It took the bulk of my day to finish this video, but that’s only because iMovie is trial and error for me. If I would just fork over $300 for Final Cut Pro, my video-making could go more smoothly.
At any rate, I gathered all of the photos from our trip to Iceland, including a few videos, and compiled them into a nearly 12-minute long slide show/video. It’s lengthy, I know, but it serves as a scrapbook for our family. Please feel free to start it now and finish it later. Or feel free to watch it all in one sitting.
When we got back in town Tuesday night, after our excursion to Reynisfjara Beach, we went to a local grocery store to buy food for the rest of the week. We had already made a mistake by eating on the fly Tuesday late-morning, jet-lagged and un-researched. This is a huge fail when it comes to visiting Iceland on a budget and we resolved to be better the rest of the week.
(I think I’ll make a separate blog post about traveling to Iceland on a budget, so if you’re interested in that, stay tuned.)
Since we had eggs, toast, cereal, and milk in the house, breakfast was a cinch. Once they boys were dressed and fed, they went outside to the backyard to pet the cats.
The first stop on Wednesday was along the Golden Circle to Thingvellir National Park, which you can see noted on the map below:
Iceland is notoriously vibrant and green in the summer, and despite the snow, you could still see the beautiful moss growing everywhere.
If you continue on the path you run into Oxararfoss, an up-close magnificent (frozen) waterfall.
One of my favorite photos from the trip – this is my whole heart right here:
I can’t emphasize how clear the water is. I mean, if you want to drink from it, go ahead.
Oxararfoss is right behind us. We walked across frozen water to get to it. I’d love to see it in summertime!
After climbing out of the crevasses, we got back in the car and headed to Strokkur/Geysir. The Golden Circle is a heavy tourist area, so unlike much of our experiences on Tuesday, we were among fellow travelers most of Wednesday.
Imagine boiling water bursting out of the Earth and running down a frozen tundra. That’s Geysir.
This is Strokkur, a reliable hot spring that erupts every four to eight minutes.
Even with steaming hot water erupting from the Earth, there is plenty of frozen bright blue water to be found.
The last place we visited along the Golden Circle was Gullfoss, Iceland’s largest waterfall. Of course, it was mostly frozen so I’d love to return in summer to see it in full color and motion.
Our five hours of daylight were fading fast, so we hoped in the car back to Reykjavik to explore the city at night.
But first, sunset.
Icelanders take their Viking history seriously, so Thor is everywhere. EVERYWHERE.
It was foggy on Wednesday night, so we knew we’d have to come back to Hallgrimskirkja Church the next day and hope for clear skies.
The goal of Tuesday was to get to Reynisfjara Beach near Vik, which National Geographic rated as one of the Top 10 Non-Tropical Beaches to visit on the planet. It’s known for its black sand and lava stacks.
Of course, right before you reach the beach, you pass a church.
We reached the beach during Iceland’s long sunset, so the rocks were glowing bright orange, which washed out the tufts of green moss and grass.
The stacks are impossible to resist. They beg to be climbed.
Tucked away in the highest stacks are hundreds of nests. Supposedly there are puffins as well as seagulls nesting in the crevasses, but I didn’t see any.
The rocks lost their glow as the sun sank behind the horizon, so the rocks when from orange to gray. I absolutely love this photo of Jeremy. I mean, goodness.
Jackson asked to use one of my cameras, so for a moment, I indulged him.
I guess we need proof that I was on the trip too. I took a selfie on this beach, but mainly so I could capture my explorers behind me:
Once the sun fully set, we said farewell to the North Atlantic Ocean and headed back to Hafnarfjordur. The moon was bright in the sky on Tuesday, which was a lovely goodnight to our first full day in Iceland.
We had so many ideas for how we could celebrate our fifteenth wedding anniversary and none of them panned out. Instead, we’re storing those ideas for later and choosing instead to commemorate the day with a high five and a “yay us!” (We also got massages over the weekend, which was lovely.)
To appease my sentimentality, I made a video full of photos from our earliest years to now. And by early, I mean circa 1996 when we started dating. Are there fanny packs in this video? High-waisted pants? Bad hair? Prom photos?
We’re about to wrap up science fiction in my genre class and all I can say is IT’S ABOUT TIME. Once I finish reading Dune and find something intelligent to say about power, religion, and the state in sci-fi, I can piece my brain back together and move on to more enjoyable books and films.
Speaking of graduate school, it looks like I’ll graduate in December. Hurray! Fall registration is in two weeks and, according to my curriculum sheet, I have one more class to take plus the capstone. It’s not widely recommended to take a class while working on your capstone project, but I have secret super human powers that make me feel like I can tackle it.