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Iceland Vacation 2015 Part One

In April, we went on a vacation to Iceland! Its been a few months and we were able to let some time pass and let the trip sink in. Dan gave me the tickets for my birthday last year and I had been looking forward to the trip for 6 months. About a week or so before our departure flights we decided to make some plans for our time there. Ha! Most of the hip and trendy hostels were all booked up but we managed. It was a truly unforgettable trip for us and I am so happy we went.

I had heard about Iceland from friends who have been and unanimously everyone was sure the Dan and I would love it. I have to say they were both right and wrong. We DID in fact spend almost every waking moment in awe… and the alternating moments in fear. I’ve found it hard to write about the experience of being there because it was so intense, both good as well as uncomfortable. Many of our experiences involved both of those feelings. From a terrifying drive up to a view I’ll never forget, to swimming in a hot geothermal pool and having to get out dripping wet into an arctic breeze and change out of my swimsuit. It is a place of contrast both visually and emotionally. I couldn’t wrap my mind around it the whole time we were there.

Iceland is shockingly beautiful. We draw much of our own personal inspiration from landscapes. This applies to life in general as well as in our photography.  While we are not landscape photographers, we use the surroundings as the secondary consideration when composing the spirit of our work, emotion being the first. Personally though, my emotions are connected to my surroundings, especially dramatic contrasting oceanic spaces. Hence my deep love for the Maine and NC coasts. Iceland fit the bill for that 110%. One of my favorite aspects to the Icelandic landscapes were the intense blues and blacks. So. Good! It was so other worldly I had trouble taking it all in.

The horses there were so moving to us, they get their own blog post, check that out tomorrow.

The weather in Iceland is terrifying, at least it was to us. The wind is so strong that our car was constantly being wobbled around as we drove past sheer cliffs into the ocean and over bridges across glacial rivers. We spend most of the trip gasping from the unending views that compare to nothing else I have ever seen… and gasping from the fear or being blown off the road. It wasn’t an unfounded fear either. We have known multiple friends on separate trips who have had near-death experiences on this island, from cars flipping off the road to hypothermia in frozen rivers. Stories that I wasn’t sure I was glad to be aware of previous to our adventure or wished I didn’t know until we returned. Let me just say that it’s a good idea to get the wind and sand insurance… you know… in case the wind sand blasts the paint off your car… since that actually does happen.

 

After spending 10 days driving all around this country, we can say that the music of Sigur Rós and Björk makes complete sense. It’s funny… having enjoyed them for eons prior to visiting, I can hear it on a whole new level, imagining the vistas the must have had as a part of their souls while the composed their music. Such a fun new perspective for the music lovers in us.

 

There was so much that happened that I realized I can’t tell you the whole story here. Call us up and lets meet for drinks at one of our favorite bars and we can recap the stories for you. You can choose from some of these selections:

“I was doubled over and crying in the passenger seat”

“The backwards walk back to the car to avoid having our faces sandblasted off”

“The horse encounter that may be in my top 10 favorite life experience to date”

“All seasons, one day”

“Rainbows Waterfalls Swimming and coats”

“Food adventures from Skyr to Jelly Pizza”

“Lets just leave all our belongings behind so we dont die trying to retrieve them”

“I wish I lived in VIking times”

and many many more….

Bethany and the mountainsA cold northern icelandIceland and the oceanDan running down a dirt icelandic roadThe blue lagoon in IcelandHands in the Blue LagoonJumping in IcelandThe concert hall in IcelandBethany and Dan taking a selfieBethany in a doorwayInside the cathedral Dan, Leif and the cathedral An awesome black churchlooking out over the North AtlanticA lighthouse Bethany checking out a church through the windowBethany and a frozen waterfallA crashed planeDan and the crashed planeA natural pool in icelandBethany and the sea archBethany and an old lighthouse stationA church in VikThe road The never ending roadBethany and Dan with the glacierThe glacial lagoonAbandoned houses in IcelandSunset Cool water

A few bullet points of our Icelandic experiences:

  • If you get a chance, visit Iceland.
  • Be careful and respect the weather.
  • Reykiavik is not the whole story and in order to really get a good feel for the place, you need to venture out.
  • The Blue Lagoon was 100% worth the cost in our opinion. How often do you get to interact with a wonder of the world?
  • The food was not to our taste… at all… no matter the price range… Other than the bread, coffee, and Skyr… we were unimpressed.
  • If we ever get the chance to go back we will yell “YES PLEASE” emphatically all while trying to calm our racing hearts.

Want more? Tune in tomorrow for Icelandic Horses and also check out our portrait session we photographed of Hobie and Halldóra.

To purchase some of the images you see here as prints, please head to our Etsy shop!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/BethanyDanPhoto

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Hey there!

This is a photo of me in a burger bar in Stockholm Sweden. I am about to drink the best beer I have ever had. It's a pretty important photo of me. I just remember feeling filled with joy and so so glad to be alive. That's a good place to start on getting to know me.

 

I like to travel.

I like beer.

I like the person who was across the table from me. Any guesses who?

where we hang

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