Iceland 0413 117 by Verryl V Fosnight Jr
Verryl V Fosnight Jr's Gallery
  1. Verryl V Fosnight Jr's Gallery
  2. Iceland April 2013Iceland April 2013
  3. Iceland 0413 117Iceland 0413 117

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Iceland 0413 002 (These are some of our photos from our Iceland trip to see the aurora borealis on a "Sky and Telescope" magazine tour.  This is  Raykjavik [rey-kyuh-veek, -vik], Iceland main street next to hotel)
Iceland 0413 003 (Raykjavik hotel, best in town)
Iceland 0413 004 (Square across from hotel)
Iceland 0413 006 (Shopping street walking only off square)
Iceland 0413 007 (Continuation of main street down to harbor)
Iceland 0413 019 (Old Parliment building with commons in front)
Iceland 0413 026 (Church near downtown)
Iceland 0413 051 (Lief Erickson from front and Hallgrímskirkja)
Iceland 0413 027 (Raðhús : City Hall Reykjavik downtown 5 min walk from hotel)
Iceland 0413 039 (Street bordering meeting hall)
Iceland 0413 040 (park and mountains near city center.  All trees planted this century, last natural trees cut down 1,000 years ago.  Grass is early spring brown, 4/7/2013)
Iceland 0413 043 (Hallgrímskirkja is a Lutheran parish church in Reykjavík, Iceland. At 74.5 metres, it is the largest church in Iceland and the sixth tallest architectural structure in Iceland after Longwave radio mast)
Iceland 0413 044 (Lief Erickson statue gift to Iceland from US)
Iceland 0413 050 (Pipe Organ inside Hallgrímskirkja)
Iceland 0413 051 copy (Lierf Erickson Statue)
Iceland 0413 054 (From the side.)
Iceland 0413 058 (Iceland weird sculpture #1 "Hole in the Gut Boys."  No faces too.  Significance escaped us.)
Iceland 0413 059 (This was a rotating restaurant built on top of 4 hot water towers high up on the outskirts of Reykjavik overlooking the Reykjavik city airport (not the international one, which is 20 miles or so west on a finger of land.)  Hot water in Iceland's history was like water elsewhere--it a place had geothermal water, they settled there.  Hot water is free throughout the country, being piped from geothermal locations miles and miles in vacuum lines.  They even heat the streets with it.  Then, evidently--no guide knew--they dump it in the sea.)
Iceland 0413 060 (You can see this dome rising over the city in other pictures.  It was really nice, because it was warm inside.)
Iceland 0413 065 (Out on the deck for the 360 degree view of Reykjavik.)
Iceland 0413 068 (A reasonably warm day.  At least for the moment at mid day.  Church in right center.)
Iceland 0413 077 (Local airport in foreground.)
Iceland 0413 079 (Should have put this first--had to walk away to get it after lunch.)
Iceland 0413 083 (This is a recreated "pioneer" site from late 1800's to 1920's.  They saved the few remaining buildings a few years ago and moved them to this hill on the outskirts of town.  Note the sod covered root cellar.  Every tree, as I said before, that you see has been planted in the last few years.  They finally realized, I guess, that there should be trees.  There is only one native species, I think, a small, spindly deciduous tree that probably was cut down for firewood and nearly disappeared about 1000 AD.  Too small to build with, they use stone (all volcanic) to build with--and concrete and corrugated steel.)
Iceland 0413 085 (How'd you like to be a kid and wake up groggy at midnight on a full moon night and go outside to pee and see these monster eyes staring at you?)
Iceland 0413 087 (Looks like wood, and probably is, but must be imported.  Lots of stone used.)
Iceland 0413 088 (Note steep roofs.  I wonder if it snows.)
Iceland 0413 095 (This was the parson's house across the road from...)
Iceland 0413 096 (...his church (across the road from parson's house last picture).)
Iceland 0413 097 (Further down the road.  They have lots of room to add to this historical site, but no money, I suspect, to continue development.  It is a very poor country--the houses are generally small, hotels small, all buildings small, and all furnishing are Spartan--neat, clean, but plain and simple.  Iceland only has two resources--nearly free electricity from the free hot water and lots of water (the hot water has a strong mineral smell, and no one drinks it, but showers are nice.  their biggest industrial plant is an aluminum smelter, and they get the ore from Australia, so the electricity is cheap.)
