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Iceland Travelog – Entry 2

For the sake of everyone’s social media feeds and attention spans, I’m posting my photos from Iceland in small batches, rather than all at once. I posted the first batch a few days ago, which included mostly photos from Iceland’s famous Golden Circle.

Today I’m continuing with photos from our journey down the southern coast of Iceland. I usually don’t have much of a tolerance for long car rides, but I enjoyed every minute of the four hours we spent passing through these totally undisturbed landscapes. We stopped along the way at beaches, canyons, lava fields, mountains and glaciers.

Our first top was the black sand beach in the town of Vik, where we had spent the night. I promise that all of these photos are full color – the sand is really that black, and the sky was an overcast gray.

Iceland – Black Sand Beach near Vik. Trip to Iceland with Katie and Holly 1/1-1/7.
Black Sand Beach near Vik, Iceland.
Iceland – Black Sand Beach near Vik. Trip to Iceland with Katie and Holly 1/1-1/7.
Black Sand Beach near Vik, Iceland.
Iceland – Black Sand Beach near Vik. Trip to Iceland with Katie and Holly 1/1-1/7.
Black Sand Beach near Vik, Iceland.

The lava fields that we drove through cover more than 200 square kilometers of the southern coast. They’re usually a vibrant green from the moss that covers most of the black lava formations, but we were lucky enough to find them dusted with snow. As with almost everything in Iceland, these photos hardly do this landscape justice. It truly was breathtaking to see this in person.

Iceland – Lava fields in South Iceland. Trip to Iceland with Katie and Holly 1/1-1/7.
Lava fields in South Iceland.
Iceland – Lava fields in South Iceland. Trip to Iceland with Katie and Holly 1/1-1/7.
A rare photo of the photographer in the lava fields in South Iceland.

It’s hard to comprehend the scale of this canyon from an image, but it was certainly humbling to stand next to it and realize just how small you were in the face of nature’s grandeur.

Iceland – Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon. Trip to Iceland with Katie and Holly 1/1-1/7.
Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon, Iceland.

I snapped this next photo when we had stopped to see a waterfall that was just off the highway. My photos of that are okay, but I liked this one much better. I was really captivated by this little building nearby and how it really lent scale to the enormous cliffs that surrounded it.

Iceland – Foss a Sidu, southern Iceland. Trip to Iceland with Katie and Holly 1/1-1/7.
Landscape near Foss a Sidu, southern Iceland.

We pulled over on to a scenic overlook when I made this next photograph. This was what surrounded us for a solid hour of driving, and I just couldn’t wrap my head around how endless it seemed. The road stretched straight ahead into infinity and the mountains seemed to do the same.

Iceland – Drive in South Iceland near Skaftafell. Trip to Iceland with Katie and Holly 1/1-1/7.
Driving in South Iceland near Skaftafell.

The light at the end of that seemingly endless road was probably one of the coolest things we saw on this trip. We were able to hike up to a gigantic glacier that stuck its tongue out between these mountains. I’m not going to pretend like I know a ton about geology, but this was another one of those humbling moments when I realized the sheer scale and power of nature that I had only read about in textbooks.

Iceland – Skaftafellsjökull galcier. Trip to Iceland with Katie and Holly 1/1-1/7.
Skaftafellsjökull glacier, Iceland.
Iceland – Skaftafellsjökull galcier. Trip to Iceland with Katie and Holly 1/1-1/7.
Skaftafellsjökull glacier, Iceland.

As if this day didn’t already leave us saturated with an awe of nature, we saw the northern lights in Hofn, the little harbor town where we stayed for the night. We were in our room unpacking when two people waved and shouted at us from outside, pointing up at the sky, which we knew could only mean one thing. We sat and admired this dancing green band of light for about 20 minutes before clouds came in and covered it up. I wish we would have seen them somewhere with less light pollution, and maybe a nicer landscape, but hey, I really can’t complain.

Iceland – Northern lights in Hofn. Trip to Iceland with Katie and Holly 1/1-1/7.
Northern lights in Hofn, Iceland.

That’s the story for part two of our trip. The last round of photos will be up in a few days. Stay tuned!

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