I see that I lost wrote about my 2014 trip to Iceland over two months ago, so it’s about time that I wrote another post. That last one (here) included photos of Rebecca Tun at a canyon called Fjaðrárgljúfur. Now we have some photos of Rebecca from that same day but at a location farther east.
This particular spot is historic, not just for the turf houses that you see here, but for the importance of the site and the people who used to live there. This particular settlement was the last place that one passed going east before reaching the great Skeiðarársandur – a huge black mass of barren nothingness (“sandur” is actually an English word, too, meaning “outwash plain”) created by the nearby glacier Skeiðarárjökull when the volcano beneath it would erupt, releasing vast quantities of water and debris to wash away everything here that stood in its path.
In fact, this area is so treacherous that it was the last part of the ring road that circles Iceland to be completed, in 1974 (which is not really that long ago). Before the road was completed, the only way to get to the other side (and to southeast Iceland), without having to circle around the very long way in the other direction, was to do so on horseback – and the family that lived at this settlement were experts on the area and would be able to guide you across (as you sure didn’t want to go wandering across on your own). Even after the road through here was built, some sections had to rebuilt in 1996 when three bridges were washed away by another volcanic eruption.
Although an important site, it is also fairly small, and I even drove past it when I was looking for it. It wasn’t until I saw the great wasteland ahead of me that I realized that I had gone too far, and so had to turn back to find it, which – as you can see from the photos – I am glad that I did.
About Dave Rudin
Dave Rudin is a fine art photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. He specializes in art nude and travel photography, using black & white film and making silver gelatin prints in a darkroom.