Iceland 0413 102 (Weird Iceland sculpture #2.  An art museum in a park in Reykjavik.  We did not go in.)
Iceland 0413 103 copy (Weird Iceland sculpture #3.  Go figure.)
Iceland 0413 108 (This is the house on the harbor where Reagan and Gorbachev met Sept 11-12, 1986.  It is the former French Consulate named in Icelandic Höfði.  That's easy for you to say.)
Iceland 0413 112 (Weird Icelandic sculpture #4.  They are very proud of their concert hall.)
Iceland 0413 117 (Volcanic crater.  This is my best picture of the ice filled crater and surrounding countryside.  It also has our assistant US guide who never wore a coat.  He was from Michigan.  Iceland intends to make a statue of him when they get the money.  They are really broke now, and still talk about the "Great Financial Crisis" in awestruck tones.  It really hit them hard, and like worldwide was started by a housing bubble that burst.  They have not recovered yet, like a lot of European countries. Say what you want about Obama, we have pulled out of it very well by comparison to the rest of the world.)
Iceland 0413 119 (Some of our tour group out in the country.  We drove mainly along the coastal shelf with the low mountains, all volcanic, a few hundred yards, or a mile or so at most, away.  The coast is all farming and horse raising.)
Iceland 0413 124 (Taken from the bus.  These are probably summer cottages of wealthy Reykjavik residents.  Note the grass infested volcanic rock which was very common--both grass and rock, I mean.  There were lots of fields with no rock, but I'll bet they cleared them for farming.)
Iceland 0413 127 (One such field.  Grass is all brown, but very long.  When summer comes, it must be short and growth must be rapid, for what is left this day, April 9, 2013 is very long.  Icelandic horses are short and squat so they don't blow over, and have long beautiful manes and tails.  You don't know what they raise them for besides riding.  Think France.)
Iceland 0413 128 (Large geothermal region maybe a 1/4 square mile or slightly more.  A mini-Yellowstone, said the boy from Wyoming.)
Iceland 0413 130 (Same geothermal.  There was a restaurant and gift shop across the highway, and the bus load of us stopped for lunch.  I started to say the buss stopped for lunch, but as I recall, it did not eat anything.  Good lunch so, and they had Chill, the XM/Sirius radio avante garde jazz station (the drummer's station, that Sharon and I listen to in our house a lot).)
Iceland 0413 131 (More.  Note the very long grass.)
Iceland 0413 135 (There is the restaurant, about the largest we saw.  Everything is small scale here.)
Iceland 0413 138 (That is Sharon inside those wraps.)
Iceland 0413 139 (We saw this geyser go off.)
Iceland 0413 142 (The language is sometimes--not often--decipherable.)
Iceland 0413 143 (Better picture of French steaks.)
Iceland 0413 146 (Gulfoss Falls, which is two cascades totaling 31 meters (11 + 20).  It was the windiest day and I did not get to a place where I could get the whole of the lower falls.)
Iceland 0413 147 (Upper falls.  The "snow" is frozen mist from the falls, common to all we saw.  See those brave folks out in the mist.  THEY saw the lower falls, but it was to wet and windy for me.  the walk was over 1/2 mile and a lot in the mist.)
Iceland 0413 159 (Iceland's biggest lake, and it has many branches and is truly very big.  It is surrounded by glaciers and sits on the North American-European fault line, which causes all of Iceland's volcanoes.)
Iceland 0413 162 (Part of the fault line.  Here North America and Europe are pulling apart.)
Iceland 0413 166 (More of the fault line.)
Iceland 0413 172 (Long walk on a windy day up to the sheer cliff of the fault line.  This was a meeting place in olden times (~900 AD) where an annual all island community meeting took place to discuss, vote on, and pass laws, and hold court and issue judgements.  The cliff was the backdrop for the assembly.  The platform is where us tourists gathered for the lecture by our guide.  Note the flag pole.  The flag blew off.)
Wyoming Wind Sock (Why I did not like Iceland.)
