In Iceland: Seljalandsfoss

I was driving on the 1 road in pitch darkness until about 11 am when the sun was coming up. Along this road are lots of snow covered lava fields. It is an endless view of white but then, on the left hand side of the road I spot the first change in scenery. This beautiful falls. PhoebeGill150111479

You can get really close to the waterfall but the spray that comes off the water is freezing! The spray also freezes on the snow and can make it slippery. It is absolutely beautiful! PhoebeGill150111491

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In Iceland: Gullfoss

Gullfoss is amazing, I had seen pictures of the waterfall online and I thought it would be nice but I had no idea it would be this beautiful! It was -8c and bitterly cold, I couldn’t feel my hands but it was worth it. There are three viewing points top, middle and bottom levels. The top and the middle levels were open and the views from both were just amazing! Looking down the canyon on the top level was so cool to see.
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There is a history to this waterfall. In the early 1900s an Icelandic man owned Gullfoss, foreign investors wanted to use the waterfall’s power to produce electricity. The man didn’t let the investors buy the waterfall but decided to rent it to them. The man’s daughter, Sigriður, was deeply angered by this and wanted the investors off the land. She hired a lawyer and pleaded her case, she was so passionate about it she threatened to throw herself into the waterfall as she couldn’t see this amazing natural beauty tainted. She didn’t win the case but the fees were never payed so Gullfoss was safe.

The waterfall was passed down to the generations in the family until in 1940 where Gullfoss was sold to the Icelandic government and was made a nature reserve in 1979. Sigriður’s passion for Gullfoss made people realise how important it is to keep the landscape of Iceland intact. This mentality is still very much important to Iceland today.

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This last stop on the Golden Circle is definitely worth it, it is amazing to see in person. Images just don’t do it justice.

It can be very slippery on the boardwalks and outside the cafe so once again take care if you are travelling in winter. I recommend the lamb stew in the cafe, it is warming and filling and you can get a free refill!

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I cannot recommend this wonderful location enough. It is simply beautiful and I cannot wait to go back!

Happy Travels!

In Iceland: Geysir and Strokkur

Driving down the road towards Geysir is so exciting because you can see the billowing smoke from the ground from where Strokkur erupted. I really enjoyed this part of the trip, I thought it was amazing to see such a force of nature and how close you can get to it! I was there at sunset and the light was stunning.PhoebeGill150110334

There is a hotel and visitors centre opposite the site. There is a shop, cafe and toilets in there so no need to worry. The site is free and on the road so really accessible! Be careful in January because the paths and the area where to stand can be very slippery.

Geysir is the largest pool in the site and it is said that it is the reason why all other geysers are named so. It is dormant now but it would have reached heights of 70 meters.

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Strokkur is now the main event. The wait for Strokkur to erupt is amazing, the pool swells and shrinks as pressure builds and when it turns the beautiful aquamarine colour and forms a bubble, it is about to erupt. It reaches 30 meters in height and the spectacle is amazing. Watching boiling hot water shoot from the ground is just a fantastic natural wonder. PhoebeGill150110387I highly recommend going to Geysir, it is amazing, I have read trip advisor reviews that it isn’t that impressive and that there are bigger in the US or New Zealand and that may be the case but I think it’s a waste of time to compare them.

I also heard a lot of people tsk and sigh because it takes a while to start churning again, looking impatiently through their camera screens. If I had had more time I would of pulled up a camping chair and waited, looking with my eyes and  actually taking it in.

My advice is to stop and take in a force of nature that is wonderful and powerful and irregardless of size, it is a must see.

Happy Travels!

In Iceland: Þingvellir National Park

This is the first stop of the Golden Circle. They way you pronounce Þingvellir is Thingvellir. I only did the main tourist walk bit I didn’t actually go down into the park. I was on a tour and I didn’t have any time to go off and explore for myself. Looking out at the viewing points the landscape is so beautiful!

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Þingvellir literally means ‘Assembly Plains’ it is where decisions were made and events were held. It is a very important place in Icelandic history. PhoebeGill150110232 Not only that but it is an amazing natural wonder. The area is a fissure area, which means that there is a huge crack in the earth because Iceland is on top of two tectonic plates that broke apart. Sites like these make me wish I paid more attention in geography!

In winter it is beautiful, everything is covered in snow and it makes the park look endless! I want to go back because I have no idea what it would look like without it and that is something I need to know.

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This park is free entry, although the toilets will cost you 200 isk (€1.30) because it is a national park and they have to remove the waste.

It is definitely worth it to go, the area is beautiful, the history and geography is fascinating and you can also go diving in this area too. I can’t wait to go back!

Happy Travels!

Almost home

Hello there, I have to say I have been thinking a lot about blogging over the past few days, I have missed it. I do have a lot to write up though so that should keep me busy!

I am almost home from Iceland, Icelandic Air had us delayed for over an hour and a half which meant my connecting flight was well gone by the time we touched down in London. Don’t think I will be doing two flights to Iceland ever again now that a connection to Ireland has been established!

I have so much going on in my head that I just need to get down and I have 1500+ images to edit. This makes me really happy. I think I already have a favourite image from my trip, can’t wait to share it all with you!

Have a picture of me in the snow outside Alafoss.

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What I’m packing for Iceland

The time has come dear readers, where I start making lists and packing up what I want to bring to Iceland. Now what you are about to see may be lacking in some fundamental areas but to be honest these things are the most important things to me right now. PhoebeGill150107011

Clothing:

First things first, I never leave home with out my Surfdome beanie unfortunately they don’t have them on their site as I write this but hopefully they will be back because they are the nicest ones I have had! This will probably blow off my head within two nano seconds upon my arrival but maybe just might save my ears.

I got these Pringle socks for christmas and they are just the cutest things ever! Can’t wait to wear them!

I got this snood scarf from TopShop about two years ago and it is just perfect and chunky and will keep me warm which is very important!

Camera Equipment:

I am bringing four cameras, yeah I know 4 does seem very excessive but you see I am a photographer and going to Iceland has been on my list for so long that I just have to be prepared.

I am renting a car so I need the GoPro, this wide angle will be perfect for so many shots and it’s small so I can justify it…kind of.

I am bringing my small point and shoot so I can shoot some vlog type footage. This little camera is great and I want to use my youtube channel more so this will go hand in hand.

(In fairness these two bits of kit are not that heavy)

I am bring a medium format camera, now this is bulky and awkward but there is no chance I go to one of the most stunning places for landscapes and I don’t have my Bronica with me, this camera and me have been shooting landscapes for years and I am not about to leave it behind!

I then have my full frame camera(!!) I am so excited to stitch together the most amazingly big panoramic shots of this country. I am so so so excited.

I suppose I will also need some clothes but that will be in a boring tiny suitcase.

Happy Travels!