Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Iceland and Horizons

I am slowly working my way through all the holiday pics and in between have actually managed to finish the Horizons piece which missed the deadline for Festival of Quilts.  More of that in a bit.

Our cruise in July took us via Dublin Bay to Reykjavik, Isafjordur,and Akureyri in Iceland and on to Alesund, Olden and Satavanger in Norway.  The whole cruise was full of new experiences ansd scens only perviously glimpsed in wildlife programmes on the telly.  We left the Uk in boiling hot weather and travelled through two days of fog after leaving Ireland to arrive in another world in Reykjavik.

We saw little of Reykjavik other then the drive through the city to begin our tour of volcanic landscapes, waterfall, geysirs and techtonic plates!

Steam pouring out of the earth in the distance.

Strokkur Geysir spouting forth with much noise and spraying of water.  It gathers force and erupts every few minutes when it's advisable not to be standing down wind.

The people are all waiting for the next eruption.  It was amazing to be standing in this steaming landscape with water erupting from the earth.  The rock underfoot was an amazing colour.

From the geysir we were driven to Gulfoss waterfall which was a deafening cataract, 31 metres high.  Its name means The Golden Waterfall so-called because of its appearance when the sun shines on it.

 We walked down the long path to reach this rock platform in front of the main fall and needless to say we got a good soaking.

The sun did come out briefly and there is a hint of a rainbow in the photo above.

From waterfalls and geysirs we drove further to enter a strange and fascinating landscape.  Thingvellir which lies in a beautiful valley and was the venue of Iceland's open-air Parliament long before 1066.  This is where Iceland is literally being torn in two as the North American and the Eurasian techtonic plates pull themselves apart.  The rate of split is about the same as the rate that your fingernails grow.  Here you can walk through a rift valley.

That cliff in the distance is where the plates are pulling apart.

Here the group were walking down to the valley floor and on the right there had been a recent fall of rock.   You can see the cliff disappearing into the distance.

There is evidence of continuous volcanic activity over long periods of the past all around here. 

Iceland gets much of its energy from the land it sits on and we visited a power station close to Reykjavik.  

The power plants harness the steam that comes out of the earth to provide power and the station we visited had a very futuristic feel about it.  Icelanders do not need to clear snow from their paths in winter as heat is run under the paths to keep them free of snow and ice!

I made several short videos on my camera but I am not sure if they will work here so I'll try and post one and if it doesn't work I'll take it off and have a go at Youtube.

More of Iceland next time but I have my finished Horizons 'quilt' to show you.  

Not quite the complete quilt as I couldn't photograph it properly but this is how it would look hung against a wall as it would have if it had made it to Festival of Quilts next week.

And this is a section of it against a window.  When I can get a proper hanger for it and decent light I'll post it again in its entirety.


Corrine at said...

Spectacular photos. What a great trip this must have been. xox

Jackie said...

Oh!! I loved every moment of this blog post. I loved reading your words as I drove and walked with you. I have never seen anything like that, and I can only imagine that being there in person was an incredible experience.
I want to thank you for posting the video. That was marvelous, Julie!!
I would have loved to have seen it for myself, and I thank you for posting it on your blog.
Welcome home...

Miriam Weaver said...

Fantastic photos, what a wonderful place to spend a holiday.

sharon young said...

Wonderful pics, Julie, somewhere I'd love to visit, your quilt looks superb. Looking forward to more pics on both.

Peneller said...

I love your pics Julie. It's lovely to see these wild places so thanks for posting the pictures.
The horizons quilt looks stunning and quite different when it's backlit. It's a shame you didn't get it in in time, but at least you got it done which is more than I can say!!!

Maggi said...

What an amazing experience for you. I liked the Horizons quilt originally but backlit it is even more beautiful.

Clare Wassermann said...

What marvellous photos - I'm really inspired to go now! Love the quilt - even more lovely backlit. See you at the NEC maybe - I'm there on Thursday. xx

Heather said...

Your quilt is stunning and the effect of the light behind it makes it look like stained glass - wonderful.
I love the little video - it gives a real sense of actually being there in that stark but beautiful landscape. A really fantastic trip.

Sue Wild said...

Thanks for sharing your brilliant photos of Iceland. Really like the quilt, it has a stained glass quality against the light.

Amanda said...

Fabulous holiday! One place John would love to go fishing. Shame you missed the deadline, the quilt is lovely.

Gail Pierce said...

gorgeous quilt!!!!
what an amazing trip you had! the geysers remind me of Yellowstone but the rest of the terrain is foreign to me. (you should try Pompeii, Pisa, Rome etc.)