Category Archives: Iceland

Lost in Landmannalaugar

I got lost a number of times on the 3 day hike from Skogar to Landmannalaugar (they don’t make it easy), but on the final day I got REALLY lost! I like to see the funny side of these things but at the time it was quite disheartening. As I was getting close to my camp for the night (only a few kilometres away!) I came upon a fork in the road with a sign pointing to ‘Landmannahellir’, I could see this wasn’t ‘Landamannalauger’ but with no sign describing the other direction I thought I’d take my chances with the similar name (seriously what’s up the names over here??).

This was the wrong decision. On return there turned out to be another, far more descriptive sign a few hundred metres in the correct direction, you might want to put that one at the first fork people! Haha wow anyway I trudged on for over 5 kilometres in the wrong direction, doubt building with each step as the weather took a turn for the worst. When I finally reached a sign that confirmed my suspicions I was truly a broken man, having to retrace my steps and add another 10 kilometres to an already huge hike was brutal! On the brightside it makes a funny story and I saw some things I wouldn’t have otherwise, including this surreal landscape not far from my original mistake.

I’m moving on to the Faroe Islands soon but I have so many more photos from Iceland that I can’t wait to share with y’all!

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Landscapes of Laugavegur

After staying the night at Alftavatn (next to the lake you can see) my hike continued across the remarkable landscapes of Laugavegur.

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Lenticular Clouds at the Volcano Huts

After starting the day in Skogar I finally made it to the Volcano Huts in Thorsmork for a well earned rest! Before settling in for food and a shower I quickly took a few snaps of the lenticular clouds hovering around the mountains. I don’t get the chance to see them very often and they looked incredible as the sun went down.

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The Impossible River Crossing

Today I learnt an important lesson in why not to solely rely on Google Maps. I knew exactly where my camp at Thorsmork was but what I didn’t count on was a raging river that I had no way of crossing on foot. I’m not sure if the river is always like that but it seemed like a hopeless situation at the time. I walked alongside the river for a couple of hours until a bus with giant river crossing wheels turned up. The driver was nice enough to let me jump on board and across we went, crisis avoided! This photo is one of the many I took while walking alongside the river (and no this isn’t the ‘raging’ part, haha that’s further to the left). The strange cloud formations were especially awesome around these parts, what a wild day!

The Impossible River Crossing

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Down the Valley into Thorsmork

There’s just something special about hiking in the mountains, I don’t know if it’s the solitude, the ever-changing conditions, the amazing landscapes or the sense of discovery but I imagine it’s a mixture of all these elements and probably more. The weather had been fairly dour most of the day as I left Skogar and ascended into the hills but it was still a memorable walk past some breathtaking waterfalls. I had to really knuckle down through long stretches of rain, wind and snow but when I came through on the other side the clouds began to break up and I was treated to something really special. Light pierced the clouds as I walked down the valley into Thorsmork, creating a magical scene that still gives me goosebumps.

Down the Valley into Thorsmork

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Reflections of Skogafoss

Before starting a 3 day, 90km hike to Landmannalauger I stayed the night in Skogar. It’s a small Icelandic village known for the 60 metre high waterfall named Skogafoss which you can see pictured. Rain stopped me from taking a photo until it was dark but it was well worth the wait. The rain left behind some large puddles which I used to get a nice reflection, they give photos a bit of an x-factor so I love to make use of them when I can. The darkness was a bonus too, sure I couldn’t see much but the long exposure (4 minutes) helped bring the scene to life and I had the whole place to myself!

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Sheep in the Hills above Vik

While hiking in the hills above Vik I came across this happy little family, nice of them to pose for a photo! 🙂

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The Rocks at Vik

I wandered down to the beach at Vik (in Southern Iceland) one night to take some long exposure photos. There was thick cloud about and it was REALLY dark, I mean I could barely see anything out there! To set up a shot I first cranked the ISO up as high as it could go and took a quick trial exposure purely to see what was out there. After getting the composition right I crunched some numbers based on the high ISO trial and then took the real deal with a much lower ISO (1600 in this case). I would wait for anywhere between 2 and 10 minutes for the exposure to finish which was incredibly boring! Haha you have no idea how slow time moves when you’re on a beach in the middle of the night in Iceland! I just kind of walked about aimlessly until the exposure was finished. At least the long wait made it super exciting to see the results!

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Fireworks at Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon

Sometimes you just get lucky. I had no idea about the annual fireworks display held at Jokulsarlon (a glacial lagoon in Southern Iceland) until I arrived in Hofn and was told that it was on that very night! Barely believing my luck I jumped on one of the organized buses and off we went. The wind coming off the lagoon was pretty cold (it is glacial after all) but the fireworks were awesome and the whole night was just amazingly surreal. You’ve set a high bar Iceland, it’s gonna be tough to top this!

Fireworks at Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon

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An Epic Rainbow in Skaftafell

Far out the weather was weird today! I packed and unpacked my camera dozens of times as stormy weather set in, only for the sun to come out shortly after. In this case the clearing weather was accompanied by an epic rainbow, awww yeah!

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The Jaws of Seljalandsfoss

Seljalandsfoss is an amazing waterfall in Southern Iceland (and another incredibly difficult name to spell) but I only had 15 minutes to enjoy it as I was coming through on a bus. I’ve seen seem really spectacular photos from here but with limited time and unhelpful weather I’m glad I managed to at least get some photos! The scene changes dramatically as you walk under the waterfall and from this angle the cave looked like jaws. There was a lot of moisture getting on my lens at the time but it wasn’t too hard to clean that up later on the computer, yay for technology. 🙂

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Silica and Sulphur at the Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa just outside of Reykjavik and it’s quite a fascinating place. I read a lot of reviews when I was deciding whether or not to visit and they were all over the place, some people loved it and some people hated it. The opinions were so polarizing that they ended up being my main reason for going!

The weather was pretty dreary but I went out there for half a day to see what all the fuss was about. It’s a bit of a tourist trap but it’s also really unique and interesting. The lagoon is man made, fed by water rich in minerals such as silica and sulphur that comes from a nearby geothermal power plant. Say what? That’s right this giant spa facility only came about because of a pool of waste water that formed near a power plant back in 1976! People started bathing in it for health benefits and in 1992 they opened it up properly to the public, crazy town!

I’m not a big spa guy and I don’t know much about the health benefits but it was definitely relaxing, add that to the crazy landscapes and interesting history and I personally think it’s worth a look if you’re not too squeezed for time and money.

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Hallgrimskirkja on a Wild Morning

I’m staying right across the road from this incredible church here in Reykjavik called Hallgrimskirkja. Other than being impossible to spell correctly, this thing is just amazing! It kind of looks like a spaceship, and on this wild morning of swirling clouds it actually looks like it was blasting off!

Hallgrimskirkja on a Wild Morning

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Reykjavik Seashore at Night

I arrived in Reykjavik pretty late but I really wanted to get out there and have a look around so that’s exactly what I did! Luckily for me it doesn’t get dark until late here during the summer, it was close to midnight when I took this photo but as you can see there was still light on the horizon. I could have easily had an early night at my hostel but it was a gorgeous evening so I’m glad I got out there and made the most of it!

Reykjavik Seashore at Night

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