Rune Stones of Simris

Quite some time ago on my very first road trip to Finland in 2009 after my expat year there I followed the entire eastern coastline of Sweden. In the very south I came through the town of Simris where I had a break to look at the church there. On that occasion it happend that I passed these two Rune Stones standing on the outer ground of the church. These two stones date back to the 11th century and according to wikipedia are part of the “earliest native documents mentioning Sweden”.

Rune Stones of Simris

Rune Stones of Simris

Rune Stones of Simris

 

The stones are beautifully decorated with snakes or more correctly serpents. For detailed information including the complete translation please follow ->this link to the article on wikipedia.

 

Advertisements

Impressive Ásbyrgi Canyon

During my research about Iceland I came across a canyon that looked highly impressive. I found it to be located quite far in the north east of the island and placed it on my point-of-interest list for my trip planning. So it happend that I passed the beautiful Ásbyrgi Canyon.

There are different theories how the canyon was created. One is that the canyon is the result of a massive flood after enormous amount of glacier ice was melted by a volcanic eruption and then washed out the rocks. It must have been unbelievably much water, but when seeing the glaciers extension nowadays, it gives a feeling of the forces of nature. Of course there are also other stories of mythology explaining Ásbyrgi Canyon. So maybe it was Sleipnir, Odins horse, which stepped on the ground here. By the way, according to the blog of my icelandic friend Regina, Ásbyrgi Canyon is the capital of the Hidden People (“Huldufólk”). I haven’t seen any, but that is obvious as then they wouldn’t be the hidden ones.

Arriving to Ásbyrgi Canyon I recommend to also stop by the Visitor Center located in the opening of the canyon. Here you can get information about the beautiful nature. But let me show it to you at the end. Let us first have a look a the canyon…

From the Visitor Center driving southwards we pass this massive rock formation called ‘Eyjan’. It is the same road we will have to come back. Actually the photo was taken on my return.

Ásbyrgi

After a short while we reach the parking and now will cross something very unusual on Iceland… a forest.

Ásbyrgi

In particular this very dense one.

Ásbyrgi

It was hard to believe that nature wasn’t further as this… My holidays were in second half of May and leaves only started to grow! It gives a good feeling how short the periods are in which plants can actually grow. Therefore it is important to protect the nature and keep on the trails.

Ásbyrgi

Then at some point the massive wall of rocks could be seen. This is the southern end of the canyon.

Ásbyrgi

Looking at the pictures it is not so easy to get a feeling of the sizes, but I can assure it is an impressive sight. One photo a little later shows you the platform from which I took this picture. There you get the dimensions.

Ásbyrgi

As you can see, there still was some snow left.

Ásbyrgi

Ásbyrgi

The tiny waterfall. I am sure in the high times of melting snow, it will be much more impressive than what you see here.

Ásbyrgi

I changed the viewing platform to have a better view from a higher point. At the back you can see the wooden platform that I used before to take the first photos. You see, it is a huge wall.

Ásbyrgi

Ásbyrgi

This is the exhibition in the Visitor Center. There is also personal that can help you to answer your questions and who sells maps and some souvenir.

Ásbyrgi

I hope you enjoyed that look into Ásbyrgi Canyon. Here below the view from above within Google Maps…

Hiking to Hraunhafnartangi Lighthouse

In the preparations to my trip to Iceland beside several resources I went through the great blog of my icelandic friend Regina on Guide To Iceland, who intensively travels Iceland and writes about the beautiful places here. One of the places I picked for my trip was a hike to Hraunhafnartangi Lighthouse.

Arriving at the parking, I had the feeling that I was at the end of the world.. well, I was about to hike to the most northern lighthouse of Iceland. The hike goes quite straight forward along the coast that you can see on the main photo of this blog entry. Not far from the lighthouse you can visit a stone pile of a couple of meters in height and length. It is said to be the grave of Þorgeir, a warrior of the Viking times. I recommend to read the story of Þorgeir on my friends blog.

I really enjoyed the hike with such a clean and fresh air. The trail is partly a little difficult to walk on with the big stones that make up the ground. Interesting is to see that huge amount of drift wood. Later on my trip through Iceland I read in a museum that in the past people could ‘rent’ parts of beaches for hunting seals but also particularly to collect drift wood. It was an important source for wood in Iceland, a country hardly having any trees at all.

