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Following The Pavement

Where is the best place for a road trip? It's an interesting question, and something I ask myself every time I look at traveling to another country now. I think certain countries are more suited towards road trips than others. Iceland - definitely a road trip country on the whole. If you want to drive more inland (on the F roads) through the Highlands though, you're ability to do so will depend on you're rental agreement as well as your skill and comfort level. Note that most rental car agencies (Hertz, etc...) give you an instant fine if you take your rental car onto one of the F roads.

Read the rest of this post: https://www.aisleseatplease.com/blog/following-the-pavement

#Landscape #RoadTrip #Iceland #Travel #Photography #Explore
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Akranes Lighthouse At Sunset

It's just after 8:30pm, and the sun is still a good deal above the horizon. Can I really call it sunset? I'm not sure, but with the midnight sun in Iceland, it never really truly gets dark. It's kind of a weird phenomena.

On the upside, your touring day can be as short or as long as you want since you always have a good deal of light available. Things do close, but nature is still open for business. It can be a bit eerie at times if you're out at say 12am, taking photos when no one else is around an otherwise busy location. Then again, you're out at 12am because you want to take photos when no one else is around an otherwise busy location!

There's not a whole lot to see and do in Akranes, besides this lighthouse. For me, it was a place with a few more dining options than some others villages in the region, and made for a nice stopping point for me that day. A visit to the Akranes Lighthouse was my post-dinner stroll.

If you're off to explore more of West Iceland, there's an undersea tunnel connecting Reykjavik and Akranes that shaves off a good 40 mins or so of driving. I generally found it to be quite pleasant to drive anywhere in Iceland, except for when I got closer to Reykjavik. Then there were more traffic circles to deal with, which posed a challenge for me as a new stick-shift driver not yet confident in my manual driving prowess.

Overall, the lighthouse is one of those 10-15 min stops. It's unlikely to be a place you're going to spend an hour or so exploring - for which, Iceland is filled with those. If I was short on time, I'd definitely choose a waterfall or volcano or any number of crazy amazing natural sights that are so common in Iceland over a lighthouse. If, like me, you just need somewhere peaceful to wind down your day, a visit to the Akranes Lighthouse is a nice way to catch the "midnight" sunset.

Blogged: https://www.aisleseatplease.com/blog/2016/11/4/akranes-lighthouse-at-sunset

#AkranesLighthouse #Lighthouse #Akranes #Iceland #WestIceland #Vesturland #travel #photography #sunset #아이슬란드
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Group Trot

This is actually the second time in my one week trip to Iceland where I ran into a long line of horses. The first time, was a little surreal to me, as I was on the southern coast headed to the black sand beach in Vik. Suddenly traffic on the road slowed and I soon saw why - a long line of horses trotted by.

The second time (pictured), I was on my way to Landmannalaugar. I really love the Icelandic horse. What it lacks in size it makes up for in beauty. And of course, in Iceland you can also eat a horse if you're so inclined - the locals certainly enjoy it.

I'm still not entirely sure what was going on with this long line of horses. Best I can gather was that there are a number of horseback riding tours in Iceland, and perhaps this was just a re-positioning of the horses from the end of a tour back to the beginning for another group of tourists. Or maybe they just needed to stretch their legs a bit?

Blogged: http://www.aisleseatplease.com/blog/2016/10/4/group-trot

#Iceland #SouthernRegion #Suðurland #IcelandicHorse #animals #travel #photography #horses #equidae #trot #gait #explore #adventure #europe #island #travelphotography #아이슬란드
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Into The Volcano

Want a truly unique experience? Check out inside the volcano if you're in Iceland. You literally go into the magma chamber of Thrihnukagigur, a dormant volcano. How cool is that?! It's the only place in the world where you can do this, which qualifies as pretty darn cool in my book.

After trekking for 2 miles across a lava field, you make your way to the rim of the volcano where you see this crane that lowers an opened elevator down into the volcano. It's actually the same kind of contraption window washers use along the side of skyscrapers. The whole thing seems like they went out of their way to over-insure your safety.

