I’m getting down to the few remaining pictures that I wanted to share from Iceland. We had such a wonderful time on our trip and hope to go back one day. This island comes highly recommended. We went in June, but I’m sure it’s beautiful during every other month of the year and would have something different to offer. (Think ice caves in the spring, aurora borealis in the fall/winter/spring, etc.) When we go back, we would love to be able to explore the Westfjords and the Central Highlands. We also want to see the aurora borealis one day, though it doesn’t have to be in Iceland.
There are more sheep than people in Iceland. By almost three times. It should come as no surprise that we saw these animals everywhere during our trip. Our other frequent wildlife companion on the road was the Icelandic horse. These horses are smaller than typical horses, but they are hardy. They also carry a double-coat mane to protect themselves from the bitter cold winters.
Let’s have another song title that refers to Iceland!
Aside from ice, waterfalls are also plentiful on this island. It’s what happens when you mix mountains and glaciers. It would have been just as appropriate if this island nation was named Fossland (or some variable of that). There were parts of our drives where we saw waterfalls every 30 seconds, but we just couldn’t stop for all of them. (Or else we would still be in Iceland. Not that that would be a bad thing.)
Iceland definitely lived up to its namesake! Glaciers were ever the companion during our drive on the Ring Road. The most beautiful view, though, was definitely at Jökulsárlón, a glacial lagoon in the southeastern part of the island. The lagoon has been expanding over the last 100 years or so. A boat tour took us among the giant, bobbing ice blocks. The floating pieces of ice break off from the Vatnajökull glacier before heading toward the Atlantic Ocean through a narrow channel. Some of the ice find a temporary home on the black sand beach before their final oceanic destination. We stayed at a hotel not far from the lagoon, and I was able to go back around midnight for an hour long sunset that I won’t ever forget!
The Golden Circle is one of the more famous day trips out of Reykjavik. We made it our first stop on our road trip around the island. The first stop was Þingvellir National Park, where the North American and European tectonic plates meet. We definitely didn’t allot enough time here, but at the same time, the weather was not cooperating either. When I go there again, I would definitely want to check out more trails and possibly try out the snorkeling/scuba diving that everyone talks about. Next was Geysir, which is what all other geysers are named after. Only Strokkur still regularly goes off in this area, but it was cool to see nonetheless. Last stop of the Golden Circle was Gullfoss, which is one of the many waterfalls that Iceland is known for. Unfortunately, the wind was brutally whipping the mist around, allowing me to get fewer photographs than I had hoped.
Well, that was a much longer hiatus that I had expected to make. The main reason why I had stopped posting was because my husband and I were leaving for Iceland, and I really didn’t have a backlog of pictures that I wanted to post at that time. And then the summer just kind of got away from me, so here we are. Can you believe that it will be September tomorrow?!
(I spent some time over the summer working on some photo organization in the portfolio, and unfortunately that has led to some broken pictures and links here on the blog. I’m trying to fix them, but it may take a little more time.)
For years, Iceland was at or near the top of my bucket list. Up until now, there just hasn’t been the right time for this trip. Trust me when I say that it had come up as possibility for the last several years, but we never went for one reason or another, even though we take one or two international trips a year. Well, not this time! We decided to fly there now that there’s a nonstop flight from Portland, and spent ten days driving around the country.
It was everything I had imagined it would be. And more. There’s just amazing landscape around the entire country. The mountains are so dramatic as they drop down to sea level. The weather was ever changing. There was much more nature than people on this trip.
Two thirds of Iceland’s 320,000 people live in Greater Reykjavik. We came to this city on a sunny day, which helped us stay awake when we really wanted to sleep, but jet lag really won on this trip; we didn’t see complete darkness for the entire trip. Reykjavik is full of architectural beauties, most notably found at Hallgrímskirkja and Harpa.
Happy new year! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season.
About three months ago, my husband, my parents and I went on a two-week trip to southern Africa. We traveled through parts of South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. Our trip was a good balance of safari and famous sites. Over the next couple of months, I’ll be sharing some pictures and more details on this trip.
(Spoiler alert! The trip was amazing and we would love to go back to other parts of Africa in the future.)
This was our basic itinerary. I’ll update with links to the pages as I post them.
- Day 1-3: We traveled for about 37 hours from the West Coast of the US to get to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
- Day 4: We battled some (a lot of) jet lag. We remained on the Zimbabwe side of Victoria Falls because exiting the Zambia side required yellow fever vaccine documentations. We also enjoyed a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River.
- Day 5-7: After Victoria Falls, we tried across the border to Botswana. We visited Chobe National Park over the next couple of days, which included a cruise and five game drives. (Parts 1, 2, 3, 4)
- Day 8: After a morning game drive at Chobe, we flew to Cape Town, South Africa.
- Day 9: We visited multiple places in and around Cape Town, including the famous Table Mountain.
- Day 10: Our day was filled with great weather as we traveled south to the Cape Peninsula.
- Day 11: We left Cape Town for Hermanus, which is the whale-watching capital of the world.
- Day 12: We got up early to go shark cage diving in Gansbaai.
- Day 13-15: We hopped on a flight from Cape Town to Skukuza, which is located within Kruger National Park. We would spend the next couple of days at Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve, getting up close and personal with amazing wildlife. (Parts 1, 2, 3)
- Day 16-17: We left Sabi Sands after the morning game drive and spent another 37 hours of traveling to get back to the West Coast.
Crater Lake is located in Central Oregon and it is the most beautiful blue lake in the world. It was formed about 7,700 years ago when Mount Mazama erupted and collapsed upon itself to form the caldera. Over the years, rain and snow have filled this lake, which is now the deepest lake in the United States at 1,943 feet. Two islands exist inside Crater Lake: Wizard Island and Phantom Ship.
London was the first European city my husband and I went to together. (He was just my boyfriend at the time!) Quite honestly, our first impression of it wasn’t the greatest. We arrived jetlagged, only to find ourselves sharing this city with millions others who were out on the Thames that day. It happened to be a sunny spring day, which is apparently a pretty rare thing.
We decided to skip the long lines at the London Eye and just admire this tall Ferris wheel from the ground. The red capsule really stood out among the white ones!
I had seen many photos of the British Museum and I knew I wanted to take a picture of its geometric glass ceiling from the start. I brought my wide angle lens on the trip mostly for this very reason, though I wound up finding great use for it, as you can see in the other two photos.
A few years ago, I took a road trip with my parents down CA-1, also known as Pacific Coast Highway, from San Francisco to Los Angeles. This stretch is not known for its sandy beaches, but rather, the jagged, rocky coastline. The waves of the Pacific Ocean meet the coast to create white pillows that stand out in a sea of blue.
Many people have heard about Monterey and Big Sur, given their proximity to the San Francisco Bay Area, but San Simeon is another nice little town on the way to Los Angeles. Hearst Castle is a little gem on the mountain side. American castles are just not as commonplace as they are in the European countryside. Right beside the ocean, there are barking elephant seals who have made this area their habitat. The white wall of Piedras Blancas Lighthouse also stands out in this landscape.