In Iceland: 6 New Things

I have mentioned before that there were certain things that I missed out on the last two times I was in Iceland so I had to go back and do them. These are the 6 things I found on my final trip to Iceland this year.

KeriðPhoebeGill1509181259

Along the Golden Circle route along road 52, there is this amazing attraction. Now if you go on a bus tour it’s likely they will drive by this but I needed to go see it, you see I don’t like when my list isn’t complete! So when I had the opportunity to drive to this place myself I jumped at the chance. PhoebeGill1509181359There is a small car park at the crater and you have to pay to see it. It’s $3, €2 or 300 kr. So really cheap! I think it is well worth it to maintain this amazing site. You get an information leaflet when you pay so I wont spoil all of the wonderful information it gives you.

Öxarárfoss in ÞingvellirPhoebeGill1509181307

I had constantly seen pictures of the waterfall in Þingvellir and because I only had a half an hour when I was on the bus tours I couldn’t wander off and explore this are properly. So again when I had the chance I spent hours wandering around Þingvellir and I am so glad I did. The waterfall is beautiful and peaceful. It’s really amazing.

Walking Between Two ContinentsPhoebeGill1509181230

Again because there was no time to explore Þingvellir when I went on the tours I decided to do something that I had wanted to do for a long long time. I decided to ignore everything else and go for a walk. I passed by all the crowds and walked through a fissure in the earth. No one else was walking this path, it’s not a new path many people have done this walk but it felt like I was the only one who knew about it. Thousands of people were in this area during my time at Þingvellir but I didn’t see one other person on my walk. It was wonderful, peaceful and beautiful.

Standing Behind SelandjafossPhoebeGill150917033

South Iceland is an amazing part of Iceland, there are lots of people on this route so people free shots may be difficult but sometimes that doesn’t matter. Sometimes taking pictures isn’t important, sometimes you just need to be in the moment. Thats how I felt when I was sitting on the moss covered wall behind Selandjafoss. I didn’t bring my big camera, I only had my phone, I didn’t care if I got an amazing shot or the best angle. Standing behind that waterfall is amazing, everyone else thought it was amazing, everyone was polite and smiling and letting people take pictures. For a few minutes everyone was in agreement, standing behind a waterfall was humbling and wonderful.

Found A Hidden FossPhoebeGill150917023

Very close to Selandjafoss there is a hidden waterfall, except it’s not really that hidden, there is a campsite in front of it and its got tourists coming to it all the time. It’s not a secret to tourists or the Icelandic people but it’s as if the earth wants to keep it a secret. You are definitely going to need your waterproofs if you want to see it but it is a lot of fun going into the rock to see this hidden gem. Although I could get a good picture of this with my GoPro it was still beautiful to see.

Going Down The Road Less TravelledPhoebeGill1509161072

I was trying to find a somewhere, that I will have to go back to because I didn’t have a 4×4 car, but as I was driving around I went down a road and found this beautiful waterfall. All I could imagine was camping here and paddling in the water. (Except I would probably get frost bite, I mean Iceland may look like a Hawaiian setting but it doesn’t have the weather) What I loved is that I didn’t see this waterfall in a guide book, I didn’t hear about it on the internet, I don’t even know where it is. So my beans, find it, come upon it naturally and enjoy it.

There is so much more to see in Iceland and I am very happy I get to see more coasts, more roads, more attractions and more hidden gems. Iceland is always somewhere you can go back to. I love it there. Knowing me, I will be back sometime soon but for now I am very happy.

Happy Travels!

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In Croatia: Plitvice National Park in June

Plitvice National Park has been on my bucket list for a long long time and as happy as I was to see it there was something that was quite disappointing about the whole thing. I hate coming away from a trip and feeling like I have to go back right away. After my day in Plitvice, I am not finished at all. Also I will never go back in June or Summer ever again.

I got the bus from Zadar to Plitvice, buses are really convenient to get around but the morning I was to leave, my bus was late, about an hour late so that was quite annoying, I also sat in something sticky which is just nasty. Always bring travel wipes with you!

PhoebeGill150615276-1I got to the park at about 12:30 which is pretty late if you want to get the park done in a day, which was the only time I could spend there.  I paid 110 kuna (€14.50) to get into the park which is very good value for money. I also got a big map that cost 20 kuna (€2.60) I started at entrance 2, and waited in line to get across the lake to the park itself. The lake is absolutely beautiful. You can hire boats that you can row by yourself and go off and explore, I will be doing that next time.   PhoebeGill150615477-2If you are looking at a map the of the park and are at entrance 2 you will see on the left that there are three loops around the lakes, I only did the lowest loop. I am annoyed I only saw that because I am sure that the rest of the upper lakes are beautiful.
PhoebeGill150615062-3Walking around the park was really nice but also a little unnerving. Massive groups of tourists would clump together and make you feel like you were going to fall into the water. These aren’t the biggest walkways and there are no banisters on the boardwalks also so take note. 

PhoebeGill150615148-4The waterfalls are absolutely beautiful! There are unfortunately no inlets to take pictures so there is always a bit of a pile up if you want to stop. It also makes the experience feel a bit rushed, like you can’t stop because then you are holding up a lot of people. PhoebeGill150615462-5 There are beautiful dragonflies all over the park, such beautiful, beautiful creatures. There are also lots of fish in the lakes and the water is so clear that you can see them really clearly.
PhoebeGill150615379-6 The right side of the map has ‘The Big Waterfall’. I did this route later in the evening when most of the big big tour groups are gone. I took the big boat across the lake from port 2 to port 3 to walk to the big waterfall. I was still following route K but it was closed off on this side which meant I needed to find an alternative route. This part of the park was a lot quieter. Although I didn’t have any pressure from people it was now almost closing time in the park.
PhoebeGill150615466-7The water is just absolutely amazing! It’s a shame you can’t go for a swim or touch it but to preserve it’s beauty is important and shouldn’t be messed with. PhoebeGill150615283-9When I got to the big waterfall it was worth it. I sat down tried to drown out all the selfie sticks and other people and enjoyed my time. It is utterly stunning!

Tips:

  1. Go early or later. If you are going in June this is your best bet to have a little more comfort walking around the park.
  2. Have a nice time but don’t loose all sense of courtesy. Don’t run past people, don’t walk two or three a breast, don’t be rude. It’s very simple.
  3. Use the boats and buses. They are a fantastic way to get around the park and break up a lot of walking.
  4. Stay at the Plitvice Hotel at entrance 2. Great basic hotel and you get breakfast included.
  5. Don’t touch the water or mess with any flora or fauna in the park.

*Note: I know my shots look empty but that is because I am an expert in taking people out of my shots, it was extremely busy!

I wish I listened to my gut and took an extra day here. I think two days is the perfect amount for a visit in Summer. I will be going back, I am already thinking of how I can go back and see more of Croatia and this park. I would definitely recommend going to see this beautiful park but I don’t recommend you go in Summer, this was just the start of the season and if you don’t like crowds it isn’t the time to go, I couldn’t handle it. Despite all this the park is beautiful and I can’t wait to go back. Have you been to Plitvice? What time of year did you go at? 

Happy Travels!