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Old 21st November 2014, 18:39   #61
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Default Re: Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire

Thanks for your comments everyone!

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Originally Posted by nkishore_007 View Post

You did manage to see Aurora Borealis, eh! I must that you are damn lucky. And your reference to Fire & Ice reminds me of two things: An album by glam rock band Cinderella, and Game of Thrones!
Actually, we saw "some aurora". However, we saw much better shows in Norway 2013
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Old 21st November 2014, 20:57   #62
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Default Re: Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire

WOW! Totally glued to the thread! Oh yes, certainly the 5 stars!
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Old 22nd November 2014, 02:03   #63
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Default Re: Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire

Mesmerizing stuff there man. I had no idea such beautiful and mystique places existed on earth. Infact the first set of pictures posted by you were so unbelievable that I dismissed them as photoshop stuff. Iceland has just been added to the top of my list of places to go.
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Old 22nd November 2014, 02:12   #64
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Default Day 4 #2: H2O

The need of the hour was to make haste. But, with landscapes like this, it wasn't really possible. Southeast Iceland is a wonderland of water and ice, and the rain totally failed to dampen spirits.

Sights like these meant we had to stop, even if it meant taking half a km diversion off the main road
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00527xl.jpg

And some were right on the main road. And privately owned too. Geothermal too pedestrian for ya? Well make your own hydro power in your backyard.
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00538xl.jpg

The weather report still diligently predicted Sunshine and cheerfulness at Jokusarlon, but over here, the clouds just sat, ominous
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00540xl.jpg

And the traffic was thin too, inspite of this being the main road
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00541xl.jpg

And if you leave the main road, expect no one, and nothing. Just a bumpy track leading to some glacier
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00542xl.jpg

And sometimes, two
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc_8471xl.jpg

WE were in glacier zone now. From here to Jokusarlon, there will be glaciers, right on the road. Massive ones. Seemed like a perfect place to halt, and savor some sandwiches.
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00544xl.jpg

Its not one yet, and we are less than two hours away. But, before we hit the lagoon, there is one attraction pending.

Its a lovely waterfall, right next to the majestic Skaftafell glacier. Its little past one pm as we reach the parking lot, and guess what, hailstones as big as golf balls rain down. Thankfully, the car weathers it. I run inside the visitor center to get directions, and luckily for us, due to it being off season, we can drive right to the trail head(saving us good 2kms of walking).

I walk out, preparing to run to the car, but no need to spring. Its sunny. And the clouds are scattering. I guess, the weather forecast was accurate after all!.

So, we start our first hike in Iceland. A small walk to the waterfall Svartifoss. Here we come!
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc_8473xl.jpg
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Old 22nd November 2014, 03:35   #65
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Default Re: Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire

Brilliant, brilliant photographs and narration - glad till now no question as to what camera!

An ocean that is not blue, a beach that is all black sand, naked fire on the horizon, false dawn, satellite flares and this and that - all just in the first few pages!!

Great to be back to start reading on this travelogue.

Last edited by adc : 22nd November 2014 at 03:36.
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Old 22nd November 2014, 11:54   #66
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Hi Tanveer,

Excellent travelogue, this one. Your travelogues bring an incredible amount of joy in the reader. Looking forward to your next posts in this 5* thread. Considering the incredible amount of planning that goes into trips, your effort is really commendable.

Keep travelling, keep exploring, keep up the enlightening!
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Old 23rd November 2014, 14:15   #67
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Default Re: Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire

Amazing travelogue Tanveer. One of the best on the forum!
Can't wait for the rest of it
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Old 24th November 2014, 15:53   #68
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Waiting in silent awe for the remaining part of the travelogue. Speechless:-)
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Old 24th November 2014, 18:20   #69
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Default Re: Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire

The land of sons and dottirs!!
Iceland is a wonderful place. Has been on my bucket list for long now. Don't know whether I'll be ever able to visit. Icelandic movies were a solace till this travelogue came into my life.

Thanks for taking us into the 'trance' zone of travel. This is true Nirvana!
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Old 24th November 2014, 19:13   #70
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Default Re: Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire

It's always great to read your travelogue's Tanveer, thanks to the brilliant pics and witty writing.