Iceland 0413 175 (The wetlands view back from the assembly area.  I imagine it is all part of the lake as the water is not flowing very fast, if at all.  The bus is the white speck at the far left center of the picture.  It did drive around to pick us up at the other side.)
Iceland 0413 179 (Sharon in her Muslim period.)
Iceland 0413 187 (The meeting area right in the fault.  Very impressive canyon, kind of one walled, but impressive.)
Iceland 0413 190 (This is from the top.)
Iceland 0413 191 (More of the lake.  It has many branches or fingers, impossible to see it all in one view.)
Iceland 0413 196 (April 9, 2013.  April 9th!  Cold, windy, no trees, dead brown grass.  When the tour guide asked me if this was my first trip to Iceland, I told her, "No, it is my last."  Beautiful water, sky, falls, interesting geology, but too much like Wyoming in early March.)
Iceland 0413 200 (Typical house in Reykjavik.  I think some may have been rebuilt with old stone foundation and corrugated steel over concrete walls.  At any rate the preferred construction mode is to build a stone foundation, then pour a concrete shell and sheath it with steel.  They probably have a set of forms that they use over and over, building a house in a modular fashion, this wall from one set of forms another wall from another set.  I cannot see them discarding the forms if they are wood, or if they are steel.  Guides could not enlighten me, and we saw no construction in progress.  a lot like US in 2010-11.  This was 4/10/13.)
Iceland 0413 221 (Weird Icelandic Art # 6.  "Calendar" wall in hotel dining room.)
Iceland 0413 222 (Look closely at elements of the number.  Like I said, this is a poor (nice but poor) country.  At least someone has an electric screwdriver.)
Iceland 0413 225 (Hot water recovery plant (I don't thing it is electrical generation, because I did not see any grid leading away from it).)
Iceland 0413 227 (Vacuum clad water line running 50-some kilometers back to Reykjavik.  Bends are to accommodate expansion movement.  Either that or they had too much pipe.)
Iceland 0413 234 (Lots of water, big rivers.)
Iceland 0413 238 (Big rivers.  'Course, I live in Arizona.)
Iceland 0413 242 (Yup.)
Iceland 0413 243 (Either this one or a mountain following is Hekla which in medieval times Icelanders believed their own Mount Hekla was the gates of hell.  Our guides, one in particular, spend a lot of time during the bus rides--too much I thought--relating their mythology.  Geeze, it went on and on.  Probably an indication of very long, cold winter nights.)
Iceland 0413 247 (ADR (another damn river))
Iceland 0413 250 (It snowed for about 20 minutes one day, April 11, 2013.  We drove into it and out of it, and we were not particularly high up.  I think it was on the coast road, although we did climb up into the mountains (hills, really) one time.)
Iceland 0413 259 (This is the inside of our bus.  If you squint just to the edge of the window on the right you can see a waterfall cascading down from the glacier.)
Iceland 0413 265 (Geese in field.  Atlantic in background.)
Iceland 0413 285 (Reynisfjara Halsanersheller.  You say it.  Anyway this is a lava cave on the Atlantic with a rock out to sea.  If you look close you can see the striations of the lava layered up.  The black lava sand was course.)
Iceland 0413 287 (Atlantic Ocean.  If you stare long enough you may see land in the distance.  10,000 miles distant--Antarctica.  Sharon, in the white cap looks like she'd like to go for a dip.)
Iceland 0413 289 (Strong undertow and crashing breakers.  Sharon looks like she is about to wade in.)
Iceland 0413 296 (Here is a better shot of the volcanic rock cliff and the gas pocked rocks on the shore.)
Iceland 0413 303 (Looking west from the same spot.)
Iceland 0413 313 copy (Best view of glacier, which I suppose is smaller than usual due to warming.)
Iceland 0413 318 (On the way to ADW--another damn waterfall.)
Iceland 0413 326 (Big honking waterfall also known as Skogar.  Note frozen mist on cliffs and rainbow.)
Iceland 0413 333 (Some folks tried to walk up to the observation point and were blown off.)
Iceland 0413 337 (They call these desert areas, where volcanos have melted a glacier and the resulting flood has deposited sand, gravel and lava denuding the land for some width on the water's way to the sea,  not too far to the rear of this view (less than a mile).)
