Uh oh, I’m now 24.
I’ve never been big on birthdays, usually opting for a nice day out with a few close friends instead of a fully lit party.
However, when I swore to myself to take more opportunities to travel, I also decided to spend all of my birthdays in a new country. As Iceland was so high up my list of places to visit, it only made sense to kick things off there.
While researching places to visit in north Iceland, Vatnajökull National Park really stood out. As soon as I found out that Dettifoss Waterfall was featured in the opening sequence of Ridley Scott’s Prometheus – it firmed its position on our schedule without hesitation.
Make sure you’ve read part 3 of my Iceland blog series first!
Akureyri to Dettifoss
Most of Iceland is pretty sparse, but the journey between Mývatn and Dettifoss was on whole new levels of lonely.
I hope you like grey rocks!
We probably should have thought about this but because of the exceptionally cold weather during our trip, the falls were surrounded by shelves of ice from the spray. This meant that we were restricted to the ‘winter’ area, which didn’t provide many angles or opportunities for photos.
Time to crack the Fujinon 90 f/2 out to frame out tourists and safety barriers.
Rules are there to be broken and I really wanted some cool photos to round off our trip. So we decided to ignore the safety barriers and go off-piste. Naughty naughty.
A little disappointing that we couldn’t get right down to the edge but I think we made it work.
That Fujinon 90 f/2 is genuinely one of the sharpest and most reliable lenses I’ve ever used. It pretty much lives on my second camera when shooting a wedding and Iceland provided the scale and massive expanses to make it look extra awesome.
The contrasting colours really pop and Langly Camera Bags certainly liked the scene, as they featured a bunch of these photos on their Instagram.
My lenses got absolutely soaked and I didn’t really have much time or energy to clean them every five seconds, so I just shot wide open and hoped for the best.
Dinner at ‘Noa’
Although we already stopped by Hverir before, we didn’t really find much opportunity for any photos. The wind was so strong
We headed back to Akureyri (with some obligatory photo stops along the way) so we could honour our dinner reservations at ‘Noa.’ The quality of spoken English in Iceland had been absolutely incredible until this point, when I spent about 5 minutes attempting to order a beer. When there’s only two beers on the menu, you think pointing would be sufficient.
Food was awesome. The bill wasn’t – but what can you expect in Iceland?
Akureyri to Reykjavik
The weeks before we arrived in Iceland were unusually warm and sunny. We landed during a storm and enjoyed cold, rainy and windy weather for the entirety of our stay (which I actually quite liked as it suits my shooting style more.) However, continuing our string of good luck, we woke up on our final morning before the long drive to the airport to one of the most beautiful mornings I’ve ever seen.
I actually didn’t realise how beautiful Akureyri and the surrounding areas were. The visibility was perfect and we could see for miles and miles. It was very early in the morning when we planned to leave, so the air was crisp and had a very slight haze to it. What made things confusing was that the sun was alright very high in the sky (the joys of being right at the edge of the Arctic Circle), which meant for a very bizarre looking morning that had characteristics of both sunrise and midday.
We had allowed a several hour buffer of time before our flight in case of any holdups on our 5 hour drive. Obviously, we ate into this quite significantly before we left as we literally couldn’t put our cameras away.
It was as if we just woke up in a whole new country.
As the driver, I just had to eat up the miles whilst soaking in the views. In all honesty, this wasn’t actually so bad. Sometimes when you’re too busy photographing, you forget to actually take in what’s around you. Han managed to get some awesome photos and memories anyway.
Am I planning on going back to Iceland? Absolutely.