Thanks for sharing and look forward for more.
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Old 25th November 2014, 00:20   #71
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Default Day 4 #3: Iceworld

To call it a hike would be sort of an overstatement. Its just a walk, up a small mountain. Autumn colors are in full force here, and with no sheep around, shrubs and a few stunted trees have had their day in the Sun.
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc_8474xl.jpg

The hail carrying clouds are now parked over the Ice cap.
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00546xl.jpg

Its not just any icecap. Its the largest in Iceland by area, and largest in Europe by volume of ice. The famous glacier lagoon, and the long arms of Svina and Skata are all children of this ice cap. To its north sits the Fiery Bardarbunga spewing hot lava. To the south lie the black sands of south Iceland.
You can see the entire floodplains to the ocean from here. From far away the turbulent Atlantic seems so tranquil
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00548xl.jpg

Time is short, and we make haste as it starts to rain again. A slippery track leads down to the famous Svartifoss or the black waterfall. Its quite a landmark, and it is said that the basalt columns here are the inspiration for a lot of Icelandic architecture.
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc_8479xl.jpg

Its really tough keeping the lens free of water. No matter how hard you try you always get water somewhere. Rain is slowly turning to hail again
A wet shot
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc_8484xl.jpg

And a drier one
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc_8485xl.jpg

Its almost two, so can't linger here for much longer, so we make our way back. But not before a parting shot
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00560xl.jpg

Near the parking lot I spot a fearless bird, and even with just 70mm in my hands, its quite a close up
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00563xl.jpg

We head back to the main road. This is the shadow of Vatnajokull. The majestic Skaftafellsjökull ambles down right to highway one.
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00567xl.jpg

Its not the only one. Every few kms majestic glacier tongues cascade down the mountain. This is a glacial paradise unparalleled.

Just ahead of Skatafellsjokull is Svinafellsjokul, another long arm. A bumpy gravel road goes right till its mouth. Though not as big as "The lagoon", the glacial lake is quite impressive, and at this time of the year, mostly devoid of crowds
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc_8487xl.jpg

The water is incredibly muddy for a glacial lake. Wonder why!
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc_8490xl.jpg

However, the glacier itself is blue and white ice, with hardly any debris
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00570xl.jpg

Icebergs float on the small lake. How we wish for a kayak here.
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00572xl.jpg

Another view
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00577xl.jpg

Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00578xl.jpg

Norway too has a lot of glaciers. So do the Alps. But the most majestic ones of those require quite a bit of hiking or gondola rides. In the Himalayas it usually means a gruelling trek, or a bumpy 12 hour bone jarring ride. But in iceland, these giants fall right on the road. You just stop and stare.
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00581xl.jpg

But an even greater wonder awaits, and we are on the highway again
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00582xl.jpg

Stopping every now and then to capture some glacier, falling down the mountain, right by the road
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00585xl.jpg

Time is short, but we have to stop again. Cause we spot a really rare thing. A tree. Trees in Iceland, esp ones not recently planted in the "Lets make Iceland a forest movement" are very rare. But here stands one.
It has quite an ancestry. Its born of fire. The ancestors of this one were consumed by fire and fury. But like Kal El, this one survived, to become all powerful on a strange planet.
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00586xl.jpg

In black and white it looks even more dark superhero
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc005902xl.jpg


Its not just a tree. Its also a memorial, to those who perished. Iceland may be a beautiful land, but when its angry nothing can stand in natures path. But like the phoenix, it rises again
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00591xl.jpg

Towards our west, dark clouds gather
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00589xl.jpg

But towards the west, the sky has parted, and we will see the lagoon, in all its sunny glory! As the ice-world unfurls in front of us, I have a hard time maintaining 90. The Lagoon is waiting!

Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00598xl.jpg
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Old 25th November 2014, 07:05   #72
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Default Re: Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire

As usual, wonderful T-log Tanveer. I have been an avid follower of your Travelogues since 2010 and it is always a visual pleasure to go through them. your opening post with the set of pictures indeed set up hte mood and tempo for this travelogue. Thoroughly enjoying this visual odyssey.

Bringing us the best of all the places you visit, you are making me a desktop global tourer.
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Old 25th November 2014, 23:57   #73
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Default Day 4 #3: The Song of Ice

Nothing can prepare you for this. Yes, we had seen pictures and gasped. Seen countless videos, timelapses and read about this amazing paradise. But to be there in person.
Now that is something else.

You forget everything. The cold does not bite, and the wind does not chill.
And so we stood there, at the shore, just gaping at this wonder. WE have seen many glacial lakes. Some big. Some small. Some blue. Some brown. But never seen one like this.

