Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland … entering North America without a visa or passport via the ‘Bridge Between Continents’

If Donald Trump does become President of the United States later this year and insists on erecting a wall along the length of the Mexican border, then he may want to consider extending his immigration control policy to Iceland. There, foreigners are freely entering North America without a visa or a passport – and often without witnesses – simply by crossing a walkway bridging the gap between it and Europe. I should know. I filmed myself doing that very journey.

The ever widening gap created from the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates pushing away from each other, runs the whole length of Iceland creating some of the most breath-taking scenery found in Europe. The gap stretches for miles further inland, but along the Reykjanes Peninsula just outside the small coastal village of Hafnir, the plates appear to be just a few metres apart.

A welcome and rare sight in rural Iceland: a sign confirming where we were. The entry sign for the 'Bridge Between Continents' in the nearby car park

A welcome and rare sight in rural Iceland: a sign confirming where we were. The entry sign for the ‘Bridge Between Continents’ in the nearby car park

As expressed in my film, first impressions of the bridge were admittedly underwhelming

As expressed in my film, first impressions of the bridge were admittedly underwhelming

...but the views from the bridge were stunning

…but the views from the bridge were stunning

At the halfway point along the bridge. The Eurasian tectonic plate is to the left, the North American plate is to the right, and the volcanic gulf in the middle is geologically No Man's Land

At the halfway point along the bridge. The Eurasian tectonic plate is to the left, the North American plate is to the right, and the volcanic gulf in the middle is geologically No Man’s Land

Confirming the halfway point along the bridge, and a good place to put my gloves whilst taking photos from that point

Confirming the halfway point along the bridge, and a good place to put my gloves whilst taking photos from that point

My escape route back to the safety of Europe should an immigration officer spot me now that I am officially on the North American tectonic plate without the right visa

My escape route back to the safety of Europe should an immigration officer spot me now that I am officially on the North American tectonic plate without the right visa

My gentleman friend walking around in No Man's Land. It doesn't look like he saw me enter North America without my passport

My gentleman friend walking around in No Man’s Land. It doesn’t look like he saw me enter North America without my passport

But did they?

But did they?

I quickly retreated from the North American plate to No Man's Land just in case I was suddenly arrested for being an illegal alien

I quickly retreated from the North American plate to No Man’s Land just in case I was suddenly arrested for being an illegal alien

More 'foreigners' freely crossing from Europe (left) to North America (right)

More ‘foreigners’ freely crossing from Europe (left) to North America (right)

North America on the left, Europe on the right (PS that's not my gentleman friend on the bridge)

North America on the left, Europe on the right (PS that’s not my gentleman friend on the bridge)

Oh no! Now my gentleman friend has stepped onto the North American tectonic plate and I know he hasn't got his passport with him either

Oh no! Now my gentleman friend has stepped onto the North American tectonic plate and I know he hasn’t got his passport with him either

Whilst he was on the North American side, my gentleman friend took some stunning shots of Mother Nature’s work… or should that be Mom Nature’s work?

That rock formation looks like a disapproving hillbilly

That rock formation looks like a disapproving hillbilly

What a beautiful shot. Thank you to my gentleman friend for allowing me to use his photos here

What a beautiful shot. Thank you to my gentleman friend for allowing me to use his photos here

Continuing on south along the R425 coastal road, the plains were no different to the several miles of moon-like lava fields we had already driven through earlier.

Lava fields as far as the eye could see (weather permitting)

Lava fields as far as the eye could see (weather permitting)

Iceland Reykjavik, Bridge Between Continents, road past Hafnir, planet trail, volcanic rock

Iceland Reykjavik, Bridge Between Continents, looking across at North American tectonic plate from Eurasian plate, rock form detail

Then, as the weather was starting to turn bad again and we were considering turning back to Reykjavik, I noticed something shining amongst the lava rocks.

What was this alien object in the middle of this alien like land?

What was this alien object in the middle of this alien like land?

It was Jupiter! Well, I didn't expect to be passing that along the R425

It was Jupiter! Well, I didn’t expect to be passing that along the R425

Iceland Reykjavik, Bridge Between Continents, road past Hafnir, planet trail, Jupiter close up

The view from Jupiter

The view from Jupiter

Out of curiosity, we drove a little further south and sure enough we came across Uranus.

Uranus!

Uranus!

I couldn't resist and tried to put it into second gear inspired by the motor-like symbol in the bottom right hand corner of the model's display plate

I couldn’t resist and tried to put it into second gear inspired by the motor-like symbol in the bottom right hand corner of the model’s display plate

Further south still, we spotted this. Was it Neptune or a 2001: a Space Odyssey monolith?

Further south still, we spotted this. Was it Neptune or a 2001: a Space Odyssey monolith?

I wonder whether Neptune was stolen by those apes

I wonder whether Neptune was stolen by those apes

Useful information

Contrary to my concerns at the time, there is no need to have a passport or visa to travel to the North American tectonic plate via the Bridge Between Continents.

There is no public transport to the bridge so the only way to reach it is by car. The bridge is not along the official Golden Circle route and I didn’t come across any guided tours from Reykjavik that included it as a destination. Do ask at the local tourist office for more details should there be a tour available, otherwise a taxi or hired car are the only other options to get there. The adventurous types may want to walk to it from Kaflavik, but I wouldn’t advise it. It is a very long and visually dull journey – especially if the weather is bad – with nothing but lava fields along the way.

The bridge is not far from the Blue Lagoon. It is a couple of kilometres south of Hafnir, along the R425 which can be picked up passed the town of Kaflavik on the main R41 and just before the turning for the airport. There are absolutely no signs for the bridge whatsoever, until you come to the side-road leading up to it (it’s on the left hand side). The small red-and-white sign at car-bumper level reads Brúin milli heimsálfa. Blink and you will miss it.

There is space to park your car free of charge beside the well paved pathway leading up to the bridge. It is less than a five minute walk from the car park. Entrance is free and the bridge is always available for visitors to cross regardless of the weather. There are no facilities i.e. toilets or a cafe there or anywhere nearby.

Although there doesn’t seem to be anything about it online at present (April 2016), there does appear to be a scaled planet trail along the R425 coastal road between Kaflavik and Reykjanesta. On the return journey back towards Kaflavik, we didn’t spot any other planets from our solar system, or indeed the sun (it was a very overcast day). Maybe the installation of the trail hadn’t been completed (December 2015), but having experienced other scaled planet trails elsewhere in Europe, it is more likely the models were just too small to see from the car amongst the seemingly unending stretches of lava fields around us.

Ah, my gentleman friend may have witnessed me cross over to North America without my passport after all. I hope he won't be called to testify against me

Ah, my gentleman friend may have witnessed me cross over to North America without my passport after all. I hope he won’t be called to testify against me

TLT x


Icelandic winter sunriseReykjavik, the Golden Circle and plastic penises. Memorable moments in southwest Iceland 


Uranus eclipsing the sun

Walking at twice the speed of light (apparently) along the beautiful Uetliberg Planet Walk, Zürich


 

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