Road 85 – East Iceland northbound

Travelling a country like Iceland you will follow very scenic roads through a fascinating wild landscape. Most famous is the Ringroad as it is the only road that completely circles the country and in some areas it is the only road at all to get forward. Nevertheless in several areas Iceland offers alternative routes for those who have time. One is road 85 that leaves the Ringroad in the far northeast and then takes a wide half circle northwards. I took the road to get towards Raufarhöfn. Here I want to give some impression of the scenery. There are several stopping points where you can stop the car to take pictures. Even though it is very unpopulated and traffic is sparse, do not stop on the streets. If there are cars coming, they won’t expect it and (like me once) need to break hard.

So this is what you can expect from road 85. As you might notice, parts of the road is only gravel…

Road 85

Road 85

Road 85

Road 85

Road 85

Road 85

Road 85

Road 85

Road 85

Road 85

Road 85

Road 85

Road 85

Road 85

Advertisements

Waterfall Rjúkandafoss

Late spring is waterfall time in Iceland. With the melting water they are in full shape and really admirable. This can also be said about Rjúkandafoss (or Rjukandi Waterfall as you need to spell it for finding it in the internet) that I passed on my first day heading north after arriving in Seyðisfjörður with the ferry. It is located just beside the Ringroad with signs informing the driver about its presence. You will find a parking and from there you can reach it after just five minutes of walking a trail that leads the waterfalls base.

Rjúkandafoss is quite a large waterfall in respect to its height of 139 meters. As you can see from the info board below, the river Ysti-Rjúkandi is the victim of this deep fall.

As generally also here I hope people try to respect nature. I saw a lot of people becoming nuts seeing all the natural beauty of the country and harming nature and themselves for the ultimate photo…

Rjúkandafoss

Rjúkandafoss

Rjúkandafoss

Rjúkandafoss

Rjúkandafoss

Rjúkandafoss

 

Waterfall Fardagafoss

My very first hike on Iceland ever, even though a very little one, was to have a look at the waterfall Fardagafoss. The trailhead for this hike is located along the road connecting Seyðisfjörður to the ring road. After getting over the pass just before the last larger curves the parking is on the left, which you can see on the map below. From here we follow the trail up hill along the river Miðhúsaá, whose water feeds the fall. Do not get irritated as there is a smaller waterfall already after just a couple of hundred meters. But this one is also charming. After taking some photos here we continue another roughly 400 meters until we reach our destination, the Fardagafoss. It was quite rainy and the ground a little muddy in places, but still pretty fine to walk.

According to europeanwaterfalls.com the Fardagafoss is 20 m high. But lets start to explore…

Already from the start we follow the river upstream.

Fardagafoss

The trail is well prepared. At some points tiny bridges cross running water.

Fardagafoss

Looking down you can see into the valley through which the Ringroad circles the whole island. The road you can see on the right, is the road coming from Seyðisfjörður.

Fardagafoss

The first waterfall shows up. I was impressed that after the drop the water made an almost full 90 degree change…

Fardagafoss

… and then to flow around the rock just to continue then in a regular shape.

Fardagafoss

It was quite humid, fresh and rain was about to arrive just before arriving back to my car later.

Fardagafoss

But I wanted to see the upper falls so I continued along the river.

Fardagafoss

A lot of small creeks ‘donate’ their water to the river. I assume in late summer, when most of the snow is gone, these small creeks will almost vanish until the following year when the snow starts to melt again.

Fardagafoss

So here it suddenly shows up, the upper falls.

Fardagafoss

The base of the fall was quite filled with snow …

Fardagafoss

…and the waters found their way underneath it.

Fardagafoss

Fardagafoss

Fardagafoss

After admiring the falls, it was time to follow the river back down the hill to the car park.

Fardagafoss

Waterfall Gufufoss

Iceland is not only the land of fire and ice, but also home to uncountable waterfalls. In case you arrive with the ferry like me in Seyðifjörður, already on your way to the Ringroad 1 you have the chance to see some of them. Here I show you the waterfall Gufufoss, which is located just beside the road. Only a few meter from the parking you can approach the base of the fall, just remember to respect the nature which is extremely fragile here in Iceland.

According to europeanwaterfalls.com the Gufufoss is 12 m high and part of the river Fjarðará.

Gufufoss

Gufufoss

Gufufoss

Gufufoss

Gufufoss

Gufufoss

Gufufoss

Ecological and Responsibel Travelling

Preparing my trip to Iceland I recognise problems they have there that occur also in other places of the North… the impact of unresponsible tourists on the northern nature. Like in Iceland the natue of northern Scandinavia aswell as the mountain areas of Norway have a rather short periode in which temperatures and light conditions are perfect for the growth of plants. It means they are very slow and do not have the ability to heal wounds that have been made on them. In central Europe nature would recover within two or three years, while in the North same damages would take decades.

