The Pearl that is Ásbyrgi
“Ásbyrgi IS the most beautiful place in Iceland!”, I heard an Icelandic woman say to her friend in the Ásbyrgi store. “I agree 100%”, said the friend, “as it’s very warm outside, quite unique summer warmth and the light last night at Botnstjörn, was quite unique”. Ásbyrgi is a sheer mountain enclosure in Vatnajökull National Park, in the north of Norður Þingeyjar County, and one of Iceland’s greatest natural wonders. It’s a massive flat rock table
mountain that was formed, according to Norse tradition, when the eight-legged horse,Sleipnir, belonging to Odin, the supreme god in Norse mythology, touched the ground for a moment, and left a 3.5 km long hoofprint where Ásbyrgi is now. Some scientists claim that Ásbyrgi was formed following a catastrophic eruption and subsequent glacial flood of the Jökulsá á Fjöllum River basin, the largest lake in Iceland, whose outlet flows just east of Ásbyrgi down to the sea in Öxarfjörður. Ásbyrgi is just 4 km from Skinnastaður, 30 km from Kópasker, 60 km from Húsavík, and 560 km from Reykjavík.

An old sheep barn, converted into a Service Centre of Vatnajökull National Park, at the
entrance to Ásbyrgi

Evening light at Botnstjörn pond

Amazing silence, Botnstjörn

The table mountain in Ásbyrgi. There are two people standing at the very top of the edge if
you look carefully

Öxarfjörður : 09/07/2022 : A7C, RX1R II : FE 1.4/24mm GM, 2.0/35mm Z

Photo and text : Páll Stefánsson