One week in Iceland
The first step of our trip was to pick up our rental car. We rented a Ford Edge AWD because we wanted a car that was big enough to sleep inside it. Once we got the car we drove from Keflavik Airport to Reykjavik, we got some groceries and went on directly on the famous “Road 1”. We drove till Selfoss, stopped at a gas station to eat something and afterwards we drove to “Gullfoss”, where we spent our first night. It was rather cloudy so we didn't see much of the northern lights.
Even if it was a little bit cold during the night, we slept well in our car. We woke up early enough to see the sunrise and to take some pictures of the waterfall. From Gullfoss we drove to Geysers, a great place but really crowded. We had to drive back to Selfoss to buy some groceries again and Vladimir wanted to buy an Icelandic flag, so we had to look for a store that sold them and some locals told us to go to “Byko”, where Vladimir finally found his flag. After this small shopping break we went to the hidden waterfall beside Seljalandsfoss. You can’t escape getting wet to take pictures of this waterfall but it is totally worth it. We also took some pictures of the Seljalandsfoss and since we rented an AWD we wanted to take advantage of our car so we tried to drive on a “F-road”, it was really impressive to cross some rivers. At the end of the day we arrived to the famous plane wreck, where we spent our second night.
Neither of us heard the alarm and it was the sun that woke us up, so we missed the beginning of the sunrise. We did a quick photo shooting of the plane wreck and went to Skogafoss. This waterfall is very impressive and photogenic at the same time, but I realized afterwards that I didn’t take any pictures of the waterfall because I was too focused on filming. Fortunately Vladimir had time to take some long exposures and nice shots of it!
We drove to Dyrholaey and were impressed by the view of the ocean. We also stopped at the black beach in Vik, cooked some pastas with our gas shove on the parking lot and took some pictures of the famous rock formation.
Until then, all the places we visited were close to each other, approximately an hour, but from this point of our trip we knew that we will spend a lot of time on the roads. Our next stop was the Fjadrarglufur Canyon (maybe you have seen it in Bieber’s new music video). The best was yet to come, our goal for the night was the glacial lagoon in Jokulsarlon. Witnessing all those icebergs was already impressive, but when the northern lights came out it become unreal.
We really drove a lot on this day: we started from Jokulsarlon to end up at Godafoss. We took a polish hitchhiker with us from Höfn to Dettifoss. During the day we made several stops, one of them was in Egilsstadir to eat something and later on at Dettiffos, the famous waterfall that you have maybe seen in the opening scene of Prometheus. What really impressed me was the the big differences between the Icelandic landscapes. Near Dettiffos you have almost the feeling to be on Mars. We decided to sleep near Godafoss, and after seeing the northern lights three nights in a row we needed some real sleep.
We didn’t really have a plan for this day, unless the fact that we had to get closer to Reykjavik by the end of the day. After driving for a few hours on the Road 1 we arrived in Akureyri, Iceland’s second biggest city. We went to the swimming pool to relax a bit and also stopped at a nice restaurant called “Burger factory” to eat some real burgers with fries. The north of Iceland is beautiful and we had to stop several times to take some pictures. The weather conditions were also changing all the time, it went from sunny to raining really quick all the time.
We decided to go to Hraunfossar for the night.
It was a rainy day, and we knew we had to go to Reykjavik so we drove towards Iceland’s capital but instead of taking the Road 1 we decided to take some more adventurous roads. We came across the Thingvellir national park, made a quick stop there but honestly we didn’t found it amazing. We arrived in Reykjavik in the late afternoon and we were so tired we took a nap in the car. After eating some Domino’s Pizza we found a spot near the university that seemed good to sleep.
Day 7 was a big day because we had an helicopter flight scheduled. Initially planned at 11am, the flight finally took place at 5pm due to the weather conditions. During the day we visited Reykjavik and bought some souvenir for our family and friends. The helicopter flight was truly amazing. It was my first time in a helicopter and I appreciated it a lot. I had to constantly switch between movie and picture mode on my Canon 5Dmk3 but I somehow managed to get good pictures and some great movie shots too. After the flight we went back to the city to eat some local fish and chips in a restaurant. We slept again at the spot near the university.
Our last morning in Iceland. It was more a cleaning day than anything else, and since the weather is always changing in Iceland we had to go to an underground parking to avoid all our stuff to get wet while cleaning our car. Once that our luggage were done and the car cleaned, we drove towards Keflavik airport. We hesitated to go to the Blue Lagoon but we hadn’t a lot of time and we found the prices too expensive so maybe next time. We waited some time at the airport, and then finally flew back to our beautiful Switzerland.
Finally we would like to thank:
- Canon Switzerland, for lending us some top quality equipment (Canon 5Dmk3, Canon 16-35mm f/2.8, Canon 24-105mm f/4)
- Hotelplan.ch, Travelhouse Pro and Island Pro Travel for making the flight with Reykjavik Helicopters happen
- Compagnon Bags, for giving us a backpack that matched our needs during our trip
Patrick Güller & Vladimir Tisma