Iceland in Four Days

In my last post – How to Photograph the Northern Lights in Iceland  – I shared my experience from preparing to luckily shoot it while visiting Iceland two weeks ago. This was one of the most breathtaking moments of my entire life.

The aurora is not all about Iceland though.

Not only the sight of the northern lights or aurora borealis impressed me, but all else I have seen. The days are short, the sun is not a regular presence, and the weather is unpredictable, making this a recipe for a dark and sombre winter; because I was visiting and not living there, none of this bothered me, as I could see beauty everywhere.

One cannot get tired of admiring the dramatic volcanic landscape, the geothermal lagoons, ice cages, glaciers, geysers, to mention a few of still many other wonders of Nature to photograph. It is unquestionably, a photographer’s paradise.

I selected a few shots to share my journey with you.

These are the first views from the island.

Eastern Iceland

Our second day was sunny in the capital Reykjavik, and perfect to shoot the Sun Voyager sculpture. This is the sculpture of a Viking ship, representing the past of the Icelanders and serving as a reminder of their history and heritage when the first Vikings settlers sailed to Iceland. It is an ode to the sun, whenever it luckily shines, and best to shot at sunset, whatever time that may be. That’s Iceland.

The Sun Voyager, peninsula Saebraut by Reykjavik

Here we have a backdrop of the ocean and the Mount Esjan at peninsula Saebraut in Reykjavik.

Mount Esjan, from Reykjavik

Believe me but in less than 30 minutes, we left Reykjavik to the southwesterner coast, and that was how the weather looked like. Dramatically beautiful.  I wondered what would be like to live in that house in such remote location.

On the road

The weather started to improve, but the cloud cover was still intense.

On the road

We arrived at Keflavik and found the sun again, and so did the birds.

Flying over Keflavik, South Peninsula
Keflavik, South Peninsula

Then we headed to the geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon in Grindavik.

“The geothermal water originates 2,000 metres below the surface, where freshwater and seawater combine at extreme temperatures. It is then harnessed via drilling holes at a nearby geothermal power plant, Svartsengi, to create electricity and hot water for nearby communities.

On its way to the surface, the water picks up silica and minerals. When the water emerges, its temperature is generally between 37°C and 40°C (98-104°F). But owing to variables outside of our control – including weather and time of year – the water temperature sometimes fluctuates beyond this range.”

WHY IS IT BLUE?

“The geothermal water has a unique composition, featuring three active ingredients – Silica, Algae & Minerals.

The blue colour comes from the silica and the way it reflects sunlight. During summer there can also be a hint of green in the water. This is the result of the algae, which multiplies quickly when exposed to direct sunlight.

However, and this might come as a surprise to you, the water is actually white. If you pour it into a transparent cup, it will always have a milky white colour. The sun simply makes it look blue!”

Source: Blue Lagoon website

In my next post, I will share more of Iceland. As you may have noticed, I loved the place, and cannot get tired of looking at all pictures I made.

Hope you will also enjoy it.

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Sharing sights & insights captured with diverse angles. Ex-corporate slave, now my own boss. Cycling, hiking, cooking, reading, yoga, writing and photography, are no longer only hobbies listed on my resume. It's what I do, when I want.

33 thoughts on “Iceland in Four Days

    1. It’s extremely expensive. ‘Fortunately’ it was fully booked when we went and visited without bathing. I didn’t see them but I guess that one of them helped to save my iPhone from a fall on the lake! 🤣

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  1. Beautiful photos, Lucile, especially the panoramas that capture the moody skies. I was there in the summertime, and I think it would be very fun to go back at a darker, colder (but much cozier) time of year as well. It’s a whole different feeling. Were there no people in the Blue Lagoon waters?

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    1. Thank you, Lexie. I want to do the opposite and visit during summer. Although I’m tempted to return in March when they say we have the best aurora lights.
      I was shooting at the external side of the lagoon. We didn’t go inside as it was fully booked and we were not aware of the need to make reservations in advance.
      I didn’t mind anyways.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You are such a wizard with your camera. Incredible shots! My cousin lived in Finland for a year as a foreign exchange student from Oregon, and visited Iceland several times. He also mentioned attending school in the dark. Looking forward to more about your trip, Lucile!

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    1. Thank you, Terri. I read the following comment today from a fellow blogger: In Finland, it is Black Friday from October to March! And yes, they can see beautiful Northern Lights as well.
      Hope all is well with you and that you have a lovely Thanksgiving holiday.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for this photographic tour of Iceland, Lucile. These are fabulous shots with varied weather. No wonder people are flocking there. In fact, I heard that there are usually more tourists than locals in Iceland most of the time. Was that noticeable?

    Regardless, I would love to go there one day. Were you travelling independently or as part of a tour?

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    1. Thanks, Draco. I’ve shot so many pictures in 4 days and haven’t yet had time to go through them all. I will be sharing more, unless people get fed up of my new passion, Iceland.
      Even though it’s winter and freezing cold, you see many tourists if you follow the beaten track. I never travel as part of a tour exactly because I like to go where the locals go. Of course there are some sights that are unavoidable but as long as you’re not part of the tour, you’ll escape the crowds easily.
      I can not compare but my guess is that it might be busier during summer.
      Still, it’s a huge island with empty land and there is space for everyone.
      I totally recommend a visit. It’s a photographer’s paradise. There are many local photographers selling private tours as well and they’re excellent for shooting the northern lights. They take you where the tourists will never be.

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  4. It looks as cold as stunning ! Plus the air must be so pure ..I should print some of your beautiful pictures and stick them on our windows when the pollution indexes are turning hectic, like last week. Thanks for sharing this piece of frozen paradise X

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    1. When I was there it was minus 9; I expected it to be colder. I didn’t feel cold as I layered myself like a Viking, though LOL.
      I can imagine that when living in a poluuted place one needs to look at pictures of cleaner landscapes. Go for it and make the prints!
      Thanks for dropping by on my frozen post! xx

      Liked by 1 person

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