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

The Relief Route That Wasn't: The Never Built I-70 Bypass in the Mid-Mon Valley

In June 1963, a small blurb in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette read that The Westmoreland Engineering Company was awarded a $24,060 bid to study the proposed construction of Interstate 70 in Westmoreland and Washington Counties.  The study was to see what the construction and right-of-way costs "...to modernize the existing highway to Interstate requirements within eight months." (1)  This small, non-attributed, three paragraph article came less than a decade after the completion of a four lane highway that linked the Mid-Mon Valley to the Pennsylvania Turnpike. This would be the start of a 15 year process to upgrade and improve Interstate 70 - a process that ultimately never produced a single foot of new highway.

This is the story, albeit brief, of the I-70 that never came about.

Background:
What is now known as Interstate70 from Washington to New Stanton began as a connecting highway for the region to the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  Known as the "Express Highway", construct…

A look at Pittsburgh's Saw Mill Run Boulevard

Saw Mill Run Boulevard - Pennsylvania State Route 51 - runs through the narrow Saw Mill Run Valley.  It begins at the intersection of Clairton Road and Provost Road at the City of Pittsburgh Line with Brentwood.  It ends at the West End Circle at the entrance to the West End Bridge.  A four lane highway for its the entire length, Saw Mill Run Boulevard consists of interchanges at the South Portal of the Liberty Tubes and with the Parkway West.  It is an expressway from the Parkway to the West End Circle (West End Bypass).  One of the most well known traffic tie-ups in the Pittsburgh area occurs between Maytide Street and PA 88 (Library Road) which is simply known as 'Maytide and 88.'

History:
Saw Mill Run Boulevard was part of the 1928 Allegheny County 'City Beautiful' bond issue.  The bonds resulted in the creation of Saw Mill Run, Ohio River, Allegheny River and Mosside Boulevards. (1)   After the completion of the Liberty Tunnels in 1924, Downtown Pittsburgh was offic…

The Many Failed Plans of Pittsburgh's Wabash Bridge and Tunnel

The December 27, 2004 opening of the Wabash Tunnel ended over 70 years of proposals and speculation for the use of the over 100 year old facility.  The tunnel, which is now a reversible roadway that is an alternative route for rush hour traffic, saw many failed plans during the 20th Century.  These plans included options for mass transit, converted and new bridges for vehicles, and other forms of transportation.

Brief History:
Constructed in 1902-04, the Wabash Bridge and Tunnel was planned and financed by rail mogul, Jay Gould.  Gould began his "Battle of the Wabash" with the established railroads of the city in 1890.  He would finally emerge victorious, but during that struggle, Gould would see many setbacks that would eventually result in the railroad's bankruptcy in 1908.  On October 19, 1903, when the two ends of the bridge were to be joined together over the Monongahela River, the 109' bridge collapsed; killing ten men.  Construction would resume four days later …