part i: Iceland

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europe / iceland / Travel

Here’s Part I of my adventure in Iceland last October 2016. We explored places closer to the city during the first half of our stay. I always prefer nature over the city, but this was still really enjoyable. Iceland has been a long-time dream of mine and to this day I still can’t believe I actually made it there. Definitely considering it as one of my favorite trips!

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Scenes from the drive towards Reykjavik coming from the Keflavik International Airport
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Right before we boarded the plane from Munich to Iceland, we were informed by our tour operator that there needed to be a change in plans. We were originally scheduled to view the aurora borealis the night after our arrival, but forecasts have shown that the aurora activity would be strongest on the day we would be arriving. So as soon as we land, we had to leave immediately after checking into our hotel to be able to catch it.

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We had an activity forecast of 7/10! We were so lucky!
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It was my first time shooting an aurora and I found it so frustrating but eventually got the hang of it. Experience really is the best teacher but I’m so glad I read up on tips for aurora photography before the trip! A part of my tripod chipped off though lol.

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One of my last few shots, when the lights were dimming down.

As touristy as The Blue Lagoon might seem I would say that it’s not overrated and it’s something you need to experience when in Iceland. We stayed for a good amount of time but I wish we stayed longer! It was really relaxing and fun. I don’t have much pictures because I only took shots after the whole experience and you’re not allowed to take pictures when you’re fully clothed (this is what security told me). We had lunch at the top of the Perlan Building afterwards in a revolving restaurant.

Inside the Perlan where we had lunch.
View of Reykjavik from the top of the Perlan Building
Hallgrímskirkja

After lunch we proceeded with the city tour and of course we were taken to see the Hallgrímskirkja church. It’s very clean and bright inside, and it feels brand new despite being built in 1945.

Þingvellir National Park

We took a short stop to Þingvellir National Park. We didn’t go too far in since we didn’t have a lot of time and the wind was raging, it was hard to keep balance even on a flat surface! I didn’t enjoy this stop as much as I could have because I didn’t get to see a lot of it, definitely somewhere I’d like to return to so I could appreciate it better.

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At the Geysir area where we saw the Strokkur erupt.

The Geysir area was also an interesting place to visit. The landscape here transformed into reds and yellows because of the high sulfur content I think (please correct me if I am wrong.) We saw the Strokkur erupt and right when it did the winds came and blew it to our direction so we had to run! It was so much fun though!

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A full view of the Gulfoss.

If you only see the Gulfoss in pictures you wouldn’t be able to imagine its actual size. It’s massive and scary if you fall in, but fences have been properly placed so don’t worry! Also, if you think you’ll make it out of here dry you’re 100% wrong. The falls are so strong that they generate so much mist (and it was also drizzling) that I had to wipe my glasses and my camera lens all the time.

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And now for my favorite part of Part I: the Icelandic Horses! I love animals and I have heard so much about these creatures before my trip, and I made it a MUST to be around them at some point even if spending time with them wasn’t a part of our itinerary.

Before we had entered the area of the Gulfoss falls I had already spotted them on the other side of the road. So as soon as my mom and I finished taking pictures and exploring Gulfoss, we ran towards the area where the horses were.

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This one tried to eat my camera haha!

They are the sweetest! They will approach you on their own expecting to be petted or fed. I actually called out “Hello!” to a black horse we named Jack and he came over and nuzzled his face all over mine. After a bit, he went away but only to bring back 2 more of his friends! It was super cute and it’s a memory I will cherish forever.

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The Icelandic Horse my mom named ‘Jack.’
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Ending Part I with a selfie with Jack! How cute is this!

Read Part II here.

Tour Operator Bridges Travel & Tours 
Accomodations Skuggi Hotel, Reykjavik
Airline Qatar Airways, Icelandair
Local Tour Guide Ellert Sigurdsson

x Alexis

The Author

Photographer and visual artist from the Philippines.

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