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 original alignment of US Route 40 over the Martinez-Benicia Ferry and Carquinez Scenic Drive

This past November I took a day trip out to the Carquinez Straights to explore the original alignment of US Route 40 over the Martinez-Benicia Ferry and Carquinez Scenic Drive.



Part 1; the history of road bound travel over the Carquinez Straights

The Martinez-Benicia Ferry began operation in 1847 and is the second oldest ferry in the San Francisco Bay Area.  The Martinez-Benicia Ferry shuttled traffic across the Carquinez Strait long before a bridge was present in the area.   The Martinez-Benicia Ferry was founded by Dr. Robert Semple and was taken over by Oliver Coffin (interesting last name) who built the Ferry Street Wharf in 1850.  The Martinez-Benicia Ferry can be observed even vintage maps such as the 1857 Britton & Rey's Road Map of California.


By 1915 a steam ferry known as the City of Seattle was the first to carry automotive traffic across the Carquinez Strait.  Access to the Martinez-Benicia Ferry was by way of Legislative Route 14 and Legislative Route 7.  LRN…

Box Canyon Road (former US 60, US 70 and the second California State Route 195)

This past month while visiting Riverside County I drove Box Canyon Road from Interstate 10 near Chiriaco Summit southwest to Mecca in Coachella Valley.  Box Canyon Road is mostly known for being the original alignment of US 60/70 when they were expanded into California.


Box Canyon Road is an approximately 15.8 mile road between I-10/Cottonwood Springs Road near Chiriaco Summit which travels southwest through the Mecca Hills to Coachella Valley where it becomes 66th Avenue. 


Box Canyon Road follows a naturally cut wash through the terrain of the Mecca Hills.  The path of Box Canyon Road has been a known route of travel from Coachella Valley to the Colorado River and eastern Sonoran Desert for centuries.  During the California Gold Rush a wagon route known as the Bradshaw Trail was plotted through the Sonoran Desert by William D. Bradshaw.  The Bradshaw Trail was plotted in 1862 through the Sonoran Desert east over the Colorado River to a new mining strike found in La Paz, Arizona.  B…

California State Route 79

This past month I drove a segment of California State Route 79 from Interstate 15 in Temecula east to CA 371.  Given that CA 79 was one of more common routes of travel circa 2011-2013 in Southern California I figured it be a good opportunity to discuss the history of the highway.


Excluding recent relinquishments CA 79 is a 107 mile highway counting 1995 era mileage.  CA 79 begins at I-10 near Beaumont of Riverside County and travels generally southward to I-8 near Los Terrenitos of San Diego County.




Part 1; The History of California State Route 79

CA 79 was one of the original Sign State Route Highways announced in a 1934 Department of Public Works Guide.  CA 79 was originally aligned from US 395 in Temecula southward to US 80 near Descanso.


CA 79 in it's original configuration was entirely aligned on Legislative Route 78.   LRN 78 was defined by the State Legislature in 1931 as an inland route between San Diego and Temecula.  LRN 78 was clarified in 1933 to include two segments; o…