First of all, I have to say, you guys have no idea how long this post has taking me. Or maybe you do. I think people might have left and came back from their maternity leave and I’m STILL writing a post about Iceland. Anyway, we all know I can get lazy sometimes, but this one time it’s because there are just so many things to tell you. I couldn’t fit it all into one post, because it’d take you hours to load the photos and days to read it. So I’ve decided to separate it into two parts. So here it is:
For the longest time I don’t quite understand why people kept travel diaries, it all made sense when I started experiencing multiple mind blowing experiences in one day.
Iceland is absolutely amazing; it really deserves all the hype. From the valley to the hot spring, it’s really not something you’d see anywhere else. My 4 day camper van experience was nothing short of amazing.
To give you some context into how I travelled, we began the journey as a party of 10 in 2 camper vans. Note: great idea if you are travelling with people you are compatible with. Iceland is such a beautiful place everyone has lots of opinions and different ideas, so you all need to agree on decisions like to skip a waterfall and trek to a hot spring. The beauty of having two camper van was the freedom to split up. The other thing I need to explain is that we couldn’t go far because we had to return to Reykjavik half ways through the trip to pick up another member, that meant we only traveled around the south & southwest of Iceland. Still good, but touristy.
Now, the fun part of this post, what we saw.
For most of the first day, we travelled around the Golden Circle. I’ve put together a simple map for anyone who’s looking to do a short trip like me. Just FYI, I would definitely spend more time in Iceland and actually travel around the whole island if I could, but we’re bound by lots of different factors and were only able to travel down south.
We began with travelling around the Golden Circle. During the research stage I read sights around the Golden Circle can be seen throughout Iceland, but the route around the Golden Circle is just shorter. Don’t be surprised, it’ll be packed with tourist.
To start this whole thing off I’m going to introduce to you this waterfall. There are an abundant of waterfalls in Iceland, but this is the largest and the grandest I have seen. (Note: I haven’t been to Niagara Falls.)
The waterfall was enormous and it was so so cold. It might seem like a warm spring day in Iceland, but it’s colder than our Sydney winter. But then again so many places are colder than our Sydney winter. The ridiculous good weather meant we saw this magnificent waterfall against this blue sky and rainbow.
Images above: Gullfoss Waterfall
If you like nature doing amazing but random things, be sure to check out the Geysir. Honestly, I’ve seen blow holes before, but they’ll never cease to amaze me.
The second day we drove outside of the Golden Circle and went further down south to this town called Vik. The town is basically two streets and it’s perhaps one of the smallest ‘towns’ I’ve been to so far in my travels. The most impressive thing around Vik is this place called Black Beach. We arrived at the Black Beach around 11pm and it is truly a sight. It was windy, cold and wet but this place was simply too amazing to stay inside our warm camper vans for.
This wondrous place starts from the minute you step onto the beach. Instead of sand, the beach is full of wet and smooth black pebbles of different sizes. When you look straight down, all I can see are these perfectly round pebbles.
And juxtaposed with those pebbles are the caves that are made of these jagged rocks that almost resembles the Fortress of Solitude.
It is too bad that I didn’t take a shot like this:
If this was ANYWHERE on this planet to get a shot like that without dramatic lighting and a ton of photoshop after shot work, BLACK BEACH is it. Interestingly enough, some French television crew at the same idea. While we arrived on site, we saw a television crew preparing for some filming inside one of these caves.
No doubt, I had to take some pebbles home with me to remember this experience. If you do end up taking the rocks back like I do, think about how you intend to display them before you take them back. Otherwise you might take 1kg worth of rocks back from Iceland and leave them on the shelf for couple of months.
There are so much more things to tell you about Iceland, including the architecture and most importantly – The HOT SPRINGS!!! Like I said at the beginning of the post, I had to put it into two posts because I don’t want you to spend an entire day waiting for the pictures to load and read through it.