I caught up with a photographic friend last night whom I had not seen in more than a year. During the course of the evening drinks and conversation on all things photographic the topic of Iceland came up and what my trip had been like earlier this year (2010). I always enjoy talking about photography related expeditions so enthusiastically recounted some of the highlights of the trip – including time spent at two of my favourite locations the Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon and the volcanic area of Landmannalaugar. The question was then asked after looking over a portfolio of my photographs – ‘What is Iceland’s countryside really like?’
It occurred to me at this point (and was pointed out) that I had not actually posted any photographs to my blog of what the main countryside looks like – that is to say, what do the many miles I travelled look like from the side of the road? Iceland after all is a lot more than just volcanoes and icebergs.
I went through my Iceland collection this morning and for me this photograph summarises the beautiful and extensive countryside of Iceland in Summer. Lush grass fields, steep cliffs, small rural farms and of course the ubiquitous waterfalls. This photograph was taken just off main highway one between the small town of Vik and the Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon. Although it looks like something out of a fairy tale, the small farm house is a typical example of those dotted around the islands coast; many of which like this one have their own personal backyard waterfall fed from one of the countries many glaciers. I saw this pleasant scene from the car window as I was driving to the lagoon and quickly stopped the car to grab a photograph. As I wandered around the area making a few photographs local kids from the farm emerged and headed up to the waterfall for a play in the frigid water. I guess it was around 20 degrees celsius on that day and the sun was shinning; which is about as good as it gets in Iceland in the Summer. It made for a very pleasant rural scene. Iceland’s countryside is as varied as its weather but thinking back on my time there and the many hundreds of kilometres travelled around the island I feel that this photograph best summarises what the countryside of this beautiful country is really like.