Moody Skies and Flies
Well I'm back after a bit of a hiatus! I've been traveling quite a bit over these couple of months and also really busy with the paying job. I was nearly out of photos to edit and post so the good news is that I have lots of new photos and some more blog material as well. I was in the Czech Republic on business as well as the Boston area and then I took a whirlwind tour of Iceland. Wow! What an incredible country. If you're into food and "culture" prepare to be disappointed but if you're into the outdoors and photography prepare to be amazed. Iceland is a landscape photographer's dream come true! I'm not saying you can't find good food or culture in Iceland but these would not be reasons for traveling to Iceland alone. As it is, I did have some very good meals and very much enjoyed the people I met but it seemed that everyone I met was from somewhere other than Iceland. Iceland's actual population is quite small and it seemed that a lot of student age folks traveled for work at the height of tourist season.
Unfortunately, a day was lost on the trip due to severe storm activity in the NYC area which seriously delayed my flight; such that I missed my Reykjavik connection. I was SO upset and worried that I'd miss out on the whole trip since its entirety was to be four full days. Thankfully Delta took care of me and had me on a flight through Minneapolis the next night. Amazingly, even though my bags went on to NYC without me (didn't want to be stuck in NYC overnight), Delta made sure that my bags arrived in Reykjavik with me. Obviously, Delta couldn't help the weather in NYC but they certainly helped ensure that the rest of my trip did not worsen. It would have really sucked to finally arrived in Iceland only for my bag ending up lost in transit somewhere.
Skogafoss ("foss" means "falls" in Icelandic)Quick mobile phone shot of Skogafoss
Our last full day in Iceland was the most physically demanding, particularly after getting back to our cabin at 3AM the "night" before. The reason I quote "night" is because it never became dark the entire time we were there which was something I'd never experienced before. I mean, I knew this going in but knowing it and actually experiencing it are two different things.
It's after 1AMSomething's wrong with this picture.
At any rate, we did a short hike to a really interesting waterfall that was actually a grouping of falls in a small canyon. A river is coming through a narrow gorge which offered spectacular views of white water rapids and steep cliffs after cascading over two falls. Downriver the current widens a bit but water is cascading from underground aquifers down the cliffs adding a long stretch of side falls into the river. It was amazing to me that virtually every river was some variation of aquamarine. From there we hit another amazing waterfall that we could see from a high cliff of a river double plunging into a
GullfossThe double plunge waterfall
While these were spectacular we hadn't even hit the highlight of the day, and for me, the highlight of the trip. After grabbing some lunch we set out for a roughly four mile (out-and-back) hike to see Bruarfoss. This hike isn't easy, especially if you're carrying camera gear, and the locals have made getting to the falls difficult. For reasons we didn't understand the "official" parking to get to the falls were public property but in order to get to the falls you have to cross private property which is clearly marked and fenced off. The trail goes from maintained to scattered and treacherous in places and at one point we were walking along the edge of the gorge with nothing but our wits separating us from a serious fall into rapids a good 50-75 feet below. If that wasn't enough the trail is a bushwhacking trail with plenty tree roots just waiting to reach out and trip you up. It makes for a bit of white-knuckle trekking in places. The hike was worth it just for the first falls we arrived at. I could have turned back there (I'm glad we didn't) but the first falls we came upon was just absolutely amazing.
No name!We could not find a name for this falls on our way to Bruarfoss so we just named it StavidLowerFoss.
After our hike my buddy and I were thirsty, tired and starving. At one point Steve began chanting "beer" as we headed back to where our car was parked. We were both ready to call it a day after the hike and some hot food and a cold beverage was just about all we could think about. I'm sharing this part because the "worst" meal I had was also the most memorable. We found ourselves at a campsite that had a restaurant, bar, showers, etc. While we were trying to decide what to order for dinner and we enjoyed our first beer I spotted their nachos being delivered to a table nearby. They looked amazing. The nachos came in a roughly 9"x5" casserole dish and were buried in all sorts of goodness. Steve and I both ordered the nachos and we weren't disappointed but it turns out that the nachos were actually Dorito's covered with minced meat, two cheeses, pickled jalapeños, sour cream and jarred salsa. I couldn't help but think that this concoction was the result of a couple of stoned college students trying to figure out how to make nachos with whatever they could find at the local convenience store. That said, it was tasty as hell and we both found ourselves unable to stop eating it even though we were stuffed.
This post is really just a summary of the entire trip. There will be plenty of pictures to follow and probably another blog post about the trip as well to talk in more detail about a couple of the photos (probably short posts though).
If you plan to travel to Iceland a few tips:
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