The Land of Fire + Ice

A couple weeks ago we took an overnight flight to Iceland, landed in Keflavík shortly after 5am, and immediately picked up our campervan which we rented through Airbnb. Our first stop was the Bonus grocery store but it hadn’t even opened yet so we took a much-needed nap in their parking lot.

Skogafoss was our first stop and people weren’t kidding—it’s riddled with tourists. The hike to the top was a challenge but worth the workout. Snapped a couple photos and upon reflection we realized that standing on the edge was pretty stupid ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Afterward, we made our way to Vík, the southernmost village in Iceland and found a place to camp for a couple nights.

I was excited to finally see the infamous plane wreckage at Sólheimasandur black sand beach. Shoutout to Matthew Karsten for his detailed blog post on how to get there. It’s only 8 km there and back, but it was surprisingly tough since the wind and rain were merciless that day. For that reason, we had the plane to ourselves for a solid half hour. The images appear to be so calm and serene but it was intensely windy and we struggled to take the few images that we did.

Don’t worry, everyone survived the crash.

Another stop included the Sólheimajökull glacier, which sticks out of the Mýrdalsjökull glacier (the one covering Katla!) Since it was still summer in late August, we saw very few snow-covered glaciers so when we first saw Sólheimajökull, it was particularly appealing. We stupidly went on our own rather than hiring a guide which upon reflection again, was pretty risky. It was breathtaking. The icy blue glaciers juxtaposed with the black sand and lush green moss were so dreamy. I was taking a photo of my beloved Peppermint Halo remedy when Trev captured a neat behind-the-scenes shot.

We headed back to our makeshift campsite in front of a cute waterfall in Vík, but not before we totally cheated by stopping at a restaurant for dinner (the cookware in our van sucked.)

The next day, we headed back west to Reykjavik to spend the night at an awesome apartment called Room With A View. On the way, I was finally able to get close to a beautiful Icelandic horse. We were separated by a ditch but this gentle giant was happy to pose.

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Alex Geerts is a creative, detail-oriented digital marketer with an insatiable thirst for adventure and storytelling. She’s an explorer, animal lover, photographer, and still uses the word “kewl.”
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