Old Wooden Fishing Boat – this minimal black on white photograph of an old wooden traditional fishing boat in Iceland in the fog has been ordered with a simple frame and is headed to a collector in Miami, Florida.
A fishing vessel is a boat or ship used to catch fish in the sea, or on a lake or river. Many different kinds of vessels are used in commercial, artisanal and recreational fishing.This photograph appears to almost be a pen and ink print with its weathered detail created by the ravishes of time and a relentless cool sea over years of labor and toil pulling out riches from the ocean.
The print can be purchased in a number of different ways from a print rolled in a tube for local framing to 100’s of mats and frame options as well as metal prints, canvas prints, greeting cards as well as products such as duvets, shower curtains, throw pillows, tote bags and more. Great for a nautical themed decor.
How did those early Icelander’s survive and even farm in such a inhospitably terrain? Before modern geothermal heating, before modern insulation and construction techniques – how did those early farmers survive the brutal winds, snow, ice and cold of living near the arctic circle? How did them manage to keep the livestock alive and tend to their daily needs of feeding and cleaning out the barn?
Short supply of wood on the island of Iceland, crazy wind and freezing temperature lead to some creative thinking on the part of early Icelanders. Pitched roof houses build right into the land with turf roofs solved many problems of keeping out of the howling wind to keep things toasty and also so the whole house didn’t blow away.
Roofs were lined with the only plentiful building material – turf or sod. Living sheets of grasses covered the roof. Volcanic rock provided the foundation and side walls.
Inside was small and sparse. Less room to heat and more body warmth to conserve. Bedrooms often housed the entire extended family in wooden bunks with sides to keep the covers handy.
One bedroom lead to another and downstairs often had passageways to the barn if the barn wasn’t in the basement. Easy access to livestock during storms and the 24 hour days of darkness in winter.
The technique of building with durable, renewable, and widely available turf first appeared with the arrival of Norse and British settlers during the 9th through 11th centuries at the height of the Viking Age in Europe.
Historic records suggest that up to 50 percent of Icelandic dwellings were partially comprised of turf until the late 19th century. As populations began to cluster in cities like Reykjavik, wood buildings replaced stone masonry and earthen architecture. After fires razed the city in 1915, concrete became the material of choice. – National Geographic
Some Icelandic Turf Houses You Can Visit
Icelandic Turf House, Selfoss
Glaumbær in North-Iceland
Museum at Árbær
At Iceland’s great geothermal natural attraction – Geysir and Strokkur, you are in for a treat as Strokkur erupts rather regularly. Geysir on the other hand has stopped being regular due to earthquake activity or perhaps due to the construction hotel and tourist trap across the street. But no it’s not time to toss in some Exlax.
In fact don’t toss in anything! Many a geological treasure has been ruined by people tossing in things or going for a scalding swim or crashing their drone into the geyser.
They even have an appropriately snarky sign telling people to stop being stupid and keep their money. How is throwing your money away going to bring you anything but poverty anyway?
Strokkur (Icelandic for “churn”) is a fountain geyser located in a geothermal area beside the Hvítá River in Iceland in the southwest part of the country, east of Reykjavík. It is one of Iceland’s most famous geysers,erupting once every 6–10 minutes. Its usual height is 15–20 m, although it can sometimes erupt up to 40 m high.
Geysir (Icelandic pronunciation: [ˈgeːisɪr̥] ( listen)), sometimes known as The Great Geysir, is a geyser in southwestern Iceland. It was the first geyser described in a printed source and the first known to modern Europeans. The English word geyser (a periodically spouting hot spring) derives from Geysir. The name Geysir itself is derived from the Icelandic verb geysa, “to gush”, the verb from Old Norse. Geysir lies in the Haukadalur valley on the slopes of Laugarfjall hill, which is also the home to Strokkur geyser about 50 metres south.
Eruptions at Geysir can hurl boiling water up to 70 metres in the air. However, eruptions may be infrequent, and have in the past stopped altogether for years at a time.
Iceland boast a special breed of horse – the Icelandic Horse with a beautiful mane and short stature.
The horses dot the landscape in the farming regions as do the sheep – often found on the side of road or even crossing the road so drivers must always be on the look out.
Camping is serious in Iceland with hundreds of miles of back country gravel roads called “F Roads” which are limited to four wheel drive vehicles. You’ll see many campers in Iceland that look like they are straight out of Mad Max.
