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Iceland in August

A bit late wrapping this one up – lots of interrupts the last few months – but it’s finally written. This is a video documenting a week spent in Iceland (the “green” country… the “icy” one would be Greenland) this past August. It was a video vacation of sorts originating in Cape Cod and flying out of Boston Logan, kicking off a 7 day 4×4 safari road trip along the southern and south-eastern coast of Iceland, with nothing but a Ford Explorer, local maps, and a mobile phone to get around.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – Attributed to Mark Twain

It wasn’t the most relaxing trip, but certainly the most daring and adventurous travel I’ve taken. I’ve never been so nervously excited for what each new day would bring, and what new discoveries I’d come across. Although I never felt my safety was in danger, there were many areas I drove through that were so remote and isolated, it seemed one could easily slip away, disappear, and never be found. On the flip side, the activities I had a chance to participate in were pure fun. It was a memorable journey, and a personal experience I’ll treasure.

Bronze statues in downtown Reykjavík

Gear wise, there was a mix of 2 GoPros (HD Hero and an HD Hero2), a Canon 5D Mark II, and a series of EF Canon lenses (24-105mm f/4L, 50mm f/1.2L, 24mm f/1.4L, and 70-200 f/2.8L), all of which took a nasty beating and required cleaning every night. I benefited from an incredibly compact, lightweight, and affordable Benro A-1691 travel tripod and ballhead, made out of aluminum. I wouldn’t recommend it for production shoots, but for hiking and travel, it folds up nice and tiny and was easy to pack and carry. Dolly shots were made possible by a Philip Bloom Signature Series Pocket Dolly from Kessler – another excellent piece of equipment that held up well in all the mud, grass, snow, and waterfalls it was subjected to.

Glacial lagoon in Jökulsárlón, on the borders of Vatnajökull National Park, directly off of Route 1.

Weather was cloudy and rainy for the first half of the trip, but improved the last few days. Nordic Visitor took care of all accommodations, lodging, and reservations. I would highly recommend them if anyone is inspired to go on a trip. While nearly everyone I’ve spoken to has said they never would have considered Iceland as a vacation destination spot, everyone I know who has traveled there has fallen in love with the land. It’s an incredible country, with very friendly locals. I hope to go back again!

Red roofed home overlooking the ocean, on the way to Höfn.

Below was my itinerary, most of which are highlighted in the video, along with random side of the road, inspirational pit stops. Every lodging accommodation along the way was excellent, so I’ve noted them below as well for any future travelers. Enjoy!

iceland-map

 

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 6

Day 7

  • Reykjavík to Boston

 

View from F208 on the way to Landmannalaugar. Panoramic shot constructed from 9 individual photos (3 sets of bracket exposures).

4 Comments

  • svanlind keller Says

    dear chris –

    dear chris,
    you have made a number of really good fotos about iceland, and i left a short komment on facebook “if i had not booked iceland for 2013 already….”
    this comment does not really qualify for the most stupid comment ever written. but also it is neither exteremely intelligent, nor informative,nor extraordinary humorous, and not anything else …. I find it most annoying to find this comment approx. 50 (fifty !!!) times when i look into google to check what they say about myself.
    do you see a possibility to just ERASE this comment????
    i have written a number of comments in fb that are far more important, eloquent, and full of humour.
    to be mentioned 50 times with one stupid comment only – that hurts.
    thanks a lot for helping me in this matter.

  • Josh Bordes Says

    Wow, incredible trip. We’re doing something similar but with motorcycles. Next time you go on a trip, please invite me!

    Josh

  • svanlind keller Says

    if i had not booked iceland for 2013 already, i would do it right away – after seeing your fantastic pictures !
    i am booked for 11 days reykjavik, with sufficient time for such a 6-days-tour, in case nordic visitors offers something like that also on the basis of a bus-tour….
    have a good time in your home country!
    but watch out – you might have caught the “icelandic virus”, that will make you come back to this amazing island more than once…
    thanks for the report and the beautiful pictures.

  • svanlind keller Says

    if i had not booked iceland for 2013 already, i would do it right away – after seeing your fantastic pictures ! did you travel with a rented car, or did you do it by bus?
    i am booked for 11 days reykjavik, with sufficient time for such a 6-days-tour, in case nordic visitors offers something like that…
    have a good time in your home country!
    but watch out – you might have caught the “icelandic virus”, that will make you come back to this amazing island more than once…
    thanks for the report and the beautiful pictures.

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