...the wildness of it; the expanses of emptiness... even in the benign days of summer, approaching the northern coast and the fjord leading up to Akureyri.


Here at Akureyri, as everywhere in Iceland, even in June, human habitation is set against a background of snow, mountains and, a bit further inland, the huge glacial ice sheets.


Cruising the fjord, we saw a number of whales, this one quite near our port side.


With the possible exception of Reykyavik itself, there is no escaping the overwhelming sense of space, and of the fragility of human settlement beneath the mountain slopes..

tern landing

An arctic tern comes into land above its nest in the midsh of a swarm of little flies. Appreciating the birdline if not without its hazards, however. The arctic terns are particularly acrobatic and aggressive. Defending their nests they have a particularly negative attitude to bald men. I wore a hat, but even then a turn tried to snatch it off my head!



The Hveragerdi geothermal area and Stokkur geyser. Although the Stokkur geyser fires off regularly, the column of water and steam lasts for only a few seconds, surprising the encircling crowds who had been holding their cameras at the ready.


But however impressive its burst of energy, the surrounding area is equally impressive with its smaller vents and mineral colours. And, in the distance, the row of mountains leads onto the Langjökull Glacier.






Pingvellir  was the original political centre of Iceland, where local chiefs met to establish their laws, and is still used as the place to celebrate national events.

Tectonic plates

It also marks the point at which the Eurasian and North American Plates are pulling apart. by about 2 cm per year. Consequently, Iceland is growing by the same amount.


Puffins on Vigur Island in the far west of Iceland.



A redshank.


A young Guillemot


boiling water



Be prepared for anything and everything on Iceland, even in midsummer. Wind, blowing across the major ice- fields of the glaciers, is unsurprisingly chilly at any time. But the weather is also famously changeable, so one should not despair. 


Iceland is a spectacular place to observe wildlife, whether your interest is in whales, seals or the many varieties of bird.

tern about to attack

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