Geothermal and volcanic activity created and continue to change the landscape of Iceland – the country of fire and ice. Steaming mountains, bubbling rivers and shooting geysers can be found around the country as well as active volcanoes.
Iceland is a land of thousands of waterfalls, mostly caused by melting glacier ice and pouring down rift valleys in this unique land form.
In Iceland one can visit a lagoon full of icebergs that float, slowly melt, cave and flip over. It’s a mesmerizing display of white and blue.
Unique rock formations such as these hexagon columns of basalt can be front around the island, many just a stones throw from the main highway, a two lane paved road that circles the country.
Modern Iceland has embraced minimalist architecture unlike shipping containers but original Iceland dwellers build peaked sod houses which connected living areas and barns so the animals could be cared for in the dark, cold winters.
Traditional Icelandic churches can be found in every village. This one is surrounded by fields of lupine brought from Alaska for erosion control.
The remoteness of Iceland allows unspoiled beached of black volcanic sand. This one is reachable after an hours walk across a ancient lava field with the discovery of an old US Navy plane crash, left in place due to the remote location.
Hiking in Iceland’s dramatic terrain is awe inspiring but one must be well prepared because the mostly tree free landscapes, unpredictable weather and punishing wind can be dangerous even in summer. Fortunately there are no poisonous snakes or large predators except for the rare polar bear the floats ashore on an iceberg although these are typically taken out quickly by the local farmers.
The long dark winters and the inspiring landscape of Iceland produces optimal conditions for artists.
Iceland is a place with incredible beauty and few in habitants. Mostly clustered in the two largest cities and scattered village, in between spaces are filled with vast scenic vistas.
Single White Chair – An Unexpected Treasure in the Middle of Nowhere
Take a seat and relax, you are in the middle of nowhere in Iceland!
Every great adventure brings unexpected discoveries. Our 11 day trek around Iceland via the Ring Road in a motor-home was just one such epic adventure full of unexpected discoveries like this single white wooden chair with hearts carved in it in the middle of a vast valley of black lava.
This day began as one of the most hellish days we experienced in Iceland. We knew it was going to be our longest day of driving but we didn’t expect the fog and driving rain was going to wipe out just about all of our planned scenic stops and coastal views. Or the scary drive over a mountain top, in the pouring rain and fog with a motor-home on a section gravel road over said mountain that pretends to be the main highway of a modern European country.
The one way bridges and one way tunnels and scarce guard rails we could handle but a pot hole, muddy road over a mountain pass with a motor home was a bit much.
Thankfully near the end of the long day of driving we came upon this amazing valley of mountains and black lava fields. Some one was kind enough to provide this wonderful single white wooden chair as foreground subject.
One can only image hiking across this vast landscape of nothing but sharp, unstable, black lava rock without a tree as far as the eye can see and coming across this bit of humanity. A single white chair providing a spot to rest.
Traditional Icelandic Sod or Turf Houses, Barns and Buildings: If you look hard enough in the country side of Iceland, you might just spot some of the traditional sod roofed barns, farm houses and storage buildings hidden in the hills.
Icelandic turf houses (Icelandic: torfbæir) were the product of a difficult climate, offering superior insulation compared to buildings solely made of wood or stone, and the relative difficulty in obtaining other construction materials in sufficient quantities.
Lack of good timber lead the Norwegian settlers in Iceland to turn to turf house construction using local birch as support beams.
The common Icelandic turf house would have a large foundation made of flat stones; upon this was built a wooden frame which would hold the load of the turf. The turf would then be fitted around the frame in blocks often with a second layer, or in the more fashionable herringbone style. The only external wood would be the doorway which would often be decorative.
Plane Wreck : Becoming one of Iceland’s most popular attractions, especially among photographers and selfie snappers is the wreck of a DC-3 airplane on a remote black sand lava beach in Southern Iceland.
On Saturday Nov 24, 1973, a United States Navy Douglas Super DC-3 airplane was forced to land on Sólheimasandur’s black sand beach due to running out of fuel (others say it was after experiencing some severe icing). Luckily all survived the rough landing on the south coast of Iceland.
Today, 44 years later only the main fuselage and part of the wings remain on the beach. Other parts were hauled away years ago but the skeleton of the plane was left to slowly rot on the volcanic beach.
