Iceland

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Reykjavik and the Blue Lagoon

I'm unwinding the photo reel a little here to bring you back to our first few days in Iceland. We were in and out of the capital of Iceland 4 times, so I thought I'd consolidate all the amazement into one post. Before we even got to Reykjavik the first day, we were welcomed at 8am with tingling cold air (compared to the 90s we'd left bouncing off the glass walls in New York). We drove about 40 minutes through plains filled with gangly, sharp, black lava for miles in all directions, and arrived…

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Syðri-Rot, Hvolsvöllur

Nothing but the sound of wind and the fast clouds at night for days. We were lucky to find four open nights in a house I'd found on AirBnb years ago and dreamed of staying in since. When we arrived late at night, we drove miles down a clodded dirt road near the town of Hvolsvöllur, and then opened the gate to our private, several-miles-long driveway to our wee house, Syðri-Rot. I thought I'd write a short post about this place because it was at the heart of our trip and a destination in…

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Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands), Iceland

It was a perfect happenstance that our our solitary and windblown cottage was right near our 5th day of Icelandic adventures. I had originally planned a trip into the highlands of Iceland in the famed watercolor painted hills of Landmannalaugar, but it was impassable without an SUV, so we settled on a calmer day in the Westman Islands ("Vestmannaeyjar" in Icelandic). The ferry terminal was probably only a mile as the puffin flies from our cottage, but took about 20 minutes to reach by car…

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Skaftafell Glacier

This post is continued from the previous post of our journey into Vatnajökull--which our glacier guide told us was pronounced like "fat yoghurt" in Icelandic. Once we had our crampons on, only a thin layer of dirt coated the ice, and the prongs of our crampons started to dig into the glacier. Fannar explained how these dirt cones form when the dirt moves down the glacier into a pit and hardens, and then the ice around it melts off. The glacier had several different bands where the ice shape…

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Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland

The most epic day of our trip (with the longest car ride) started early, leaving from Hvolsvöllur when the lakes were still sleeping. As we moved east, gray, jagged mountains appeared next to the empty roads, and then slowly, we saw what we were headed toward: the ice caps and glaciers of Vatnajökull National Park. It took about three and a half hours by the Ring Road to reach our morning destination, the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon. The lagoon is a large lake filled with pieces of the…

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South coast of Iceland, part 2

We continued from Dyrhólaey onto the town of Vík and the famed black sand beach. It was actually more like small, round stones. Zillions of stones rubbed smooth. I'd researched the trip into a frenzy, so often wasn't surprised with our destinations, but I wasn't expecting the columns and caves on this beach, or the fans of volcanic stone with seabirds swarmed above. The waves hit the shore loudly, the tide advanced rapidly, and walking on the stones that made up the beach was a trudge, so I was…

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South Coast of Iceland, part 1

September turned out to be an ideal time to visit Iceland because the summer rains had greened the grass and pushed over the edges of every cliff—water falling and pooling everywhere. We stayed on the southern coast of Iceland for 4 nights, and the first day there, drove about an hour to Vík, a small coastal town. Along the way there and back, we explored waterfalls galore and the striated, volcanic cliffs they fell over. First up was Skógafoss, which you might recognize from films like…

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The Golden Circle

The celebration of our fifth anniversary in Iceland and the Faroe Islands started in Reykjavik with a heavy dose of jet lag and a lot of Icelandic coffee. More on Reykjavik, where we circled back later in the trip, coming in a future post, because I want to take you straight out of the city and into the rugged and stony landscape of the country. We were headed about halfway along the southern coast of Iceland for 4 nights to stay in a remote cottage, so on our first day of driving we took a…

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Iceland 2015

We are back from one and a half magical weeks in Iceland and the Faroe Islands and I’m bursting to share Walker’s photos and tell you about all the hidden spots we found. We hiked up a glacier into blue ice caves, scrambled up warm hardened lava to the top of a volcano island, and swam in milky turquoise geothermal waters. We ate bowls upon bowls of langoustine stew, walked on black sand beaches, and drove hundreds of miles through moon-like landscapes. I’ll be breaking the trip into lots of…