You get strapped to the walkway as you make your way to the elevator. There, they clip you in to the elevator and then unclip you from the walkway. All solid safety procedures. The biggest risk is your iPhone slipping out of your hands as you try to take pictures while on the elevator. The slow ride down shrouds you in a bit of darkness until you get to the bottom of the artificially illuminated magma chamber.

Overall it's not the cheapest tour activity out there, but I think the uniqueness of it gives you a good bang for your buck.

Blogged: http://www.aisleseatplease.com/blog/2016/9/30/into-the-volcano

#Thrihnukagigur #Iceland #volcano #travel #photography #crane #elevator #magmachamber #explore #adventure #europe #GreaterReykjavik #island #nature #wonder #unique #tour #activity #travelphotography #아이슬란드
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Under The Snæfellsnes Sky

There are times when I feel, sometimes it's the destination and not the journey. Then I go on a road trip through some amazing scenery where my jaw is dropping to the point I could drool all over myself from the wonder of nature, and I'm reminded that indeed, the journey can be just as important as the destination.

I'm not really going to reminisce about that time I flew economy from SFO to HKG, although there are definitely some memorable flights - like the time some Greenlanders bought liquor in the duty free shop and then quickly proceeded to get hammered on the flight to Copenhagen. Or my first glimpses of the forested mountains and beautiful lakes of Ushuaia from the air. Most of the time though, it's more the journey by land that's memorable.

There's that gradual appreciation of nature as you drive through it on a road trip through the more remote parts of this world. Where it's just you, the car, and empty road ahead. Who knows what' lurks behind the next curve? Or the vista that will unfold before your eyes. You just have to go and check it out. Or maybe take that side road for a bit to see where it leads. Sometimes, the journey is worth it just as much as the destination.

Blogged: http://www.aisleseatplease.com/blog/2016/9/2/under-the-snaefellsnes-sky

#Snæfellsnes #snaefellsnes #Iceland #roadtrip #travel #photography #landscape #exploration #vesturland #WesternRegion #blueskies #europe #landscapephotography #travelphotography #아이슬란드
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Gulfoss Under The Midnight Sun

This dagger-shaped waterfall is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Iceland. If you're only on a stopover for a day or two, there's a good chance you'll end up on a "Golden Circle" tour to see Gulfoss, Geysir and the Þingvellir National Park. The flow of water here is a bit peculiar as it rushes down a small fall before dropping off entirely. Where does it go? It's like the waterfall appears and disappears. Such is the wonder of nature when traveling in Iceland!

After a couple days of being thoroughly disappointed by the sheer number of tourists out and about, I decided it might be better to try to visit Gulfoss at night, when the tour buses had stopped and most tourists would be comfortably tucked in to their hotel beds. Since I was spending a couple nights just 10 mins away from the falls, it made it pretty easy to drive over just after midnight.

Shockingly, I was not alone! Even after midnight, there were a few tourists walking around, but eventually I got the falls all to myself. Gulfoss is impressive at any time, but seeing nature's power and having it all to yourself, is humbling. I think I say this about almost everywhere I go, but I hope I get around to coming back again, although in this case, hopefully in winter so I can see the falls under different conditions.

Blogged: http://www.aisleseatplease.com/blog/2016/8/22/gulfoss-under-the-midnight-sun

#gulfoss #iceland #waterfall #hvita #landscape #MidnightSun #travel #photography #adventure #explore #roadtrip #sonya7rii #touristfree #GoldenFalls #GoldenCircle #europe #suðurland #SouthIceland #night #landscapephotography #travelphotography #아이슬란드
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Rockstar Horse

When I look at horses like this, I just think, "rockstar horse!" I dunno, I think it's the hair. Compared to other horses, the Icelandic horse hash such beautiful long hair. Definitely feels like their owners must take pride in their horses and comb the manes, giving them rockstar attention.