But now join my hike to the Hraunhafnartangi Lighthouse and Þorgeirs grave in photos…

Hraunhafnartangi

Hraunhafnartangi

Hraunhafnartangi

Hraunhafnartangi

Hraunhafnartangi

Hraunhafnartangi

Hraunhafnartangi

Hraunhafnartangi

Hraunhafnartangi

Hraunhafnartangi

Hraunhafnartangi

Hraunhafnartangi

Hraunhafnartangi

Raufarhöfn Lighthouse

Just opposite to my hotel in Raufarhöfn, Icelands northern most town, I could see a tiny orange lighthouse. It stands on a small peninsulae at the outskirts of town. Seeing it there the evening of arrival, I decided to have a look the next day before leaving town.

Raufarhöfn is a small village, so it was a very fast drive to get there. From the lighthouse you have a nice view over the ocean and Raufarhöfn as it stands a little uphill. It was nice to come here.

Raufarhöfn

Raufarhöfn

Raufarhöfn

Raufarhöfn

The Arctic Henge

If you come to Raufarhöfn you will not be able to miss visiting the interesting Arctic Henge. It is a modern setup of stones with its roots in the old believes when worshipping the sun was common. Here so far in the north, in the most northern village of Iceland, the cycle of the sunlight throughout the year is something affecting everyone. Therefore it is a good place for the Arctic Henge aiming to capture the sunlight.

For me it was a splendid place to capture great photos. And I was lucky to start my first full day in Iceland with a blue sky. To read more about the Arctic Henge, please click the emblem of Raufarhöfn below the photos. A seperate page will open. By the way, the Arctic Henge is called Heimskautsgerðið in Iclandic.

Raufarhöfn

Raufarhöfn

Raufarhöfn

Raufarhöfn

Raufarhöfn

raufarhofn_logo2

 

Hiking Raudanes Point

Raudanes Point is located on a Peninsulae in the northeast of Iceland. You can reach here by taking the road 85 towards Raufarhöfn. The hike here brings you to a spectacular cliff coast. You will find arches, standing rocks and all of them clearly formed by the waves on the rock of volcanic origin.

Expect the hike to be tough in regards of being constantly exposed to wind. I had quite a stormy time, keeping me always in a safe distance from the cliff edge. All in all it is 7 km long following blue sticks that mark the trail. In some areas, in particular when leaving the coast at the far end to return to the parking finding the trail was a little difficult, but it is hard to get fully lost.

I really enjoyed my time here, not just because I was lucky to have a really bright blue sky, but because following the coast you will always be excited and curious what to come next.

For the blog it was hard to decide which photos to choose, at the end I am here now with quite a bunch of them. I hope you enjoy your time looking at them…

Here a rough map taken from the sign that explains you about the area at the trail head.

Hike "Raudanes Point"

Hike "Raudanes Point"

You will need to walk roughly 200 meters to reach the cliff. On that part you will have this view, which in my opinion already is worth to come here.

Hike "Raudanes Point"

Still we have to keep an eye on these blue sticks which mark the trail.

Hike "Raudanes Point"

Hike "Raudanes Point"

The first rock formation… and many to come.

Hike "Raudanes Point"

Hike "Raudanes Point"

Hike "Raudanes Point"

Hike "Raudanes Point"

Hike "Raudanes Point"

Hike "Raudanes Point"

Hike "Raudanes Point"

Hike "Raudanes Point"

Hike "Raudanes Point"

Hike "Raudanes Point"

Hike "Raudanes Point"

Hike "Raudanes Point"

Hike "Raudanes Point"

Hike "Raudanes Point"

Hike "Raudanes Point"

Hike "Raudanes Point"

Hike "Raudanes Point"

Hike "Raudanes Point"

Hike "Raudanes Point"

At some point we will have to leave the cliff to return to the car. Here it got a little difficult to find the way. I followed the markers but at some point I was not really sure, so skipped them to follow a trail road used my farmers. On my offline map on the mobile I could see, that it will bring me to my car. So I kept following it.

At some points the area looks like another planet.

Hike "Raudanes Point"

Looking back. Somewhere in the hill I made a wrong turn, but I made it back and can show and tell you about this beautiful piece of earth.

Hike "Raudanes Point"

Hope you liked it. Here the place on the map…