In the Land of Fire and Ice

I had the fortune of being invited to visit Iceland and stay at a friend's house (thanks A-T!) Anyone with an invitation like that (especially a photographer) would be foolish to say no!  So with camera gear loaded, I hopped on an IcelandAir flight and took advantage of their free stopover program for 6 days on the way to USA to visit my parents.

First stop was Reykjavik, the capital of this small country. It was much more spread out than I realized but there was a compact core situated around the town lake. 

Lake Tjornin in Reykjavik 
A local resident on Lake Tjornin

Hallgrímskirkja church in Reykjavik as seen through a special monument

The Sun Voyager sculpture on a frosty day in Reykjavik

After a brief tour of the city, it was time to head out and discover the fire and ice of Iceland!  I began by driving on the Golden Circle, a scenic route just east of Reykjavik.  First stop was Geysir (where the famous word Geyser come from)

The Strokkur Geyser erupts every 4-8 minutes

The grounds of Geysir, with steam everywhere

Next stop was Gullfoss waterfall. Since it was winter, there was a lot of ice buildup. The lower falls (by the path in the bottom left) was closed due to the danger. 

Gullfoss falls surrounded by an icy buildup
Another view of Gullfoss falls

The sun setting on a river on the Golden Circle

The last tourists enjoying the sunset 
 However, the shooting schedule wasn't finished yet! A quick return to the house to rest up for the forecasted Aurora Borealis, aka Northern Lights. It can be difficult to see this phenomenon as you have to have an active forecast for the lights and combine that with no cloud cover. It's not always easy, however I was lucky enough to have two nights in a row (not possible all the other nights). I have to say the light show was the most spectacular natural exhibit I have ever seen, a must for everyone. 

Northern lights over Grotten Lighthouse

Northern lights in Thingvellir National Park

The final area that I was able to visit was the south coast, approximately 2 hours from Reykjavik. This area is also known for its beautiful geological features to include waterfalls, seashores and glaciers. 

Skogafoss waterfall surrounded by the icy walls

The river above Skogafoss waterfalls

The sunset on the seashore near Dyrholaey

That wrapped up my way to short visit to Iceland. There was so much more to see and I was only hampered by not enough time and a strong storm for the first few days. I definitely want to go back and see much more of this wild and beautiful country. You should do the same!


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