[Preface: Iceland was a complete surprise. It wasn't originally on the agenda for this trip - but at the suggestion our friend Ryan, we decided to include it. I can't tell you how glad I was that we did.]
Iceland is one of the most beautiful, scenic, and culturally rich places I’ve ventured to date. This trip introduced us to some pretty amazing scenery, and by the end of the 4 days we spent there – we were already conjuring up plans on how much it would cost to buy land in the country.
To give you a little background knowledge on Iceland, it’s part of the Scandinavian countries on the Northwestern end of Europe. This group of countries I have particularly found to be proud of their heritage, and boast of their vast intelligence, often claiming they’re the smartest people in the world. Being half-danish, I don’t have much of an issue with them saying so. In fact, we learned that Iceland is being used as a standard for current research relating to genetic dispositions – the reason being that their population is the most pure in terms of racial homogeneity. (Basically no one comes to their country and contributes to their gene pool – there are 300k on the entire island.)
The cultural folk-lore includes stories of elves and trolls, and the viking personalities showed evident in the people we had met as well. If you go to Iceland, I strongly suggest booking a tour with Icelandic Excursions to hear the stories in full detail.
Let’s get on with the story of the trip, shall we?
The first morning we got into town – exploring around a bit.
These are my all-around shoes. The guys made fun of me joking I was going to freeze my toes off, but ended up in a pretty funny situation you will see later on in this post!
Amazing sight. Doesn’t compare to any ocean/sea I’ve come across before.
Made our way to the blue lagoon to do some swimming. This is a must-add to your bucketlist. The experience is like a dream, and it’s like a really cool hot tub during winter.
We set out with our Jeep we had rented to do some exploring around the island, and found some really cool places!
“Pay the toll!”
Talk about a “brisk” walk.
At first we thought we would be driving around in a white blizzard all day…
But then out of nowhere, this crazy sunrise appeared. The light cast from the angle of the sun is un-paralleled. Never seen anything quite like it.
Love the symbolism in this photo.
Got bit in the ass by a horse.
And Jason decided to hop on & ride one. Funniest thing I’ve seen in my life. I’m still laughing a week later.
It was pretty tricky getting behind the waterfall (see photo above) but you know me – always going for the REAL scenery.
We headed out at night & found ourselves frustrated not being able to catch a good sight of the northern lights. We found out later that someone had taken an amazing photo only 20 minutes away from our hotel. The weather is so unpredictable, it can literally change from blue skies to blizzard in a matter of minutes.
Lucked out with a couple shots, but weren’t really satisfied with the experience. Just a brief glimpse, and then it was gone.
TOUR! We went out on an Icelandic Adventures tour to see some of the more notable spots in the country.
It was blizzarding, but that wont stop us from getting some killer photos.
It actually started blizzarding REALLY HARD, and with some 50 mph winds, one of the tour vehicles got stuck. We hopped out and dug out the snow from under the wheels, helped the rescue teams, and pushed the trucks to give it an extra boost on it’s way out. The wind was blowing the snow so hard it felt like sand paper smacking against your face.
Unexpected tour! Our original tour for this day was cancelled due to the storms from the previous night, so the company offered us a “SuperJeep” tour that would take us wherever we wanted.
Remember how I told you about my shoes earlier? Well, since the tour was switched, we didn’t get to stop back at the company’s headquarters so I could exchange my glacier boots back from the day prior. I ended up wearing them the rest of my trip, and am still wearing them in Denmark. Was an interesting experience wearing them out to the clubs in Stockholm by the way!
LOVE this shot! While I originally was thinking of editing out the reflection, I came to really appreciate the way this photo shows what we were viewing while driving along the Icelandic countryside. Here’s Sully getting a view of one of the long rivers that runs along the middle of the highlands.
We decided on a certain spot to go that night after seeing how clear it was earlier in the day. Lucked out and got some cool shots of the northern lights featuring some of those Icelandic snow horses you saw earlier.