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Photographer's Note

Something you don't often see in Iceland ~ volunteers working to maintain the hiking trails. There is not a lot of vegetation, apart from wild thyme and other scrubby things, and so hiking trails are often nothing more than a thin line of dirt through rocks or stony surfaces.

At the lower levels at Skaftafell, however, there are vast meadows and lots of wildflowers. Located in Vatnajökull national park, the largest national park in Europe, this area is near Svartifoss, the "Black Waterfall."

For most westerners, 'park' is probably not the first word that comes to mind when describing this vast and often desolate landscape of mountains, pastures and hills of skree that stretches around the Vantajökull ice cap from the south coast to the north coast of Iceland.

At 15.000 square km, roughly around 13% of the surface of Iceland, it is the largest protected wilderness in Europe.

Vatnajökull itself is Europe's largest glacier with the surface are of 8100 square kilometres. The glacial ice conceals a number of mountains, valleys and plateaus. It even hides some active central volcanoes. The icecap rises at its highest to over 2000 metres above sea level making it the highest peak in Iceland. (idealist.org)

Which is why they stick to the lower levels for trail maintenance :)

Off in the distance, you can see some of the glacier fields.

And, from what I recall, these people were members of a local garden club.

holmertz, maloutim trouve(nt) cette note utile

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