Iceland 0413 351 (This is a photo of a wealthy farming family's farm covered with ash from the Eyjafjallajökull 2010 eruption.  Lemons to lemonade:  This old boy cleaned up the mess, built a small tourist gift shop and theater (about 30 folding chairs) and had a movie made and charged to see it.  It was spectacular, so spectacular that we bought the DVD.  Come to Sedona, and we'll show it to you.)
Iceland 0413 353 (Here is the farm and the glacier that melted in the volcano eruption and flooded the area and threatened the farm and the whole family of 3 generations in the DVD.  Some story!)
Iceland 0413 359 (ADW)
Iceland 0413 360 (ADW)
Iceland 0413 361 (ADW ADW ADW ADW)
Iceland 0413 363 (ADW)
Iceland 0413 365 (A series of ADW's, 5 on one cliff.  The big one is Seljalandsfoss waterfall in Iceland.)
Iceland 0413 367 (Closeup of Seljalandsfoss waterfall in Iceland.)
Iceland 0413 373 (Further up the path)
Iceland 0413 374 (That's all, Folks.)
Iceland Auroras 042013  0003 20s ISO 1600 f4.5 (Here are my aurora photos, such as they are.  I did not take a tripod, because I told myself I did not want to get caught up in taking astronomy photos, did not want to carry it, and only wanted to "experience" them.  That lasted till the 4 night out when we finally saw an aurora.  I decided to try my hand (literally) when we first saw the aurora out behind a closed gas station.  There was a plastic wrapped hay bail and it was hard as a rock and about 3 feet tall and had a curved shape--rounded corners on a solid rectangular shape.  So I kneeled against it and supported my camera on the hard curved surface holding it by hand as steady as I could.  At ISO 1600, 20 seconds exposure at f/4.5 these are what I got.  Notice the slight movement of the camera as the stars are badly streaked/trailed.  Nevertheless, I did get some aurora.)
Iceland Auroras 042013  0004 8s ISO 1600 f4.5 (ISO 1600, f/4.5 and 8 sec.  The red bottom is the reflection off the white (green) plastic.  I would slide my camera up the curve of the corner till I got the aurora just over the horizon.)
Iceland Auroras 042013  0005 8s ISO 1600 f4.5 (ISO 1600, f/4.5 and 8 sec)
Iceland Auroras 042013  0006 8s ISO 1600 f4.5 (ISO 1600, f/4.5 and 8 sec)
Iceland Auroras 042013  0007 8s ISO 1600 f4.5 (ISO 1600, f/4.5 and 8 sec)
Iceland Auroras 042013  0008 8s ISO 1600 f4.5 (ISO 1600, f/4.5 and 8 sec.  This is probably my most "steady" picture.  Note small amount of star smearing.)
Iceland Auroras 042013  0009 8s ISO 1600 f4.5 (ISO 1600, f/4.5 and 8 sec)
Iceland Auroras 042013  0010 8s ISO 1600 f4.5 (ISO 1600, f/4.5 and 8 sec)
Iceland Auroras 042013  0011 8s ISO 1600 f4.5 (ISO 1600, f/4.5 and 8 sec)
Iceland Auroras 042013  0013 8s ISO 1600 f4.5 (Took this just in case there was some aurora.  I was surprised at how quickly the aurora comes and goes, an it usually lasted only a few seconds or a minute or two, maybe 5.  So there was a lot of standing in the cold wind waiting and hoping--we only saw it the last 2 out of 5 nights out from 10-1 am, and it only got dark after 10:30.  There was a trade off between length of day (short night, getting dark late) and cold weather.  April was supposed to be the best compromise at not too late and not too cold.  Wrong.)
Iceland Auroras 042013  0020 8s ISO 1600 f4.5 (This was another site the 5th night--all the previous ones were the 4th night on the hay bale.  Since there was no hay bale or post or fence, I tyried to hold the camera against the vertical front corner of the bus which was rounded front to back so I had some "adjustment" side to side.

ISO 1600, f/4.5 and 8 sec)
Iceland Auroras 042013  0021 8s ISO 1600 f4.5 (ISO 1600, f/4.5 and 8 sec)

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