black sand beach

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A couple of blog posts ago, I talked about my favorite place in Iceland, Höfn. (If you haven’t checked it out yet, click here) It’s located about 5 to 6 hours away from Reykjavik so there were a lot of stops along the way. One of the best “road side attractions” was Jökulsálón lagoon. The only reason why I called it a “road side attraction” was because it’s right off the main road and you can’t miss it! It’s this humungous lake at the edge of Vatnajökul National park where pieces of Vatnajökul glacier break off. If you look at a world map and see Iceland, you’ll see how theres one huge glacier on the south east side of the island. That’s Vatnajökul glacier.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen something so cool. Literally. As soon as we parked the car, I hopped out with my camera ready. I was so mesmerized by these glaciers that I didn’t want to waste a second. Just the whole experience made it seem like you were on a different planet. I mean you can see the top of the icebergs, but I can’t even imagine whats underneath. How big these icebergs really are and how long they’ve been in this water. And if the icebergs were so big, how freakin’ big is that glacier? Man, I can’t even imagine.

Right across the street you go to Diamond beach and a lot of these icebergs have washed up to land and they are gigantic. So many of them were taller than me. I had a lot of fun climbing on them, running my hands (with gloves on) on them, and just taking note of all the beautiful blues I was seeing. It was so tempting to say “Icebergs right ahead”. I tried my best not to say it but I think it slipped out once.

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One travel tip to Iceland. Bring lots of socks! Like way more than you need. I’m so glad I did.

In general, you should wear waterproof clothing from head to toe in Iceland. It was raining everyday but one day while we were there. The waterproof clothing really helped to keep me warm. But even if you’re lucky to have great weather on your trip, you’ll still get wet. The huge waterfalls have lots of cold water spray that will soak you, depending on how long you stand there. And if you’re like me, you’ll want to get close to the water on the black sand beaches to photograph the waves. The waves are so much bigger than you think they are. It kind of reminded me of Hawaii, but definietly not surf-able. Not fun when they come crashing down and into your shoes. So it didn’t even matter if I was wearing waterproof shoes, my socks still managed to get wet.

We spent a fair amount of time in Vik. One whole afternoon to visit two different sides of Reyjnisfjara with a little break in between for lunch. The first stop was a calmer side of the beach. We were the only ones there and the waves weren’t huge. I was also surprised by how soft the sand was. Just like regular sand but black. Thats where I was able to capture this long exposure with my Ice neutral density filter. But then after lunch when we went to the more commonly visited side. This was where the big waves are. I was running back and forth between the tides to try to capture the water. Eventually, the water won and my feet got soaked. They were so uncomfortably cold and wet. I had to dry off immediately in the car. So glad I brought extra socks 🙂