Skip to main content

Icelandic Highways & Byways (Part 1)

From time to time, I do have the opportunity to travel internationally. Our world has so much to offer both domestically and abroad that I like to take any chance I can get to see different places. So when the opportunity arose to travel to Iceland with some friends in September and October 2016, I jumped for the chance to go. I got to see geysers, volcanoes, waterfalls, black sand beaches, the geothermal pools that Iceland is famous for, plus I spent a week using Iceland's capital city of Reykjavik as a home base. I also got to take plenty of road photos during my travels as well. This series will focus more on the road aspect of Iceland, but I will be including some photos of the places I saw along the way as well.

This first part of this Icelandic Highways and Byways series will focus on the roads around Reykjavik, with the first set of photos being from Sæbraut, which is part of Iceland Route 41 that eventually makes its way down to the Keflavik International Airport. Keflavik is where most international travelers first set foot on Icelandic soil.
Seltjarnarnes is a suburb of Reykjavik. As for the signage, I am told that it is based of Danish sign designs, but uses British Transport font.
Making my way down Sæbraut. You may notice the sign denoting that tractors are not allowed on the road during rush hour periods. I'm pretty sure that Reykjavik is the only world capital that has to advertise this restriction.
Solfar, or the Sun Voyager. You will see this sculpture on the side of the road along Sæbraut.
Standing in the median, looking at Harpa (a concert hall).
Looking at Sæbraut from Harpa.
Iceland Route 41 is not the only numbered highway that serves Reykjavik. Iceland Route 1 (the Ring Road around Iceland --- you'll hear more about this road later on), Iceland Route 40 and Iceland Route 49 are also important thoroughfares in and around the capital city.

Along Iceland Route 49, which serves as both a motorway and expressway in portions.
This might just be Iceland's only single point interchange, as seen from Iceland Route 49.
Petrol was expensive in Iceland, but diesel was a little less expensive. There didn't seem to be much variation in prices around the country either. You'd be expecting to pay the equivalent of about $6 USD per gallon.
Along Iceland Route 40.
Still along Iceland Route 40. Despite being a very old city in a country that has seen financial difficulties, there is a fair share of newer buildings that has been constructed in Reykjavik.
On Iceland Route 1 (Ring Road) starting to head out of Reykjavik. The route is a lot like this until you reach the road that splits off for the Golden Circle.
Iceland has lots of roundabouts.
Finally, a few interesting, yet random road photos around Reykjavik itself.
Old and new styles of signing streets in Reykjavik. The old style is typical of what you would find around Europe, as in street blade signs affixed to the side of a building. The newer style is a little more typical of what you would see in North America. During some of my other travels in Europe (Denmark and London, more specifically), street signs more low lying and not at eye level, which made things a little more difficult to navigate, even on foot.
Reykjavik's domestic airport is located just outside of downtown, so it is common to see planes taking off and landing in the city.
A wayfinding sign in the Reykjavik Harbor area.
Since English is the de facto second language of Iceland, you'll see plenty of English being used. I never really encountered much of a language barrier in Iceland, even outside Reykjavik. I only picked up a few Icelandic words while visiting, such as "takk", which is Icelandic for "thanks".
Approaching Perlan (the domed building in the distance).


This is it for the first installment of my Icelandic highways and byways post. I also traveled around the Golden Circle, and also southeast, southwest and north of Reykjavik, which will be featured in the future. I hope that you enjoyed this little visit to Reykjavik.


Icelandic Highways and Byways Series
Icelandic Highways and Byways (Part 1) - Reykjavik
Icelandic Highways and Byways (Part 2) - Golden Circle

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

California State Route 88 the Carson Pass Highway

Between 2016 and 2017 I drove the majority of California State Route 88 from CA 99 in Stockton east over Carson Pass to CA 89.






CA 88 is a 122 mile state highway from CA 99 in Stockton east over the Sierra Nevada Range to the continuation route Nevada State Route 88 at the Nevada State Line.  CA 88 is known as the Carson Pass Highway.  Carson Pass at 8,574 feet above sea level along CA 88 is an all-year Mountain Pass in the Sierras and on occasion designated as Temporary US Route 50 when conditions are bad over Echo Summit. 

CA 88 was not one of the original Signed State Highways.  CA 8 was the original designation over Carson Pass which can be seen on the 1938 California State Highway Map.

1938 State Highway Map

CA 8 was substantially different than CA 88 west of Jackson as it largely follows the current route of CA 26.  From US 99E in 1934 and later US 50/99 in 1936 from Stockton CA 8 originally used the following route to reach Jackson:

-  Legislative Route 5 from US 99 in Stockton …

California State Route 85

Last week I had the opportunity to try out several Bay Area roadways.  The first route on my list was California State Route 85 from CA 17 west to US Route 101.






CA 85 is an approximately 24 mile freeway starting at US 101 in San Jose which loops back to US 101 in Mountain View.  I drove the entire route back in 2016 but my recent trip had me starting CA 85 at about the mid-way point in Los Gatos from CA 17 northbound.





CA 85 west of CA 17 briefly skirts the City limits of San Jose before entering Saratoga.





CA 85 dips back into the westernmost limits of San Jose at De Anza Boulevard.  De Anza Boulevard was part of the original surface alignment of CA 9.





CA 85 in Cupertino is the location with the junction with I-280.  The section of CA 85 north of I-280 is the original part of the freeway which means there is plenty of button-copy shields still posted.











CA 85 briefly dips into Sunnyvale before entering Mountain View.   CA 85 encounters CA 82 which runs on the El Camino Real which obvious…

California State Route 49; The Golden Chain Highway (CA 41 north to CA 16)

Last year I traveled California State Route 49 from CA 16 north to CA 89 in one continuous trip.  The prior two years I traveled the rest of CA 49 south to CA 41 in Oakhurst.  This blog post consists of photos of the highway from that time period and historical information about the southern part of CA 49.






This blog post is meant to be a continuation of the previous one I did regarding CA 49 from CA 16 north to CA 89.  A link to said blog post can be found below:

California State Route 49; The Golden Chain Highway (CA 16 north to CA 89)

As stated in the previous blog post; CA 49 is an approximately 295 mile long north/south highway which traverses the traditional Gold Rush Country of California.  While I intend to discuss county level historical alignments of CA 49 as I did in the first blog post I thought this would be a good place to discuss the backstory of highway.

CA 49 was first signed in 1934 along a series of Legislative Route Numbers ("LRN") that were largely located…