At the end of November 2014, I returned from the trip of a lifetime to Iceland, and have already planned my next visit out there. Having just become a Mrs at the time, myself and my husband wanted to go somewhere that would capture our hearts and serve as a place to always remember, and Iceland certainly did not disappoint. We were based in Reykjavik (Iceland’s capital) in a beautiful apartment and split our time between the city and beautiful scenic journeys along the country’s coast.
Thingvellir National Park
The Law Rock ‘Lögberg’ is where The Icelandic Commonwealth held court from 930 till 1262. At that time, the Law Rock, was the hub of the Alþing meeting. The Law Speaker, proclaimed the laws of the Commonwealth and had to memorise these laws in 3 years before reciting them all. As well as being a place of great importance to Iceland’s history, it is an absolutely beautiful place to be, and we spent many hours walking in the valley where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates are moving apart.
Guilfoss ‘Gold Waterfall’
Iceland’s most famous glacial waterfall and a spectacular spot to watch the sunset (which is at a mere 4pm currently). Water plunges down two step falls and into the Hvita River creating a spectacular cascade, swaying sprays and what I can imagine would be a very satisfyingly fresh dive. We decided to hike to the waterfall’s edge above the drop and really take in the sheer size and volume of nature at work.
Strokkur at Geysir
The original geyser stopped errupting 14 years ago, but it’s younger brother Strokkur is still going strong. Situated in southwstern Iceland, Geysir was the first geyser to be mentioned in a printed source and the first know to modern Europeans. The English word ‘geyser’ means to spout periodically, and the Icelandic name ‘geysir’ means to gush, so both similar without even knowing. Every 5 to 7 minutes, Strokkur can erupt upto 70 metres into the air, with a loud whoosh and and a spray of lovely sulphuric eggy smelling water (so try not to stand downwind of it).
Northern Lights at Borgarnes
We stayed up until 1AM to catch the Northern Lights glisten over Borgarnes, and it was honestly worth every second, no matter how tired I was at the time. Taken using a 30seconds exposure, at ISO1600 and f3.5, I only had a fence post to keep the camera still and prayed for some good results. Auroras are caused by charged particles, mainly electrons and protons, entering the atmosphere from above causing ionisation and excitation of atmospheric constituents, and consequent optical emissions. Witnessing the Aurora Borealis ripple across the sky is someting I will never forget and really do hope to see again, whether it be in Iceland or another Scandinavian country (all of which we want to go to as soon as possible).
Having spent 8 days in a country where the sun only rises for a few hours and only to the point of about a 5PM sun in England, and then does a 360 and has 24 hours of sunlight in the summer, we got our fair share of amazing skies and suns. This particular shot was taken while on a boat far out in the bay near Reykjavik on the way back from seeing some white beaked dolphins – sadly I didn’t get any good snaps as they were fast and in a feeding frenzy below the water’s surface. But, if you love skies, suns and waters as much as we do, get yourself over to Iceland.
In the next part of this post, i’ll be talking about my encounter with some killer whales and our drive to the glacial lagoon Jokulsarlon. Part three will feature the best places to visit in Reykjavik for food and shopping, and let me tell you, you’ll be thoroughly spoilt for choice.