With the background of knowing this, I appreciate the initiative on ‘InspiredByIceland’ to make visitors and inhabititants of Iceland aware of being sensitive with nature. They introduced the ‘Icelandic Pledge’ which everyone can sign on their internet page. Click the emblem at the bottom of the post to open the page in a seperate tab.

A similar approach but more with the background of travelling safely in Iceland is provided by their ‘Iceland Academy’. One aspect also here is the responsible travelling. They are teaching you in a handful of videos how to behave in Iceland to avoid becoming a fatality. The videos are fun to watch, despite the serious background. See the upper badge to get to these pages.

Please have a look on these pages and keep travelling responsible! Use your common sense to assure that everything is left the way it should be! I will keep updating this post with pages that I find about responsible travelling…

responsibletravel

the-icelandic-pledge-label

Here I added some more information on the Everyman’s Right in Finland which sometimes people understand as just a right without any duties. Therefore click the following emblem of the Finnish Ministry of the Environment to open their information about the Everyman’s Right. There is a booklet to download, which I recommend to read as they really put effort into it.

logo_2

Additionally here a document how to behave in Finnish Nature. It is a document from the Finnish Metsähalitus (Forest Administration).

Clipboard012

 

Old Mining Town Røros

Just recently I was asked which of the towns that I travelled to is my favorite. Usually I find in every place something special that remains in my thoughts as you can see in my postings, but now recapturing the photos from my Norway Roadtrip I have to say that Røros in central Norway is ranking between the very top most.

The town developed after copper was found here in the wilderness. A saying says that a guy was hunting a deer. He shot it and when approaching it the dying animal scratched on the ground. Something shiny came up, coppar ore. This was the birth of mining in the area of Røros. Nowadays there is no active mining here, but the industrial and the beautiful historic buildings have remained which are placed on the list of UNESCOs world heritages. I have stayed here two nights and been busy sightseeing the full stay, so this blog entry will give you only a short overview. For the various places to visit I will add seperate ones.

In case you also plan to stay overnight, I recommend to take a room somewhere in walking distance to the cosy historic town center. It is pretty large and invites for an evening stroll and some rest with a drink. Coincidence here during my stay was that in a bar they showed the around the clock live coverage of a full Hurtigruten trip.

So here some impressions of the old town and the mining fields outside town…

At the center of the historic living quarters you find the industrial area, where the ore was processed. Large hills of slag were deposite in the vicinity and nowadays form visual landmarks.

IMG_5152

The Old Town consists of beautiful colored wooden buildings. It is not an Open-Air museum. People live here, there are shops, reaturants and cafes.

IMG_5166

Outside of town in different places there are the remains of the mines. It is here where you can do a guided tour through the historic underground. I highly recommend it!

IMG_5195

As you can see, the real old mine is shown to you, not a tourist setup.

IMG_5262

It is not really visible how large these cavities are, anyhow you can clearly see that it is a coppar mine with its distinct color.

IMG_5274

IMG_5285

At a different place outside Røros, the North Mines, that you can reach in just a few minutes, you will find many remains (really ruins) from the mining. Here I recommend to stay on the paths as you can see that it is not really secured.

IMG_5335

Beside the ruins, the landscape here is magnificent, even though you can see the scarves from the mining periode still remaining.

IMG_5354

But back to the Old Town. With the assembly of so many different buildings there are so many beautiful spots to take pictures. It actually reminds me of these mining towns in the US.

IMG_5385

This is the main road of the old town.

IMG_5391

A photo from one of the slag hills. I love the roofs!

IMG_5150

Clipboard01

unesco

Lemming at the Åsdalstjørna Nature Reserve

Driving the road Fv385 southwards through Norway I saw a sign about a hut standing on the side of the road. Signs indicated that there is something to see. So I stopped my car and found some kind of memorial built of stone. While looking at it I notices something small was running on the ground. At first I thought it is a mouse, but looking more carefully I could identify it as a Lemming. They live a very dangerous life, but this guy chose at least a nice place at the Åsdalstjørna Nature Reserve.

Lemmings are known to commit suicide, but that is not true. There are years that the population gives birth to much more Lemmings of one gender, so the pressure on finding new free territories is so high that a mass emmigration takes place which many Lemmings to find their death by e.g. drowning. Just recently it was stated this way on a TV documentory I saw about Lemmings and is backed by BBC documentory “The Truth About Norwegian Lemmings”.

I have to say I really like them!

IMG_5456_crop

IMG_5445

IMG_5444