Bank Holiday Sunday

Perfect beach weather for once, so we set off for Newborough Beach in Anglesey, sadly the narrow road was filled to the top with a queue of cars waiting to get into the car park, on a one out one in basis. So we drove on to the next place to park, near the estuary, a “kind” person told us it was an easy walk, just over a mile, to the beach. “Kind” person could hardly have been more wrong, it was in fact 3.5 miles to the beach. But then this!

Newborough Beach
Newborough beach on the north side of Ynys Llanddwyn looking North

Super clean beach and water, lovely ripples in the sand and water

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sand
Newborough Beach
Bathing, sea
Bathing Beauties

Colours of Iceland – White

In April, everywhere you look you can see white – rushing waterfalls, breaking waves, snow capped mountains, ice-floes, steam above the sulphur lagoons and clouds.

Snow and Water, one solid and one hissing with power
Snow and Water, one solid and one hissing with power.
The back spray flies way out to the side as the water hits the flat ground below, making a dense white mist.
The back spray flies way out to the side as the water hits the flat ground below, making a dense white mist.
Birds love this fast flowing waterfall, they can't resist flying past again and again.
Birds love this fast flowing waterfall, they can’t resist flying past again and again.
The end of the glacier where the melt water sits and freezes and melts over and over. Cracks appear and close, fallen rock become trapped on the ever-changing surface.
The end of the glacier where the melt water sits and freezes and melts over and over. Cracks appear and close, fallen rock become trapped on the ever-changing surface.

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Glassy white coverlet over the first few new green shoots of spring.
Glassy white coverlet over the first few new green shoots of spring.
Another glacier where the melt water lagoon allows ice-floes to break up and float slowly down to the sea.
Another glacier where the melt water lagoon allows ice-floes to break up and float slowly down to the sea.
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A large block of a snow-based float, we managed to stand it vertically just long enough to take a photograph.
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Snow floes breaking up and moving ever downward towards the sea.
These are compressed ice-floes, glassy and clear not like the snow floes which are granular and melt fairly rapidly.
These are compressed ice-floes, glassy and clear not like the snow floes which are granular and melt fairly rapidly.
Black pebble beaches and white surf
Black pebble beaches and white surf

Colours of Iceland – Blue

Without sunshine its quite hard to find real blues in the landscape, luckily we did have three days of good sunshine, the glacier and the ice-floes came to life in the sun.

Iceland Vatnajokull
Vantajokull Mountains seen from the coastal plain.
iceland Vatnajokull Mountains
Vatnajokull Glacier and Mountains
iceland glacier
Incredible massive ice formations on the glacier surface at Vatnajokul.
iceland ice-floe
Enormous ice-floes slowly moving from the lagoon at Jokulsarlon to the sea, the sun behind it turning it blue.
iceland icefloes
A large ice-floe released from the glacier and floating out to sea, I particularly liked the feint bas-relief marks.
iceland Reykjavik Harbour
Back in Reykjavik, the harbour water was a mesmerising, rippling  blue.

 

Colours of Iceland – Textures of Straw Yellow

Yellow is not really evident in the landscape at the end of winter in late March, the dominant colour is a the pale straw colours of swathes of dried grasses, having been flattened and and preserved by thick layers of snow throughout the long dark winter. In some place there are just the first small shoots of the green to come. We were lucky also to see, at much closer range than usual, a group of seals, yawning and stretching in the warm sun. We were fortunate with the weather too, three days of bright sunny weather, though still low temperatures.

The beaches, where one might expect to see yellow sand are a surprise, as they are all black volcanic sand and pebbles.

iceland grasses
Waves of long grasses flattened by snow, echoing the waves of the water beyond.
iceland birch
Perfectly-spaced lines of birch or poplar are a common sight along roadsides and at boundaries of properties. A great many trees have been planted since 1990s one sees many more young trees than old.
iceland shelter
A typical stone shelter for livestock, built into the hillside with turf cladding to keep out the rain and cold.
iceland seals
Seals basking in the sunlight on ice-floes in the lagoon, it is a rare sight to see them so close.
iceland hillside
The grass on this hillside is just beginning to regrow and turn green