Exploring Iceland

My main puropose when visiting Iceland was to see the Northern Lights. Although I missed the best ones during my time there, I did at least get to see the Lights so I came away happy. Unfortunately my photography skills do not stretch far enough to be able to show you shots of the Aurora Borealis, and to be honest you’d be better looking at a postcard.

I did, however, take lots of photos of the other great attractions I saw in Iceland.

Iceland is definitely going back on my travel bucket list so that I can return in the summer and explore the rest of the island. I completely blown away by how radically different all the different parts of the island look.

The transfer from Keflavik International Airport to Reykjavik is across a barren land of lava rock.

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Further south, the land is a lot greener and it’s easy to see why the first viking settler chose this area to farm in.

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It’s possible to drive over the line between the European and American tectonic plates (Reykjavic is on the American side), and you notice a visible difference in vegetation between the two. The European side is mainly made up of bare rock with a bit of moss growing on it, whereas the American plate is home to a lot more vegetation. There is only one tree native to Iceland, but the Norwegians brought lots of firs and spruces over with them.

Further inland, things get even colder as you get closer to the glaciers, mountains and frozen waterfalls. I apologise if this shot is a bit blurry, but it was so windy on the viewpoint for the waterfall that I was using all my strength just to stand still.

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You could spend days just marvelling at the Icelandic landscape, but I would recommend dragging yourself away to visit some of the tourist attractions (although I use the term tourist loosely here as the Icelanders don’t seem to have caught on to the profit potential of tourism yet). My favourite is the geysir park. Entry is free, and even though the water is between 80-100 degrees celcius, the typical carefree Icelandic attitude is demonstrated with a thin piece of string stopping you from getting too close to the geysirs.

Only one of the geysirs is active at the moment, but when it goes it certainly makes up for the lack of drama in the others. You feel a bit silly standing with your camera in front of your face, in the howling wind, waiting for that perfect shot of the boiling water erupting, but it’s definitely worth it.

Going…

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going…

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…everyone ready for their steam facial?

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6 Replies to “Exploring Iceland”

      1. It was the Arctic winds that surprised me. It took all my energy just to stand still to take photos at some points 🙂

  1. Try and watch Secret Life of Walter Mitty if you’ve not already – the film’s ok but the scenery shot in Iceland is one of best I’ve ever seen on screen.

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