Years ago you could drive to the wreckage site via a “farm” road through the black ash but increased usage ticked off the land owner because of people constantly getting stuck, lead to the closure of the road. For a while the land owner was charging people to park in a small parking lot and walk to the wreck.
After researching the location, I was prepared to have to skip this place thinking we would not be able to park our motor home. But I visited in 2017 and am happy to report that the is a new spacious parking lot complete with room for large vehicles and campers as well as a bike rental place for faster travel to the site.
We visited in July. The site itself is a long, dull walk down the relatively flat, straight road of crushed lava gravel. It takes about 40 minutes to an hour of walking to get to the site so be prepared to spend some time. Forty minutes to, 30 minutes waiting for your change at a shot and 40 minutes back, so bring some water, good shoes and an extra layer in case the weather turns. The distance is approximately 4 km to the crash site.
Turnoff GPS Coordinates
Airplane GPS Coordinates
Be prepared for lots of people at the site depending on the time of day and time of year. If you are patient, people come in waves. If you are lucky to get there when there are only a few people, work fast and play with angles to get shots without people. If there are a ton of people, relax and wait them out. While we were there a ATV tour group showed up with orange jumpsuits. They climbed all over the wreck and even stomped on it. Makes me wonder if the days of the crashed plane are numbered with this abuse.
Many will say that the site is not worth the walk and one should spend time looking at natural sites. As a photographer I can tell you it was certainly worthwhile visiting this unique site, I could careless about the effort need to get there. If anything my eyes were numb with the natural beauty of the country, a bit of mysterious, man-made structure was a breath of fresh air.
Did you know Justin Bieber skateboarded on top of this plane carcass?
Bieber’s music video for his surprise track “I’ll Show You” features Iceland and Bieber doing all kinds of dangerous stuff like swimming with icebergs, rolling around in moss, sitting on cliffs and jumping around wet and slippery waterfalls.
Photographs of Iceland by fine art photographer, Edward M. Fielding
This black church sits alone among a field of lava rock. On the south coast of Iceland’s Snæfellsnes peninsula, the tiny black church Búðir sits within the Búðahraun lava field.
An old vintage tractor along the Ring Road in Iceland.
The Skógafoss is one of the biggest waterfalls in the country with a width of 15 metres (49 feet) and a drop of 60 m (200 ft). Due to the amount of spray the waterfall consistently produces, a single or double rainbow is normally visible on sunny days. According to legend, the first Viking settler in the area, Þrasi Þórólfsson, buried a treasure in a cave behind the waterfall. The legend continues that locals found the chest years later, but were only able to grasp the ring on the side of the chest before it disappeared again. The ring was allegedly given to the local church. The old church door ring is now in a museum, though whether it gives any credence to the folklore is debatable.
Kirkjufell (Icelandic: Church mountain) is a 463m high mountain on the north coast of Iceland’s Snæfellsnes peninsula, near the town of Grundarfjörður.
A cliff side cafe on the Snæfellsnes peninsula in Iceland.
A rocky beach on the Snæfellsnes peninsula of Iceland with an emergency lifeguard hut and glacier in the background.
Early morning light on a church in a remote area of Iceland on the Snæfellsnes peninsula.
Kerið (occasionally Anglicized as Kerith or Kerid) is a volcanic crater lake located in the Grímsnes area in south Iceland, on the popular tourist route known as the Golden Circle. It is one of several crater lakes in the area, known as Iceland’s Western Volcanic Zone, which includes the Reykjanes peninsula and the Langjökull Glacier, created as the land moved over a localized hotspot, but it is the one that has the most visually recognizable caldera still intact. The caldera, like the other volcanic rock in the area, is composed of a red (rather than black) volcanic rock. The caldera itself is approximately 55 m (180 ft) deep, 170 m (560 ft) wide, and 270 m (890 ft) across. Kerið’s caldera is one of the three most recognizable volcanic craters because at approximately 3,000 years old, it is only half the age of most of the surrounding volcanic features. The other two are Seyðishólar and Kerhóll.
With $20 for a fast food meal, $37 for a pizza and $10 for a real bear ($3 for a fake one at the gas stations) – traveling to Iceland can be very expensive. Here are some tips for saving money while in Iceland.
