Iceland Last Summer- Part 1

I'm finally sitting down to write about my experience in Iceland in the summer of 2016. Upon my return back home I went full force back into my life and didn't have much time to sit down and speak to that trip. 

 Pile of knit items to shoot in Iceland!

Pile of knit items to shoot in Iceland!

I had visited Iceland in the Summer of 2014 with my partner- and we decided to go back for our 10 year wedding anniversary. There is something that still deeply haunts me about Iceland- I feel something that pulls on my heart from there. When we decided that we were going back in 2016 I figured I should write a book of knitting patterns to shoot while we were there. That's the strange thing about being a self-employed artist. We have to incorporate our work lives into our free time. 

This was my second book- so I thought it had to be bigger and way harder than the first one. I started with 10 patterns (only 8 made the cut to the final book) and it was shot entirely on film. Medium format film. We didn't do any digital backup shots. Thankfully it all of the shots were great- I took a big chance!

But onward to the trip! We had a friend travelling with us for the first two weeks- and we were meeting up with four other friends along the way.  

 At the airport in Vancouver!

At the airport in Vancouver!

We rented a Jimni from Sad Cars - it was a tiny little thing that was a little worse for wear, but it fit the three of us and all of our bags. It also is a 4x4 vehicle with the ability to go farther than just around the ring road- so we were in love. This is something to note: you'll need a 4x4 vehicle to go onto many of the roads around the country that aren't the ring road. It's more expensive, but the last time we were here we rented a little car that really was a glorified go-cart! Also note that many of the cars for rent are standards (not automatics)

 That's Arlin and Dan getting into the Jimni at   Þingborg

That's Arlin and Dan getting into the Jimni at Þingborg

We landed in Keflavik at 6am which isn't a good time of day for anyone- but I hadn't slept on the plane due to excitement. We picked up our bags and vehicle and headed straight for the ringroad. Reykjavik is North of Keflavik (the airport) and we were planning on circling the country starting south, so we headed out knowing we wouldn't see a big city for quite a while. 

After finding an open bakery in a tiny town (i'm pretty sure it was Grindavik) we headed off to the textile coop at Þingborg. I planned on buying a Lopi sweater this trip as I hadn't on the last one and regretted it. 

 Here's me with my new sweater (and no sleep!)

Here's me with my new sweater (and no sleep!)

 Piles of beautiful sweaters

Piles of beautiful sweaters

And we were off again- just before we hit up the textile coop we were in Selfoss getting supplies. I knew it would be the last big(ish) town until we were in the east, so that was the place to load up on food and snacks. 

The last time we had come we didn't hit up many of the places in the south as they're quite tourist heavy- but this time I wanted to check out some of the big waterfalls and pools. 

 A building near Seljalandsfoss

A building near Seljalandsfoss

The whole area in the south is dreamy and etherial- black sand beaches, glaciers, and long vast landscape. The last time we circled the ringroad we went clockwise- so this was the last stuff we had seen. Seeing it with fresh eyes as the first thing was pretty special. Keep in mind that if you're headed here that Vík and the surrounding area is incredibly rainy and windy. 

 Seljavallalaug Pool

Seljavallalaug Pool

Up next was Seljavallalaug pool- A pool built in the 1920's thats free of charge to go to. Note that it's a short hike up to the pool!

The pool is warm (not hot) and fed by natural hot springs- I try to throw myself into water at any chance, and i've been desiring to visit this place since I first saw a photo of it. 

We then headed into Vík to set up camp and take a nap. By this time I had been without sleep for a day and a half and had started to get kind of weird. We slept for a few hours, but woke up to go look at Skógafoss. This huge waterfall is best seen at night in the summer. The sky is still light, but many of the tourists have left. Really all of the best places around Iceland that are tourist heavy are best seen at late hours to stave off other tourists!

 Skógafoss

Skógafoss

The next morning we shot a third of the photos for the book. I had wanted photos with the black sand beaches and icebergs- so that was the perfect day. 

We went down by the Dyrhólaey Arch and I saw puffins up close on a cliff. No lie: I cried. I love puffins. Baby puffins are called pufflings. For real.

 This is one of my favourite places in the world. 

This is one of my favourite places in the world. 

We headed towards Jökulsárlón (The glacier lagoon) to shoot photos and look at icebergs. This place has a quiet magic- I can't explain how deeply I love this place.