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View into rhyolite mountains - fumaroles steaming at the top right

View into rhyolite mountains

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On the way out of the highlands, we repeatedly had great views of the complex mountain landscape of the highlands. Rhyolite valleys open up in front of mountain peaks and the sun does the rest to make the rhyolite glow.

If you look closely, you can see the plumes of steam from the fumaroles at the top right. I’m sure I’ve been there before.

Iced leaf with branch

Iced leaf

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After 4 months of Iceland pictures (with a few more to come!) and a longer break from blogging, where I spent more time baking baguettes and growing sourdough, I would like to use this picture to remind you of the short ice and snow season here in the north. Now all the white beauty has melted away and I’m looking out into a green landscape again.

This picture comes from my garden at the beginning of January, when we hardly wanted to leave the property because of ice on the roads and paths. The morning sun illuminated part of the rose bush and really set off the remnants of snow and the icy branches and leaves.

How do you like it better? In landscape format with the remnants of snow on the branch, or the only the branch and the icy leaf in portrait format below? read more or write a comment …

Mælifell & Brennivínskvísl, one of the headwaters of Holmsá

Mælifell and Brennivínskvísl

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It’s so nice to let your gaze wander along the river. Just leave Mælifell to the right, see how the blue sky is reflected in the river and how the river then turns to the right to run along the mountain range to Holmsá.

To the right of Mælifell you can see the large alluvial plain, which is repeatedly flooded by Mýrdalsjökull.

Mælifell Cone in the black Mælifellsander

Mælifell!

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Mælifell is the most frequently photographed volcanic cone in the Icelandic highlands. Why is that?

There are certainly a few reasons. Its striking symmetry. Its almost complete moss cover, in contrast to the black sander from which it rises. In fact, you drive across this plain for a long time before you reach Mælifell. It erupted over 10,000 years ago, at a time when most of the highlands were completely covered in ice. This is probably the reason for the uniform shape of the subglacial volcano.

Especially when it had previously rained so that the moss is saturated, and then the sun makes the mountain shine, you get this great motif.

I was lucky that day in the highlands and opted for drone shots because of the rather boring blue sky. This makes its surroundings stand out even better and the moss glows even more!

Torfajökull (2801)

Torfajökull & Mælifellssandur

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Torfajökull is the large volcano south of Landmannalaugar that is responsible for many rhyolite in the landscape around Landmannalaugar. It was once a subglacial volcano, meaning that it erupted under the ice. Here I look from the black Mælifellssandur up to Torfajökull, a few white stones in the foreground. Brightly lit by the sun, the rhyolite peak shines out at me.

Einhyrningur and Eyjafjallajökull in the background

Einhyrningur & Eyjafjallajökull Glacier

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The unicorn rock, »Einhyrningur« in Icelandic. Two years earlier, I had already photographed it in completely different weather, and the sun had only come out for a brief moment. This year was completely different. It was a cloudless day in the highlands, and we could already see the glacier shining to the south of us as we drove along the banks of the Markafljót river.

We had a really great view. Einhyrningur in the foreground, the riverbed of Markafljót running through the picture from left to right and the glacier tongues of Eyjafjallajökull behind it. From this perspective, the old crater rim of Einhyrningur can be seen very clearly and at the same time it can be recognized that today’s mountain is the stump of the cooled lava in the volcanic vent.

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