A Month in Iceland

The start of the year is usually a pretty quiet time after the chaos of Christmas and I was looking for somewhere to have an adventure. My first thought was a month in Canada snowboarding, revisiting Whistler where I spent a gap year after finishing university. I was filling out a form for some accommodation (which is hilariously/depressingly expensive in Whistler), one of the questions being 'What's one thing you like to do before you die?'. I thought about it for a minute and concluded that I'd always wanted to visit Iceland. It seemed pretty odd that I was filling out this form to go to Canada writing about how much I wanted to go to Iceland, so I changed my plans!

Travelling around on road trips fuelled on rice cakes, peanut butter, and 80's music in totally inappropriate footwear is something I'll never forget. 

THE SOUTH COAST

Skaftafell National Park. This was fairly close to a huge glacier (pictured below) with black sands all around the lagoon. Warning signs put me off getting too close; the melted glacier water can create quicksand. 

Skaftafell National Park. This was fairly close to a huge glacier (pictured below) with black sands all around the lagoon. Warning signs put me off getting too close; the melted glacier water can create quicksand. 

Skaftafell glacier. The water flowing here is the best I've ever tasted. 

Skaftafell glacier. The water flowing here is the best I've ever tasted. 

On the way to Skaftafell glacier. 

On the way to Skaftafell glacier. 

'Diamond Beach' at Jokulsarlon. Pieces of glacier wash up on beach after floating out from a lagoon.  Some are the size of cars and they have a beautiful blue hue. 

'Diamond Beach' at Jokulsarlon. Pieces of glacier wash up on beach after floating out from a lagoon.  Some are the size of cars and they have a beautiful blue hue. 

A valley on the walk to Seljavallalaug (I just googled a made up spelling for this and got zero results. This was a common theme).

A valley on the walk to Seljavallalaug (I just googled a made up spelling for this and got zero results. This was a common theme).

Seljavallalaug. An outdoor swimming pool fed by a natural spring of geothermal water from Eyjafjallajökull, the volcano that erupted in 2010 and stopped air traffic across the Atlantic and Europe for weeks. I swam in this pool but it was still pretty cold. I think this would be a great spot in summer. 

Seljavallalaug. An outdoor swimming pool fed by a natural spring of geothermal water from Eyjafjallajökull, the volcano that erupted in 2010 and stopped air traffic across the Atlantic and Europe for weeks. I swam in this pool but it was still pretty cold. I think this would be a great spot in summer. 

Approaching the South Coast from Reykjavic. 

Approaching the South Coast from Reykjavic. 

Seljalandsfoss.

Seljalandsfoss.

REYKJAVIC

Cathedral of Christ the King. The lack of daylight in winter was a struggle for me, but when the sun is up there's gorgeous light. 

Cathedral of Christ the King. The lack of daylight in winter was a struggle for me, but when the sun is up there's gorgeous light. 

Hallgrímskirkja

Hallgrímskirkja

Harpa Concert Hall. 

Harpa Concert Hall. 

Downtown. Terrifyingly expensive. Purely a spectator spot. 

Downtown. Terrifyingly expensive. Purely a spectator spot. 

The Northern Lights north of Reykjavic. There were some other photographers here complaining about the passing cars, but I didn't mind the light trails along the highway. I've seen the Northern Lights once before in Banff, Alberta and fondly remember my photos being published in the local 'Crag & Canyon' newspaper. I was an 'internationally published photographer' on my old website for a while after that. 

The Northern Lights north of Reykjavic. There were some other photographers here complaining about the passing cars, but I didn't mind the light trails along the highway. I've seen the Northern Lights once before in Banff, Alberta and fondly remember my photos being published in the local 'Crag & Canyon' newspaper. I was an 'internationally published photographer' on my old website for a while after that. 

The Northern Lights.

The Northern Lights.

SNAEFELLSNES

Kirkufell. This is the most photographed spot in Iceland and there was a line of photographers all getting this exact same shot. The composition is so easy that it's a tough one to mess it,  but it reminded me of my concert photography days and being elbow to elbow with people all pointing their cameras in the same direction. It was a bit silly. 

Kirkufell. This is the most photographed spot in Iceland and there was a line of photographers all getting this exact same shot. The composition is so easy that it's a tough one to mess it,  but it reminded me of my concert photography days and being elbow to elbow with people all pointing their cameras in the same direction. It was a bit silly. 

Djúpalónssandur. Black stones, weird volcanic formations and dangerous waves and currents. Many places in Iceland have a dreamlike quality to them. If the Earth was a living creature, I think Iceland would be its subconscious. 

Djúpalónssandur. Black stones, weird volcanic formations and dangerous waves and currents. Many places in Iceland have a dreamlike quality to them. If the Earth was a living creature, I think Iceland would be its subconscious. 

Volcanic formations on the way to Djúpalónssandur.

Volcanic formations on the way to Djúpalónssandur.

A landscape near Gerduberg.

A landscape near Gerduberg.