30U30 | ICELAND

Iceland is one of the best destinations we have been to!! We were there for a week only, and since then we cannot wait to go back there. Iceland is the paradise for landscape lovers. With the beautiful waterfalls, amazing sunsets (we were there in summer) and of course the colorful mountains, Iceland is the complete package. Add to that the lush lavender fields, the Icelandic horses, and the innumerable sheep that easily outnumber the human population!

Till we get there again, here is our feature of the most amazing Iceland, coming over the next few days. Sit back and enjoy the beauty. Also, please don’t hesitate to message us if you need help in planning your Iceland trip.

One thing that you cannot miss in Iceland is the innumerable waterfalls! They come in every shape, size, and color. And we loved them all! We reached this waterfall, located in south-western Iceland, at around midnight (This bright light is the courtesy of the midnight sun in June). We were very tired by this time after the day’s long drive, but then the beautiful sight refreshed us. Someone before us had made a nice balancing rock formation, which we were of course only glad to photograph.
One of our favorite images from Iceland – Three Waterfalls and the Lonely Mountain. When Avi was taking this photograph, it was already well past midnight. The splendor and colors of the midnight sun on the horizon was all abound. Except for the flowing water from the Kirkjufellfoss, it was silent everywhere… And in the midst of this silence, Kirkjufell stood tall… Kirkjufell, a mountain standing tall and majestic in the middle of the sea just off the coast… but separated from the other mountains and ranges on the land… We wonder, did Kirkjufell inspire Tolkien for his Lonely Mountain of Middle Earth? What do you think?
Over the years of our travel, we have slowly but surely moved away from visiting the famous, bustling cities to the quiet, peaceful nature. And when in nature, you do not rush from one spot to another; there is no queuing for a museum or a crowd of people posing in front of the landmark. In nature, you are alone, it is quiet and you silently observe – the slow-moving rivers, the incessant waves, the towering mountains at sunset, and as here in this image, are humbled by the huge waterfall. Standing in front of Skogafoss, one realizes how small we are in front of nature. The chaos of daily life vanishes. Pretty much a meditative experience! What do you like more? Nature or City?
Here is a serene landscape of Iceland. Could you guess the time of the photograph? No? Well, this photo, taken near the Kirkjufellfoss in the eastern shores of Iceland, was clicked after midnight!! Yes, that’s correct. The lovely light you see in this photograph is from what is popularly known as the ‘Midnight Sun‘. We were there in Iceland in the month of June, when there’s nearly 24 hours of sunlight. On reaching the horizon, the sun again starts to move up in the sky and hence, there is no sunset!! With the Midnight Sun, one gets the ‘golden hour‘ for a much longer duration and the golden light creates a surreal and colorful picture. By the way, in this photo, Avi has used a graduated ND filter to enhance the colors of the sky. More information on graduated ND filters and golden hour? Why don’t you shoot us an email and we would be glad to answer your queries.
In Iceland it is not unusual to find yourself all alone. You can often be the only person as far as the view goes. It is a humbling experience, a moment when you are the only human being in this vast display of nature. For us, those moments were extremely meditative and rejuvenating experiences. Here is a picture of a simple church on the mountain top we saw close to Vìk. Shot from far away, Avi’s long zoom lens caught this moment of the man in the image, all by himself in the middle of nowhere, observing the church and the beauty around him… the lavender flowers, the green mountain and the blue sky! Would you like to be there?
Amongst the hundreds of waterfalls in Iceland, for us watching this scene was the most beautiful experience… The waterfall, situated between two ridges, is well hidden from the outside world and that adds a mystical allure to its pristine beauty. In the middle of the Thingvellir National Park, through which the submarine Mid-Atlantic Ridge (a mid-ocean, divergent tectonic plates located along the floor of the Atlantic Ocean and part of the longest mountain range in the world) cuts across, Öxarárfoss is a definite recommendation to visitors. We sat there till well past midnight… and surely we can go back there any day!!
Wouldn’t you love to live in one of these cottages, surrounded by the lush fields of purple lupins? We did stay in one such cottage (in a farm that rented out cottages for travelers) with beautiful landscape around. But alas, it was only for two nights… We wish we could live there forever!! PS – If you are staying one of these farms, do catch on some farm fresh breakfast.
Here is the famous crash-landed aero plane of Iceland. When we first saw this in an Indian movie, we thought this was a CGI effect or an artificial set. Boy were we surprised to find out that it is not!! Not just is it real, the location of this wreckage is utterly unbelievable. Just imagine a landscape with nothing in a few kms range, except for a sliver of blue ocean in one side and some white peak on the other. Nothing – except a crashed aero plane!! It is a scene out of one of those disaster movies. Absolutely fantastic! A highly recommend visit. However, here’s a forewarning though – be ready to walk for about 5 km through emptiness. And if you are lucky, the freezing wind won’t kill you J It was tough for us… But then we are glad we did that. After all, that’s what adventures are made of, aren’t they?
Our waterfall-love continues!! But here is a good story behind this waterfall here in the picture. As the saying goes, “Some wrong turns take you to the right places…” That’s what happened with us driving from Reykjavik to Kirkjubæjarklaustur! It was the first day of our Iceland tour and we were too excited. Maybe it was the excitement or maybe it was a road-sign we didn’t read… whatever be it, we made a wrong turn somewhere on the way. Result: we were lost in Iceland! Pretty frustrated, we made a stop at a random location and decided to walk up the hillock next to the road to look around and maybe, grab a snack. Boy, were we surprised to find this beauty beyond the hillock at a short distance away? Our wrong turn cost us a detour of more than 300 km that day. But then, thanks to it we discovered this hidden waterfall. We think we have said this before, but we are not tired of saying this – Iceland will surprise you, even when you least expect!!
We have shared so many images of the waterfalls of Iceland, but this one is special. This is one waterfall – named the Seljalandsfoss – in which you can get behind the screen of water!!! Isn’t that amazing? We were really thrilled when we visited this place! But then sadly, it was a bit of an off day from the weather point of view. A bit cold, damp and rainy! We did enjoy there for an hour or so, before retreating back. We wish… someday we can be there again… a bright sunny beautiful day! J
We call this image ‘Three Waterfalls and the Lonely Mountain’. When Avi was taking this photograph, it was already well past midnight. The splendor and colors of the midnight sun on the horizon was all abound. Except for the flowing water from the Kirkjufellfoss, it was silent everywhere… And in the midst of this silence, Kirkjufell stood tall… Kirkjufell, a mountain standing tall and majestic in the middle of the sea just off the coast… but separated from the other mountains and ranges on the land… I wonder did Kirkjufell inspire Tolkien for his Lonely Mountain of Middle Earth? What do you think?
We will be ending the Iceland coverage for now, with this picture of Avi! This was captured while he was trying to make a time-lapse video with his iPad. Back then, we didn’t have an action camera 😉 There are very few pictures of us from our Iceland trip, may be because the scene around was so breathtaking that taking our pictures felt like a waste. This one was a surprising rarity though.

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