part ii: Iceland

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europe / iceland / Travel

Finally sharing the second half of my adventure in Iceland! As with most of the trip the weather was pretty gloomy with light rain showers everyday (this of course meant we saw rainbows everyday too!) The sun showed up about only 3 times for short periods during the whole trip, and we were thankful for the warmth even if it only lasted for a few minutes. With weather so unpredictable, it really was a challenge to take pictures but I would say that this second half of the trip was the half I enjoyed more because of all the nature, so here are some photos and words to accompany them.

I sat up front in our bus to get this shot. I hardly sleep while in transit especially during road trips.
I love architecture. I actually wish I took up architecture or engineering back in college. I love it when structures are able to blend in with their surrounding nature.

We visited the Skogar Village first. This place was so peaceful and was full of open spaces. There is a folk museum as well that had a lot of items that were preserved from the Viking era, it was pretty interesting. After the museum tour we stayed outside walking on the grass for a while even if it was cold and drizzling to take some pictures and explore.

Skogafoss

As soon as I saw the Skogafoss from the bus ride, I started squealing with excitement. There are so many photos of this waterfall on Instagram and it’s easily recognizable as an “Iceland Shot” but seeing it in person was breathtaking. It’s massive, and it’s right next to the road. I would think that a place like this would require a long hike or something but I quickly learned that in Iceland you don’t have to look too far to find “escape.” Makes you wonder how amazing other spots could actually be if it wasn’t as accessible as this, right? That’s something I’d like to explore on my next visit there.

The sun shined for a short while and I was able to catch that little rainbow! This is one of my favorite shots.
At the right side there is a path for you to go closely to the side or to the top of the falls.
A stranger up close and personal with the Skogafoss!

Before heading on to our next destination, Reynisfjara, we went to have lunch at Icelandair Hotel Vik. No photos of this place and the food (sorry!), but I do recommend it and if you look it up you’ll see that it’s A+++. I’ll make sure to take photos of our food and restaurants/hotels on my next trips haha! I usually get lazy to take my camera out when it’s time to relax and eat lol.

For the second half of this trip my favorite would have to be Reynisfjara! I have never seen black sand before, let alone black sand against the raging waters of the Atlantic Ocean. There were also a lot of interesting rock formations. I felt like I was immediately transported into a whole different planet. Our guide explained that the waves can get very dangerous, that they sometimes can reach the parking lot (which is pretty far off) and that people have died from getting too close so be careful! I was actually almost caught by the incoming wave and I even tripped when I tried to run away from it but my friend from the tour helped me get up and run again (thanks Kat!)

A photo of me taken by Uncle Mike

I love big waves! I’m drawn to them and their sound, and they’re so much more fun to photograph. It was also still raining here and I had to wipe my camera lens every time before I took a shot.

Kat enjoying the view.
See human on lower left for scale!

Our last stop for the day was Seljalandsfoss. We got here pretty late already and nighttime was about to fall so I wasn’t able to take as much pictures. From afar it doesn’t look like much but the closer and closer you get you’ll realize that it’s actually a big and powerful waterfall. You have the option to walk behind the falls. My mom and I did it halfway only since it was so dark, slippery, and we were getting drenched from all the mist.

That famous little house in Arnastapi

The next day we headed on to Western Iceland! We stopped by the little fishing village of Arnastapi in Hellnar where we had a really nice view of the ocean and cliff sides. Afterwards we had lunch at Fosshotel Hellnar.

Finally! The only food photo I can share. This piece of dessert from Fosshotel Hellnar was super yummy!

Next, Langjökull Glacier. We were supposed to have some kind of activity called Into The Glacier but it was cancelled because the weather was pretty bad, so we just spent the time looking around the open space instead.

What was once covered with ice.. 😦

Sad reality: the glacier has receded and continuously does so because of climate change. Now more than ever we need to make changes in our lifestyle no matter how small! Say no to single-use plastics, recycle/reuse whatever you can, educate others when you see something wrong… etc. We’ve all been informed all the little things we can do to help save this planet, it’s just a matter of caring and making an effort.

Moving on to the only part of our trip where I didn’t know exactly where we were. I know we were inside the Snæfellsnes Peninsula but if I wanted to search exactly what this place was called I wouldn’t know where to start. Our drive here was probably the most scenic and I loved the colors and landscapes that I saw.

Another rainbow!

We ended up at this beautiful and raw spot. There was nothing else to do but to appreciate the nature that was surrounding us! This was one of the very few times the sun showed up again. Our stop after this was Hraunfossar and Barnafossar.

Geo
Love this view!
Hraunfossar

The viewing area of Hraunfossar and Barnafossar is super visitor friendly. I love how Iceland and their people took the time to set up these kinds of things! I wish everything else was this well maintained!

Icelandic skies bidding us goodbye.

Now back to Reykjavik where we were greeted with pastel skies. We celebrated as a tour group by enjoying a seafood buffet at Restaurant Reykjavik. Our other tour mates would continue on to Finland while my mom and I would extend another day in Iceland and then return back to Manila. There’s nothing for me to post about our extended day though as I became extremely sea sick while whale watching on a boat and had spent half the 2nd half of the day in bed lol.

I remember feeling all kinds of sad on the way back home, and as I write this in almost-mid-2019 I still feel the same way about this 2016 highlight. I am always aching to go back!

Thanks for reading!

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

Read Part I here.

x Alexis

The Author

Photographer and visual artist from the Philippines.

4 Comments

  1. Elizabeth Whang says

    Amazing shots. Beautiful photos.
    Worthy to be shared with others.
    ❤️❤️❤️ ETW

    Liked by 1 person

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