Its like another planet.
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00603xl.jpg

Hundreds of icebergs, big and small float on this lake slowly flowing towards the ocean
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc_8491xl.jpg

And just when you think it can't get better, a light drizzle starts, and you get this
Yet another rainbow. If rainbows had a homeland, it would be Iceland
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00607xl.jpg

The horizon is dark with dense clouds, but here, there is ample light, and it makes the icebergs glow in a bluish hue
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00614xl.jpg

Right at the edge is the glacier tongue, one of the many children of Vatnajokull.
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00616xl.jpg

Every now and then, ice breaks, and you get the endless supply of icebergs, making their final journey.
Most of them are small or medium
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00616xl.jpg

And some are downright massive
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00618xl.jpg

This is water in its purest form. Fresh. And its all going to go into the sea. And guess what, is any visit to Jokusarlon complete without its ice beach?
Well nopee!
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Old 26th November 2014, 00:07   #74
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Default Day 4 #4: The beach

Ba Ba black beach have you any sand
No Sir No Sir, but I do have some ice.

It does not rhyme, but who cares
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc_8497xl.jpg

The black beach is awesome.
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc_8499xl.jpg

Its like those places where you run out of adjectives
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00624xl.jpg


The entire beach is full of icebergs. On this side as well as the "other" side. Towards west, its rainy, but over here, the Sun fights on.
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00623xl.jpg


The icebergs are cold. Extremely cold. Infact, just looking at this picture makes me shiver
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00627xl.jpg

A lone iceberg makes way to its watery grave in the Atlantic
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00628xl.jpg

Many like that one, go to the water, and eventually melt. However, many others come to the beach to live another day.
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00630xl.jpg

Even in this stark bleak landscape, a lone starfish clings on
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc_9004xl.jpg

If one place could be called the heart of Iceland, it would be this. As the tourists start leaving with the Sun set, we know tonight we will reach our cottage very very late, for we are going to spend a lot more time here!
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Old 26th November 2014, 14:23   #75
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Default Day 4 #5 : Regnum glacies

During planning we had contemplated whether to book in advance or simply go where the road takes us. Standing here, it seems like we made the right decision. As the sun goes down, you often tend to make haste, looking for an affordable stay option. But with a warm cottage waiting it did not matter what time it was.

We just sat here, enjoying the frigid winds and looking at the marvelous ice kingdom extending far to the horizon. As the sun went down, the winds picked up, and the ocean started claiming the castles of ice. As the tide will come in, all of these will be gone, to be replaced by newborn.
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00635xl.jpg

The Atlantic is furious as always, crashing relentlessly into the ice. The breakers crash, and then go back, chipping away, non stop, untiringly.

Surprisingly we are mostly alone. This place is usually a cacophony of tourists, with a DSLR hiding under every block of ice. Not this time. Maybe its luck, or maybe its off season, but who cares. We enjoy while we can.

Natures fury continues westward, and within a few hours, the weather system will be here. After a few days in Iceland, we know that the short term forecast can be trusted very well.
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00646xl.jpg

But till the sun shines, the ice will glow. Its another planet.
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00650xl.jpg

I decide to take some long exposures.
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc_9387xl.jpg

Waves race down below, and clouds race high above, glowing with the dying light of the sun
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc_9391xl.jpg

How a slight change of white balance totally changes the meaning of the scene
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc_93912xl.jpg

The clouds part more, and the sun comes out once again.
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00659xl.jpg

To the west the storm gathers. We have maybe less than two hours before it starts to pour
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00660xl.jpg

But its not the weather which drives us out. Its the attack of red yellow and green. Yes, a far eastern group has arrived. Nay, burst out of the doors of the bus, and they are everywhere. Swarming over the icebergs. This is a good cue to head back to the other side
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00661xl.jpg

This lovely bridge is highway one, through which we came. In the background you can see the glacier tongue, the mother-ship of this alien world.
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00666xl.jpg

We head to our car, and the winds pick up. I prepare to take some final shots. And so does this gentleman
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00674xl.jpg

Goodbye Jokusarlon. And with a not at all heavy heart we bid adieu for now
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-dsc00677xl.jpg

No worries. When we head north, we will come here again. To see this wonderland in moonlight and under stars. This is not the final goodbye.... And with that, we start our journey westwards, to hot food and warm beds in our cottage by the sea
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