96 hours in outworldly iceland

Kaleo – All The Pretty Girls

That’s all we had, exactly 4 days. And yet looking back on the trip to Iceland (right as the Bardarbunga volcano was stirring up memories across Europe of that Eyjafjallajรถkull eruption in 2010) and the below photos it seems like a lot more. Despite the fact that it was cloudy for a good 2-3 days and rained quite a bit, it feels as if we’ve done a million things and spent a few weeks wandering and exploring. Which you should do, by the way — just rent a 4×4 and go deep into this incredible country because that’s where the real beauty lies; where narrow gravel and dirt roads lead you to long since last visited places; where you can trek for days without seeing people (plenty of sheep though ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) or wind down in natural hot springs; where you can appreciate the immensity of the glaciers and mountains around you as they stand right at the sea level; where you can really feel what a volcano eruption does to Earth as you see the oceans of moss covered lava fields; where you can witness the light spectacle that is the Northern lights.

I can honestly say it’s one of the most unbelievable places I’ve been to with its vast empty spaces, breathtaking vistas, and surreal and often outworldly landscapes. It’s definitely as close as I’ve gotten to seeing a terraformed Mars or something. We’ve just barely scratched Iceland’s surface and my hunger for adventure beckons me to go back for more… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Some highlights below, more in the coming weeks. Enjoy, comments are always appreciated!

***
First morning in Iceland. The mini camper van proved to be quite useful.

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The incredibly clear atmosphere lets you see really far — that “little” rock in the middle is about 1,000m high and stands around 10-15km away, with the glacier at the back being at around 50km.

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Even some of the back roads are well maintained with lights and signs.

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Eyjafjallajรถkull in all its glory… what a view. Best part? I learned how to pronounce the name properly ๐Ÿ˜‰

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No currency tossing in rivers, please!

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View of long extinct volcanic fissures from the Laki mountain — you can actually see where the earth literally opened up and spewed lava from its core, amazing. The 1783 eruption here was amongst the most devastating ones in recorded history, it basically wiped out a 5th of Iceland’s population and the majority of livestock, further impacting Europe and even Earth’s climate as a whole… mind boggling really.

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Geysir!

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Cool little lake in an old crater.

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Relaxing in a natural hot spring as the rain is pouring over our heads… luckily and miraculously my equipment was dry, but we were completely soaked by the time we got back.

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Comfy ๐Ÿ™‚

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The best lobster I’ve eaten!

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Father and son playing at the empty Reynisfjara black beach at dusk. One of my favorite shots of the trip, totally worth the soaked boots I got from trying to take it ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Random sign that made me smile.

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Plenty of waterfalls around, some of them really majestic.

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Sheep protection. Seriously though, there were fences everywhere — they’ve built quite the infrastructure.

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Perched above.

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Sometimes it’s worth taking your eyes off the grandeur stuff and looking down.

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First I’ve seen a house engulfed in rock.

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One of the many glaciers from up close… perhaps the photo doesn’t do it justice, but it was very Moon-like.

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This guy was sick and tired of the rain for sure ๐Ÿ˜‰

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An old US Navy plane wreckage, sitting in the middle of a gigantic black beach.

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Massive waves.

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Some down time.

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Scuba diving in some of the clearest water on earth (so they say) — right in between the two tectonic plates!

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The greenish-yellow looking moss was in sharp contrast to the black and curvy road.

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4×4 fun ๐Ÿ™‚

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The first time we’d seen the sun in around 2 days.. always provides for some dramatic landscapes with the dark clouds in the background.

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Around the canyon.

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A tucked away little waterfall.

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Abandoned farms amidst the vastness of Iceland’s landscapes.

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A glacier some 20km away… believe it or not there were roads that did not make a turn for even more than that.

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Iceberg in the Jรถkulsรกrlรณn glacial lake.

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Reynisdrangar rocks at dusk.

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Sheep are everywhere! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Wrapped and weather protected bales of hay.

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The grand finale! Truly a spectacle of nature that we didn’t expect to see, but were luckily rewarded with… as we were chilling in hot thermal pools around 11pm! You couldn’t ask for more out of life really ๐Ÿ˜‰ All Northern Lights photos here.

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More photos and stories coming soon ๐Ÿ™‚

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