Back in June of this year (2011), my wife and I took an amazing trip to Iceland. Unfortunately we only had a handful of days so we chose to follow the “Ring Road” around Iceland. Over the next few posts I will write and attach pictures depicting our experience.
One of the most frequent questions we received from friends and family was “why Iceland?” At first, I posed the same question to my wife when she mentioned it as an option for our vacation. I imagine it is probably a combination of the name, “ICE-land,” the fact that volcanoes have recently stopped international airline travel for a number days, and the fact that the country was recently in the news for their severe financial collapse. But after only a few minutes of deeper research which consisted of Google-ing “Iceland Landscapes,” I was hooked… and my wife was trapped.
As this was a spur of the moment opportunity, we were a bit limited in our choice of season to go, but fortunately we were able to go during one of the best times of year. The last days of May and the first days of June provide countless opportunities to photograph waterfalls, wild flowers, and birds among other wild and natural experiences. Also, this time of year is near the start of the tourist season allowing us to explore the country without much of a crowd. Lastly, the amount of daylight (about 20 hrs) made it easy to cover a lot of ground and sites, not to mention that the sunsets and “Golden Hour” last for about 3 hours (instead of the 30 minutes in the lower 48), allowing for 2 or 3 locations to be photographed in one evening depending on how quickly you work and how accessible the location is off the road (generally very easy).
We flew into Iceland early in the afternoon and spent the first day walking around Reykjavik. We primarily were visiting Iceland for its natural beauty and therefore unfortunately didn’t give the city its due time. Reykjavik is supposed to have a number a great museums that do a fantastic job orienting you to the country’s heritage and its Scandinavian “Sagas” (family stories), geological story, and art. We perused the major tourist sites and for the parts that we missed, we resorted to reading almost every word of our guidebook while on the road. After a walking tour and some window shopping, we headed off to bed early to try and get adjusted to the time zone.