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Orsolya Haarberg - Iceland 03

June 30th, 2008 Posted in Northern Europe, Uncategorized

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oh_portrait1 I left Myvatn in the beginning of June. The company of the biting black flies became unbearable; they were swarming in the hiding tent and filled up the car in a second just whilst opening a door. The Slavonian grebe began to loose the nice head feathers of its breeding plumage and most of the ducks started to lay eggs. It was time to leave.

I had a look at the weather-forecast and decided which direction to go next. We (my husband and I) headed southeast and visited Jökulsárlón. Jökulsárlón is the lake created by the Breidamerkurjökull glacier. As the ice stream is retreating, the lake is expanding year by year and is filled up with large pieces of ice due to the calving of the glacier. The wildlife of the area is fascinating: terns, divers and seals fish in the silent water, while eiders search for food at the bottom of the lake. At the same time, pieces of ice cling to the edges of the lake in all shapes and forms one can imagine, so it is just a question of interest which topics one starts to work with. I tried to do one after the other…

I had a short stop at the glacier arm of the Vatnajökull ice cap, called Svinafjellsjökull, and visited Svartifoss, which is a lovely waterfall, cascading over a wall of basalt columns. I also spent an evening at the sea stacks of Reynisdrangur nearby Vik.


Then I made a little mistake with planning, because I walked to the Markarfljótgljúfur gorge in Þórsmörk (approx. 15 km one way with photo equipment, tent gear and food for a few days), but realized that there is not much to do for a nature photographer looking for the „unseen, unexpected and unforgettable”, so I wasted 3 days of beautiful sunny weather on a trip that only resulted in hurting feet, knees and shoulders… One thing I learned during the trip: the good pictures of the gorge can be taken from the other side of the river, where one can get to with a 4WD vehicle – like nearly everywhere else in Iceland…

I walked out of Þórsmörk, and on the night of the same day, I started to work in Landmannalaugar, one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in my life. This is the beginning of the 50 km long Hot Spring Road, which is thought to be one of the most beautiful walks in the world and in my next life – if I would not happen to be a nature photographer and would not need to carry all my photo equipment – I would definitely return. But this time, instead of walking days long with heavy equipment, I was taking pictures nearby the starting point of the trail. I think I have never used my body more intensively in my life as during the one week in Landmannalaugar, walking from one mountain top to the other. The weather was quite unpredictable, but I was lucky to get some spot lights on the right places.


This was all I did in the last three weeks, and after visiting some of the best parts of Iceland’s nature, I feel that I am getting addicted to this country. I am afraid it is not possible not to…

Please note that blogs reflect our photographers' opinions and not necessarily those of the directors of Wild Wonders of Europe.

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  1. 8 Responses to “Orsolya Haarberg - Iceland 03”

  2. By Lander Goñi on Jul 3, 2008

    Hi from Spain. The image of the hice is pure beauty. Impressive. Congratulations. Best regards.

  3. By Chris Watson on Jul 9, 2008

    Beautiful imagery. However Jökulsárlón is certainly not silent. I was there recording sound in the icy waters last year and it is a wonderfully rich sound environment.

    Enjoy your trip.

  4. By Jonathan Ashton on Jul 10, 2008

    Very nice image, I too have visited Icelenad 7 years ago and I do in tend to return it really is an awe inspiring country

  5. By Astrid Haarberg on Jul 11, 2008

    Hei Orsi! Her sitter en stolt svigermor. Dette var kjempebra!! Vi gleder oss stort til å “være med på turen” gjennom bildene når dere kommer hjem.

  6. By LatFoto on Jul 15, 2008

    Great photos. I like it!

  7. By Janice Forsythe on Jul 15, 2008

    Wow!! Breathtaking photos. Congratulations!

  8. By Jussi on Jul 18, 2008

    Top picture is a stunner!

  9. By Várday Béla on May 23, 2011

    Excellent photos!
    Great place!

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