Auroras, Waterfalls, Sea Stacks, Ice Caves

I recently returned from two plus weeks in Iceland.  I spent a couple of days traveling independently with my son before joining a small photography group.  Iceland has been on my bucket list for some time.  This relatively small island at 66 degrees north latitude has been growing in popularity over the last several years and I wanted to see it before it is completely overrun with tourists.  The island has a population of about 350,000 and gets more than 2 million visitors a year.  Most visit in July and August.  Most residents live in Reykjavik, the capital.

I left Dallas on Nov. 10 at 4:20pm and had a non-stop flight to Iceland.  It was scheduled to be an 8-hour flight but we made in just over 7 hours arriving at 5am local time.  Iceland is 6 hours ahead of Central Standard Time.   I picked up my rental car and headed for Reykjavik.  The airport was originally built by the United States as a military base during World War II and is about 45 minutes south of the city.  My son had arrive the day before and we had nearly two days together to see as much of the southern coast as possible.  He had been backpacking in Europe and was on his way home.  When I picked him up just after 8am it was still dark as sunrise wasn’t until 9:30.  Sunset was between 3:45-4:15 depending on what part of the country you were in.

Over the next four blog posts, I will do one on waterfalls, one on sea stacks and other landscape locations, one on the ice beaches of Jokusarlon glacier and the ice cave, and one on the northern lights.

Our photo group consisted of four of us and our guide, Raymond.

Here’s our group from left to right it’s me, Ingrid from Argentina, David, my roommate from Australia, Raymond, our guide, and Marianna, also from Argentina.  In the background you can see the Superjeep we needed to get up to the highlands to the waterfall.

The Superjeeps are used extensively during the winter due to heavy snow.  This has been a mild winter so far but the 4-wheel-drive still delivered us to this beautiful waterfall.

Aldeyujarfoss

There are more than 200 waterfalls in Iceland.  This is a few of those we visited.  By the way, “foss” is the Icelandic word for waterfall.

Godafoss

Godafoss at night with a moonbow and some northern lights.  There was nearly a full moon on this night and it created the moonbow with the mist from the falls.

Gullfoss was one of the waterfalls I visited with Derek.  I’m glad we saw it when we did because our group didn’t go back there on our trip.

Kirkjufell Mountain and the falls across the road from it.

These images show the various views of the falls there.

And an image of Kirkjufell Mountain reflected in a nearby lake.

Fjadrargljufurfoss (There’ll be a spelling test later.)

Kolugljufur canyon and falls.  I was shooting from a bridge over the canyon and it was extremely windy.  It was difficult to stand up (I felt like a Weather Channel reporter during a hurricane) let alone try and hold the camera steady on my tripod during the long exposure and keep the rain off the front of the lens.  I shot multiple images here to try and get a few good ones.  Actually, I shot multiple exposures everywhere.  I think my total number of images was a little over 4,000.

Kvernufoss.  This was one of many falls that our guide took us to that had very few tourists there to share it with.  Some of the falls are very popular and have easy access therefore there are multiple tour buses at those locations and lots of people to try and keep out of your shots.  The second and third images above were shot behind the falls.  I wore crampons on my boots to keep from falling on the icy lava.

The following falls, Skogafoss, is one of those were tour buses filled the parking area and getting a shot without tourist was difficult.

Skogafoss seen here with a rainbow.  This falls is more than 180 ft. high and 75 ft. wide.  Lastly, this falls below is also easily accessible.

Seljalandsfoss.  Normaly, you can walk behind this falls.  I was there with Derek before joining my photo group and he was able to walk behind it.  On the day I was there with our group it was closed due to icing on the walkway and lava behind the falls.

We’ll visit some sea stacks, lava cliffs and mountain scenes in my next blog.

Thanks for following my trips!

 

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