Auroras, Waterfalls, Sea Stacks, Ice Caves

I’ve recently returned from two plus weeks in Iceland.  I spent a couple of days traveling independently in Iceland with my son before joining a small photography group.  Iceland has been on my bucket list for some time.  This relatively small island at 66 degrees north latitude has been growing in popularity over the last several years and I wanted to see it before it is completely overrun with tourists.  The island has a population of about 350,000 and gets more than 2 million visitors a year.  Most visit in July and August.  Most residents live in Reykjavik, the capital.

I left Dallas on Nov. 10 at 4:20pm and had a non-stop flight to Iceland arriving an hour early at 5am local time.  Iceland is 6 hours ahead of Central Standard Time.  I picked up my rental car and headed for Reykjavik, about a 45 minute drive from the airport.  My son had arrived the day before and we had nearly two days together to see as much of the southern coast as possible.   He had been backpacking around Europe for two weeks and was on his way home.  When I picked him up, it was still totally dark since sunrise was scheduled for about 9:30 that morning.  Sunset was between 3:45 and 4:15 depending on what part of the country you were in.

Over the next four blog posts, I will do one on waterfalls, one on sea stacks and other landscape locations, one on the ice beaches of Jokulsarlon glacier and the ice cave, one on the northern lights.

Our photo group consisted of four of us and our guide, Raymond.

Here’s our group from left to right,

me, Ingrid from Argentina, David from Australia, Raymond, our guide, and Mariana from Argentina along with the Superjeep we needed to get up the mountain to the waterfall,

Aldeyjarfoss

There are more than 200 waterfalls in Iceland.  This is a few of those we visited.  By the way, “foss” is the Icelandic word for waterfall.

Godafoss

Godafoss at night with a moonbow and some northern lights. There was nearly a full moon on this night and it created the moonbow with the mist from the falls.

Gullfoss was one of the waterfalls I visited with Derek.  We didn’t go back there with my group.

Kirkjufell mountain and Kirkjufellfoss

These show the various views of the falls at Kirkjufell.

 

And a image of Kirkjufell mountain reflected in a nearby lake.

 

Fjadrargljufurfoos (There’ll be a spelling test later.)

Kolugljufur canyon and falls.  I was shooting from a bridge over the canyon and it was extremely windy.  It was difficult to stand up (I felt like a Weather Channel reporter during a hurricane) let alone try and hold the camera steady on my tripod during the long exposure and keep the rain off the front of the lens.  I shot multiple images here to try and get a few good ones.

Kvernufoss.  This was one of many falls that our guide took us to that had very few tourists there to share with.  Some of the falls are very popular and have easy access therefore there are multiple tour buses at those locations and lots of people to try and keep out of your shots. The second and third images above were shot behind the falls.  I wore grampons on my boots to keep from falling on the icy lava.

The following falls, Skogafoss, is one of those were tour buses filled the parking area and getting a shot without tourists was difficult.

Skogafoss seen here with a rainbow.  This falls is more than 180 ft high and 75 ft wide.

Lastly, this last falls is also easily accessible.

Seljalandsfoss.  Normally, you can walk behind this falls.  I was there with Derek before joining my photo group and Derek was able to walk behind it.  On the day I was there with our group it was closed due to icing on the walkway and lava behind the falls.

We’ll visit some sea stacks, lava cliffs and mountain scenes in my next blog.

Thanks for following my trips!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why you don’t want an aisle seat on a redeye flight!

I departed Dallas Wednesday evening at 10pm.  I’d ask for and got an aisle seat.  Thought I’d have a little more room.  I’d been better off with the window.   American Airlines handed out immigration and custom forms soon after takeoff.  They gave us a little time to fill them out and then served dinner at 11:45pm.  Dinner service was cleared by 12:30 am and I thought I might get a few hours sleep before our 5:15 am arrival in Lima, Peru.  Unfortunately, I was unable to dose off until about 1:30…then the lady with the window seat needed to use the facilities.  She was trying to be polite and not wake me or the person in the middle seat but it’s pretty darn impossible to crawl over two people to get to the aisle.  Now I’m awake.

By 2:30 I was able to get back to sleep until drink service at 3:30 followed by breakfast at 4.  So much for getting a little sleep.

After arriving in Lima,  I had a 7 hour layover.  The ticketing area at 6am was full of several thousand travelers in line to check in.  After about 45 minutes, I arrived at the LAN Airlines counter to find out my flight…while a LAN flight number…was operated by TAM Airlines and their ticket counter didn’t open until 9am.    Found a spot to sit and wait.

Now, I am in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  I have my last flight in one hour to Cuiaba.  I’ll spend two nights there and will be picked up by my Pantanal guide company Saturday morning at 6:30am.  There is a two hour time difference between Brazil and the Central time zone.  Lima is the same as Kansas.

The flight from Lima to Sao Paulo was very good.  I had a choice of dinner items, soft drinks and/or wine included.  The airlines don’t give you a bag of pretzels any more on domestic flights and charge for just about everything but water.  The international flights allow two checked bags and usually have meals…all included.

I hope to have another post tomorrow.  Thanks for following my trip.

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