July, whether they appeared on this blog or not, this is definitely the coldest. I would say it was about 5ºC at this point and virtually sleeting. The sheep must be used to it, I guess: they look contented enough.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Joe and the glaciers

Saturday 6th July 2019, 11.20am (day 2,872)

Joe and glacier pix, 6/7/19

As it says on the relevant website: “The exhibition gives visitors the chance to delve into the collections of six different cultural institutions: from thousand-year-old treasures to the latest in Icelandic art. Its focus is on the visual expression of the ideas we have about the world, our environment and ourselves. The materials and techniques may change over the years, but the viewpoints remain the same.”

So other people’s art again; here, 42 (yes!) photographs of Icelandic glaciers, with Joe to give some perspective. He said he liked the place too….

Tagged , , , , , , ,

View of Esjan, from Reykjavik harbour

Friday 5th July 2019, 11.35am (day 2,871)

Esjan from Reykjavik, 5/7/19

The photography in Iceland up to today had been unspectacular but that’s because the sun hadn’t been shining. Today… it was. This is Esjan, or Mount Esja, seen from Reykjavik across the fjord. The green pimple? No idea, but it’s cute.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

4th July gathering, Hallgrimskirkja

Thursday 4th July 2019, 5.05pm (day 2,870)

Hallgrimskirkja, 4/7/19

The Hallgrimskirkja is Reykjavik’s most distinctive architectural landmark. The design is meant to reflect basalt columns and thus the country’s volcanic geology. The statue in front is of Leif Eiriksson, who got to America several centuries before Columbus; it was presented by the USA to Iceland in 1930 and today seemed to be the focus of a 4th July gathering as a result, although maybe it was just a big bunch of tourists celebrating the fact that after 36 hours of rain since we arrived yesterday morning, the sun finally put in an appearance. Let’s hope it stays….

Tagged , , , , , , ,

The Museum of Icelandic Punk, Reykjavik

Wednesday 3rd July 2019, 2.20pm (day 2,869)

Iceland punk museum, 3/7/19

Time for a summer holiday. Time for the blog’s 36th country: Iceland. Time for tiny but endearing museums devoted to the Icelandic punk rock scene from the 1970s on, built in old subterranean public toilets. The fabled landscape of Iceland? I’ll capture this if it stops raining. It’s forecast to: eventually.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

More soldiers from the hi-vis army

Tuesday 2nd July 2019, 10.40am (day 2,868)

MECD and hi-vis, 2/7/19

I had declared an unofficial moratorium on pictures of building sites in Manchester but I don’t mind this one. What it does not show is the huge scale of the Manchester Engineering Campus Development (MECD: eventually to be renamed after some corporate donor or other I’m sure). Since being depicted rising from the ground back in January 2018 it has taken on vast scale, like a modern cathedral. No wonder my employer is worried about its cash reserves.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Joe ponders the gardening

Monday 1st July 2019, 3.55pm (day 2,867)

Redcurrants and Joe, 1/7/19

Joe finished his GCSE exams a couple of weeks ago and so now, like all the UK’s 15-16 year olds, has an extended summer holiday, interrupted only insofar as his parents nag him to do things to get him out of the house. Attending part of the annual allotment summer tidy up (July is inspection month) didn’t seem to enthuse him much though. But the redcurrants are ready to eat (all six of them).

Tagged , , , , , ,

Bee house

Sunday 30th June 2019, 9.55am (day 2,866)

Bee house, 30/6/19

And you thought all bees lived in hives, correct? Well, apparently not. Some bees are solitary and if one wants to be nice to them, building a little place like this in the secluded corner of a garden is one way to do it; they like nesting in the tubes. None seem to be at home today in this one that my in-laws have set up, however.

Tagged , , , , , ,

The meerkat watches (the anniversary celebrations)

Saturday 29th June 2019, 11.40am (day 2,865)

Meerkat, 29/6/19

On 2nd July 1999 Clare and I were married at the Ashton Memorial in Lancaster, and today we were back there with some friends and family for a 20th anniversary reunion, which was small-scale, informal and a great deal of fun. It was excellent to just hang out with the people we’re still in touch with and see how things have changed — or not — across those two decades. “20 years eh? Blimey” was the general conversational tone of the day, but that was fine.

But although I do try to make these blog pix more-or-less representative of the day… Look! it’s a meerkat watching us! And meerkats are not the usual fauna you expect to see, not in Lancaster on a Saturday morning anyway. But there it was, in the small zoo that is up on the top of the hill by the Memorial. So though I agonised briefly about this choice, sorry, but the meerkat wins. Too cute by half.

Tagged , , , , , , ,
Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: