Mountains

Iceland Cruise 16 – Icelandic Horses & Rocks

I got carried away in my last post, and was heading for snow, before I had posted about these marvellous creatures.  The ancestors of the Icelandic horse were probably taken to Iceland by Viking Age Scandinavians between 860 and 935 AD.  The Norse settlers were followed by immigrants from Norse colonies in Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Western Isles of Scotland.  They are pony size, but are referred to as horses.  In fact on the 4 x 4, I said pony, and I got an Icelandic hard stare from our driver, until I corrected myself.  These were the first horses we saw and the lovely Icelandic driver, just incase he reads this, stopped and let us take some photos of these lovely little horses.  

As we were making our way to the snow, we returned over the lava fields, and this time we could see the moss very clearly, the moss is a lichen whose erect or upright, leaflike habit gives it the appearance of a moss, where its name likely comes from.  We stopped again so we could take some more photos of the moss. rocks and lava fields.  I like taking some photos of the houses, although a few are holiday homes with fantastic views.  The next post will be a snow one.

Cruise – March 2018

Iceland Cruise 15 – Arriving In Iceland, Up Mt. Úlfarsfell & Black Beaches

We arrived in Reykjavik, Iceland on Friday 9th March 2018 at 08.00, after spending most of the pervious day off the coast of the island.  We would be staying for two days, not really long enough to explore this amazing island, but enough to give you a taster, to draw one back at another time.  We were greeted again by blue skies and sunshine, as we had the day before, when on the ships deck, people had their faces towards the sun……..not that I could feel any warmth, if I though the Faroes were cold, I was in for a shock, so glad I had my three layers and more…..it was cold, really cold.

We had an early start as we were leaving at 9.00 to go on a ‘Super 4 x 4 Adventure’ this was really for husband, but we would be back by 13.00, so we could explore Reykjavik.  As we climb aboard the guide asked if anyone would like his front seat to take photos….I was in before anyone else moved, I did remember to say thank you, it was very nice of him to give up his seat.  We first went up Úlfarsfell, which is a small mountain, around 296 meters high, located south of Mosfellsbaer, a town located around 12 km from Iceland’s capital of Reykjavik.  The top of the mountain gives a great view over the majestic Mt. Esja, the Blue Mountains, the Reykavik area and Faxafloi bay, the Reykjanes peninsula and the Hengill geothermal area.  The guide told us that the made up road to the top of the mountains, had been built by the British during WW2, they had a lookout at the top.

After the short walk to see the views and I must admit I have never felt so cold, I had made the mistake of leaving my gloves behind, lets put it this way, they were never forgotten again.  But the views were pretty spectacular.  We were then meant to go further up another mountain, to drive on to a glacier…..guess what, too much snow had fallen the day before, and the road was not passible even for our 4 x 4.  So we went to the beach, not quite the same, but thats nature for you, so off we went across lava field, after lava field, and then moss, which grows on the lava after thousands of years.  This moss takes thousands of years to grow the tiniest amount……..so please no walking on it or picking bits up to examine, just enjoying looking at it.  

We passed frozen lakes, that the ice had been rippled by the wind when freezing.  We saw a car that had been caught in a flood which then became frozen, along with trees at the edge of the road.  

Then we came to the beach…… not what I was expecting, it was quite strange.  It’s not exactly the sand, as it’s more of a mix of small black stones. These stones were created when lava collided with the Atlantic Ocean.  It was beginning to warm up,just a little, but not enough to start sunbathing, and I’m not quite sure it it would be the same as laying on black sand.  Anyway we were now off to find some more snow, and lots of it…… which will continue in the next post.

Coming Down The Mountain, The Jungfrau, The Swiss Alps

This is the last of my photos of our trip to the top of Europe in 2015, The Jungfrau in the Swiss Alps.  This is the return trip down from the Mountain and the glorious views that you can see from the trains.  We did have a wonderful trip and this is really to remind me of how much we enjoyed it.  The photos are of the views from the two different trains that we travelled on……at one point it was very steep, but we stayed on the rails 🙂

Eating Sandwiches on a Glacier – The Jungfrau, The Swiss Alps

The Top of Europe 2015, The Jungfrau Experience in The Swiss Alps and what an experience.  This is one way of experiencing the nearest thing to being a mountain climber that you can get, with out using a rope.  After three train journeys we reached the top, we then spent some time looking at the views through the large windows, then we ventured outside to really see the views.  Totally jaw dropping amazing, for me anyway, as I’m not very good with heights, but I soon overcame any fears, it was just so beautiful.  Next we explored inside the mountain.  I found some photos of how the tunnels were made, and you can also see the very last part of the tunnel dug into the mountain.  There is an ice cave, which I have posted about, and a display on making Swiss Chocolate.  After making our way down some very long tunnels, we came out on to the glacier……..we sat on deckchairs and had our sandwiches, with a coffee we bought from the Glacier Bar, it was perfect, just like being at the seaside, but instead of sand, snow.  We sat and enjoyed watching others enjoying all the snow activities, and then made our way to the next train to leave the Top of Europe.   I have added a few photos of the train trips down the mountain.

 

Climbing A Mountain The Easy Way, By Train – The Jungfrau, Switzerland

 

You travel on three trains to reach the Top of Europe, we caught the first train at Interlaken, Switzerland in 2015, and two more took us up to the top of the Jungfrau.  The last train travels through the interior of the mountain, and then if the cloud is clear, you enter another world.  Just a few photos of the trip up to the top, they are not as clear as I would like, as they were taken through the train windows.  The Top of Europe Experience will hopefully follow shortly.

Gazing At The Top Of Europe

In 2015 we went the Top of Europe , The Jungfrau, in the Swiss Alps, in fact we went in 2016, but we don’t talk about that trip, as it was a white out, we didn’t see a thing.  In 2015 we did, the weather was perfect, I have posted a little about the trip, but not any main posts.  As I’m into my third week with the cold from hell, I want to blog about something that will cheer me up and make me feel ……sorry…Christmassy,  So for a few days, I will be re-visiting the top of the world again.  By the way, the photo is me, gazing out into wonderland.

2015

Blue Skye, Scotland

When we were on Skye, Scotland, a couple of weeks ago, we stopped on our ’round island road trip’ to have a picnic.  I’m not sure that we have had one, with such a breathtaking view before.  I think…..we were looking at Applecross on mainland Scotland, with the little island of Rona in the foreground, but I’m not a 100% sure.  The sky had a slight haze, which made everything in the distance have an ice blue tint, it was far more beautiful than I could really capture, but they are a lovely reminder of a beautiful picnic.

May 2017