Green is good 

One of the largest green areas within Reykjavík is Elliðaárdalur, which is also one of the capital’s most popular areas for outdoor activities. The river Elliðaá flows through the valley, a salmon fishing river that has been owned by the city of Reykjavík since 1906. Salmon fishing has probably been practiced in the rivers since the country was settled, as the river is rich with the fish. About 2,500 salmon swim up the rivers every summer, and the estimated number of migratory fish that leave each year is about 15,000. Of course, it is unique to have a salmon fishing river in the middle of the capital. The first bridge over the river, which is not long, and originates in Elliðavatn in Heiðmörk, was built in 1883. The birdlife is diverse, but about 25 species nest in Elliðaárdalur. The valley is very green, with more than 300 species of high plants now living there. For close to a hundred years, tree cultivation has been practiced in the valley, making it very sheltering, with very good walking and cycling paths. At the bottom of the valley you can find Leitahraun, which flowed 4,500 years ago from a crater in the Bláfjöll region called Leitin. Which shows us that if there is another volcanic eruption in that area, there is a risk that part of the capital could end up under the lava. Icelandic Times went down to Elliðaárdalur in the summer breeze.

A thousand variations of green, in Elliðaárdalur

One of the two prominent pillars that stand just north of the power station (Rafstöðin)

Lupine in full bloom

A new playground south of the power station

Playing around by Elliðaá

A pedestrian and bicycle bridge on Geirsnef at the estuary of Elliðaár, two bridges were built according to the prized proposal of Teiknistofan Tröð

The estuary of Elliðaár, Esjan in the background

Alba Davíðsdóttir enjoying the outdoors in the valley

Fishing for salmon in Elliðaá

Photographs & text: Páll Stefánsson
Reykjavík 21/06/2023 : A7C, RX1R II – FE 1.4/24mm GM, 2.0/35mm Z