In the middle of winter in Iceland there is no early morning sunrise. Sometime after 10am the sky starts to lighten but realistically the sun doesn’t really rise until around 11am. Around 5 hours later it starts to set. That was my experience at least during my recent visit to this beautiful country. Surprisingly I found the darkness much easier to get used to than when I experienced near 24 hour daylight in Finland a few years ago (back then I thought the opposite).
These images are from a morning trip about 45 minutes outside of Reykjavik overlooking the town of Hveragerði below. This place is famous for its big greenhouses with a vast number of heat lamps where they grow much of the fresh produce of Iceland all year round such as vegetables, flowers, plants and even bananas!
While sunlight is kind of scarce in the colder months, power to heat the greenhouses is relatively cheap and renewable in Iceland. This is courtesy of the green energy geothermal power plants that make use of the active volcanic magma streams below the country to create energy and hot water (nearby is the Hellisheiði power plant which you can tour for a small fee). The greenhouse operators also take advantage of the heat and steam coming up through the ground from the volcanic magma chamber that lays below Hveragerði to help grow their produce too.
While I didn’t go into Hveragerði proper, apparently small and large greenhouses dot the town and are more prolific than retail premises. From the road going past the town and looking down from above I could certainly see a lot of big ones. You can see the bright glow of the greenhouses in my photos. Almost as bright as the sun itself!
Green Iceland. Well done!