Save your water bottle from the plane and refill it from the tap. They hand you a bottle of Iceland water as you board Icelandic Air. The water all over Iceland is basically fresh from the glacier so drink it rather than buying other drinks. (In most first world countries tap water is completely drinkable and was done so before the whole “bottled” water trend where bottlers convinced us we had to buy water in a bottle).
Shop at the grocery stores such as Bonus or Netto. The prices in the grocery stores aren’t too bad. Avoid eating out as much as possible. I suspect the meal prices include tips, taxes and a high minimum wage as well as high food costs for importing food to the remote Island nation.
If you must eat out, grab a hot dog – the national snack food of Iceland. They are about $5 or less and come with crunch onions and a grill press bun.
Try camping instead of hotels. We camped all around the Ring Road in a rental camper. It wasn’t cheap but we save on having to buy meals. Seems like the locals were all camping.
Skip tourist traps such as The Blue Lagoon and seek out local pools. Instead of $60+ for a swim at The Blue Lagoon, a local pool will be less than $10.
Skip the expensive tours and “experiences”. The scenery, national parks, waterfalls, trails and beaches are all free. The only natural attraction we paid for was a crater that charged $4. Take in the natural scenery for free and skip the boat rides, glacier walks and caves.
Take public transportation rather than renting a car. If you have the will and time, figure out the public bus system that reaches all parts of the country.
Share meals. Some of the portions are huge in Iceland so if you are a light eater you can share an order of fish and chips with a friend.
We saw a lot of hitch hikers. Hitchhiking is not uncommon in Iceland, but you might be waiting for a long time and it can ruin your plans.
Don’t tip. Locals don’t tip. But feel free to do so if you feel like it.
When admission to a swimming pool rises to the level of a ticket to Disney’s Magic Kingdom, you know its more than your body that is getting soaked. Your wallet is too.
A ticket to Disney’s Magic Kingdom is Orlando, Florida costs about $130. That includes a full day of shows, rides and attractions. In contrast a ticket to Iceland’s Blue Lagoon, basically run off water from a geothermal power plant, can cost anywhere from $61 to $530 depending on how many extras you tack on.
And how long can you really soak in a hot tub? After an hour your skin gets so wrinkly you’ll swear the water aged you. See those senior citizens over there? They are really only 20 year old college kids who stayed in too long.
The Blue Lagoon gets away with its highway robbery prices because of its location near the airport. With stop overs and long waiting times between connecting flights, many travelers choose to take a dip the the hot, soothing, Mother Earth heated waters rather then try to take a nap on the airport concrete floor.
For those with the money to burn the experience is fantastic. Hot water, mineral mud to plaster on ones face and great selfies.
But for those in the know, Iceland has fantastic pools in every town and local pools typically cost less then $10 for a soak. Some even sport slides.
We traveled around the Ring Road camping and sampled several pools as a break from hiking and to take advantage of the included showers to wash up and get refreshed.
The local pools were all different but each typically featured a large lap pool and several smaller hot tub pools. We even tried out a hot spring fed set of little round tubs at the end of a farmer’s field for $5.
The most expensive pool experience we had was $37 at the “Green Lagoon” in Myvatn which was kind of like The Blue Lagoon Lite. The Myvatn Nature Baths featured a large natural pool with sand and stones on the bottom and a smaller hot pool. They had Blue Lagoon like experiences such as being able to drink a beer or wine in the pool and a couple of waterfalls. Just like the Blue Lagoon, Myvatn Nature Baths is located near an geothermal energy plant and the water comes from the plant.
If you stay in Iceland for more than a stop over you’ll find that swimming is serious business in Iceland. It’s so serious that learning to swim is even a mandatory part of the Icelandic education. Nearly every town has a public swimming pool. It’s a place to socialize, to work out and even to bathe.Going to the pool for a soak in the hot tub is even a typical second date activity in Iceland. Think about it. In the winter when sunlight is precious and you want to soak up some rays, the only real way is to go swimming. Plus the country has an abundance of naturally hot water bubbling out of the ground.
The Blue Lagoon is a big operation that is heavily promoted. So much so that people feel the need to go and then tell everyone how expensive it was – the exorbitant price becomes a badge of honor to some travelers. But if you have more time, seek and explore more of the swimming experiences Iceland has to offer. Find a local pool and hang out with the locals, you might not get to rub mud on your face or drink a beer poolside but you might find a fun slide and save a bit of money.