My husband and I try to travel as much as time affords and we've really enjoyed our international adventures the past couple of years. We have a love of exploring new places and experiencing different cultures. We were enchanted by Iceland probably for the same reasons that everyone else on planet earth has been so when Icelandair ran a fare sale from Seattle for $500 round trip tickets we booked our adventure on the spot!
Whenever I travel I leave my digital cameras at home (unless part of my trip involves shooting a wedding or paid gig). I find that if I only carry film cameras with me while on our adventures I usually shoot more sparingly and I'm able to be more present without disappearing behind a camera viewfinder too much.
Iceland is a beautiful country that is also immensely cold and windy. Following our trip - in which I out loud shouted "Where is all the green!?" when we arrived at some of the waterfalls - we learned that we visited just a couple weeks before the spring time really kicks in. We were in Iceland for the first day of summer, which we will always remember fondly because our Icelandair flight attendants were celebrating the first day of summer on our airplane with us while it was actively snowing outside. That was definitely a new way to celebrate summer for me :-)
Our recommendations and notes:
Iceland is a much bigger country/island than we anticipated - plan driving times and trip destinations thoroughly. While we wanted to drive all the way around the ring road, it is a multi-day long adventure to do so, and this is where our research fell short. When we eventually return for another trip we will make the full ring road circuit and plan to use multiple airbnb's to do so. For this trip our airbnb was on the outskirts of Reykjavik with a lovely view and tons of space to relax in. The big waterfalls, like Skogafoss, are more than two hours away from Reykjavik, so plan for lots of time in the car!
Definitely check out the Golden Circle road, which takes you past the continental plate divide, some really cool geysers, and spectacular waterfalls. The locations on this route are crowded since it's a popular tourist circuit, but the places to stop are fairly close together, so it was a great day trip for us.
There are Icelandic horses everywhere, and if anyone knows me, they know that the main draw for visiting Iceland for me was to see all the cute fluffy horses. We found some places that allowed us to pull completely off the road so that we could approach the horses safely. Many of the horses won't spend much time investigating you if you don't have any treats but they will at least come over to say hello.
Bring all of your layers to stay warm! The wind (in April) is killer!
Everyone we met in Iceland spoke English, and be prepared that everything is really really expensive!! Be prepared to spend $25-40 per meal if you don't want to eat simple things from the grocery store (which are still pricey in their own right).
Pictured on this post are images from downtown Reykjavik, which has gorgeous colored buildings and really pretty street art everywhere, horses that we found on the Golden Circle road, Thingvellir National Park - where you can see the continental divide, Gulfoss waterfall, Skogafoss waterfall - definitely one of the most photographed and shared waterfalls but it IS huge and beautiful, Seljalandsfoss waterfall - which is one you can walk behind and is in a park that allows you to walk to see several other waterfalls, Vik - to the south past the big waterfalls, Snaefellsjoekull National Park - to the North and West of Reykjavik, and random road stops that we made along the way to and from our many stops. The sunsets and landscapes are beautiful everywhere. Just pull over and enjoy.
Film scans are from my favorite lab, The FIND Lab, photographed on a variety of Kodak film stocks. We will be going back to Iceland ASAP and I hope that seeing some of our travel photos inspires other world explorers!