Thursday, December 20, 2012

Iceland! (Part 3)

In case you haven't been following along this week, here are the first two parts of my Icelandic adventure: Part 1 and Part 2.

Day 5: We woke up super early to photograph the icebergs at sunrise. Totally worth it. There are just massive icebergs chillin' (get it? haha) in the lake. And lots of them. Everywhere you look. It was so beautiful it didn't even look real.


As it got closer to sunrise, the sky turned this awesome pink color.

My fave.

Then right across the road there is a black sand beach with more icebergs everywhere. Except for these icebergs have washed up on the shore, so you can walk through them and around them and touch them! Incredible.

Yes, I am licking an iceberg. No, my tongue did not get stuck.

It wouldn't budge. 

Finally found one I could pick up! 

On top of the world!

I could have spent all day hangin' with the icebergs, but we had a schedule to keep, so we turned around and drove back the way we came.  Another pretty waterfall... note the rainbow in the spray!

Probably the only trees I saw in the Iceland the whole time! Lots of varied terrain, but not so many trees.

Back to Vik again... These sea stacks on the black sand beach were cool, but we had just come from seeing ICEBERGS, so I maybe didn't appreciate it as much as I should have. I also ate a cheeseburger with an egg on it in Vik. Delicious.

Another view of this super cute church. 

Back in Reykjavik, we were excited to find out that our Northern Lights tour would actually be departing that night. We tried to get on this tour every single day without any luck. Words we got used to hearing: "Too cloudy, too cloudy." So we headed into town just in time to grab a quick hot dog at the local hot dog stand before meeting our tour group. Best hot dog of my life, folks. I think it's the magical crispy onions they put on the bottom. Or is the mystery sauce slathered on top? Either way, perfection. 

Sooo... back to the Northern Lights tour... (Or should I say lack thereof?) They loaded everyone onto three buses and we drove about two hours into the middle of nowhere "hunting" these lights based on some obscure solar report somewhere. Then they opened the doors and we stood outside for an hour with our tripods and cameras hoping the clouds would clear and we'd see something. Yeah, nothing. Pretty disappointing. We did get bored and I took these night shots (yes, it was pitch black for these next two photos - a long exposure makes everything visible.)

Even though we missed the Northern Lights, we had pretty good luck with weather otherwise. I had been obsessively checking the forecast every day prior to our departure and was pretty discouraged to see nothing but rain. I packed my travel umbrella, and ended up not using it once! We had a few sprinkles here and there (and some snow!) but nothing steady or constant, except of the course the cloudy skies.

Day 6: We spent this day hanging out in Reykjavik, exploring the parts of the city we hadn't yet seen. Bought a few souvenirs and went to check out the famous Blue Lagoon. I knew we would be in a locker-room setting, so I didn't want to bring my camera, but I immediately wished for it as we were driving in. Dani took these on her point-and-shoot.

Day 7: Really this day was just spent packing up, checking out, and killing time until our flight left. I do like this lighthouse we found, although I have no clue where we were.

And Icelandic ponies! Yay! (Someone informed us that they are horses, not ponies, but I intend to call them ponies until the day I die.)

Dani, the pony whisperer. 

Anyway, that pretty much concludes our trip! I have to give a shout-out to Dani here too, because she really was the perfect travel companion for an experience like this. She always seemed to know what I was thinking before I finished my sentence (weird), she wanted to do all the same things I did, and she basically planned the whole trip while I was gone the week before. Oh yeah, and she's like a freakin' Christopher Columbus - she always knew where we were and where we needed to go. Make sure you read her blog too! 

If I could pick one word to describe Iceland, I think it would have to be "magical." I've been home for two months now and I miss it like it was always a part of me. Dramatic? Maybe, but it's true! The surreal landscape, the unique food, the natural untouched beauty of it all... crazy awesome. I live in a place where I can never drive more than five seconds without seeing another car, or a house, or a building. Most of the time I feel like there is nothing I can see that a zillion other people haven't already seen, touched and photographed. Iceland was the polar opposite of that, and for that I will always love it. 


Chad said...

Cool photos. Especially of the ice. Because, ice.

Dani said...

Ice ice baby!!! I heart this last post the best. It was so awesome to be able to do this with you and you were seriously the best travel buddy ever!! Your pictures are amazing!!

tPoz said...

this last post, with the amazing icebergs - SWOOOOON!!! I was practically entranced looking at these images! AND I could practically taste that hot dog...YUM! Fantastic recap of quite an incredible trip!

joanna tillman said...

Oh my gosh, these are amazing photos! Looks like an awesome trip.