Compared to other breeds, the Icelandic horse is on the small side. They look like ponies, but, to Icelanders they are just horses. Whether raised for work, pleasure, or consumption, I came across them all over the Western and Southern regions I drove through.

Blogged: http://www.aisleseatplease.com/blog/2016/8/5/rockstar-horse

‪#‎IcelandicHorse‬ ‪#‎iceland‬ ‪#‎horse‬ ‪#‎rockstar‬ ‪#‎animals‬ ‪#‎travel‬ ‪#‎photography‬ ‪#‎europe‬ ‪#‎SouthIceland‬ ‪#‎southernregion‬ ‪#‎suðurland‬ ‪#‎vertical‬ ‪#‎mane‬ ‪#‎hair‬ ‪#‎nature‬ ‪#‎island‬ ‪#‎travelphotography‬ ‪#‎아이슬란드‬
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Reykjavik

Iceland can be rather large or small depending on your perception of it. The way maps are projected can distort its size. Kentucky is only slightly larger than Iceland for instance, but with a population density 13x that of the island. With the small population, the whole place just seems much larger.

Over 1/3rd of the population of Iceland call its capital city of Reykjavik home, and if you include the Capital Region as a whole, you've got over 60% of the population living in just over 1% of the size of the country. With that kind of urban density, the rest of the island is suddenly even more sparsely populated.

I really wish I had time to explore Reykjavik, but realistically I just had a few meals and didn't do any sightseeing as I was either working or touring outside of the city. One week in Iceland is enough time to take in the major sights in the West and South, especially if you're on a true vacation and not just working remotely like I was. If you really want to see the country though, I'd recommend a minimum of two weeks so that you can either explore the parts in depth you're interested in, or do a drive around the ring road. 3-4 weeks, and now you're talking about really seeing Iceland as it deserves to be seen. Well, I only spent a week, so I guess that means I have to keep returning till I see it all, right?

This view of Reykjavík was taken from Perlan. I ate a rather expensive below-average dinner where I can only assume my money was spent more for the view inside a rotating restaurant than for the food itself. Food in Iceland can be fairly expensive, but it can also be quite delicious - just not at Perlan. The ginormous Lutheran church Hallgrímskirkja dominates the skyline. Its design is meant to resemble the basalt lava flows you can find around the island.

Blogged: http://www.aisleseatplease.com/blog/2016/8/2/reykjavik

#reykjavik #iceland #panorama #panoramic #skyline #cityscape #travel #photography #architecture #perlan #hallgrimskirkja #church #lutheran #CapitalRegion #christianity #europe #island #sonya7rii #travelphotography #아이슬란드 #레이캬비크
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Kirkjufell Mountain

It is said to be Iceland's most photographed mountain. At 463m high, it's not exactly towering, but makes for a beautiful backdrop to the Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall. "Foss" is Icelandic for waterfall, and the other Scandinavian countries seem to have fairly similar words for waterfall as well. For example, in Faroese, the term for waterfall is "fossa."

The mountain juts out of the water and is connected to Snæfellsnes peninsula. In a way, the Kirkjufell is like a mini-peninsula connected to a peninsula. The entire Snæfellsnes peninsula is absolutely beautiful, and is known as "Iceland in Miniature" as many national sights can be found in the area.

I spent a day exploring the peninsula, and while I definitely saw a lot, it also felt a bit rushed. Perhaps 1.5 or 2 full days would have been a better amount of time to spend on the peninsula. I would love to come back some day and capture some more photos of this beautiful sight under the dazzling Northern Lights.

Blogged: http://www.aisleseatplease.com/blog/2016/8/1/kirkjufell-mountain

#kirkjufell #kirkjufellsfoss #iceland #west #waterfall #landscape #travel #photography #roadtrip #explore #adventure #ChurchMountain #europe #clouds #sky #snæfellsnes #vesturland #scenic #zeissbatis18mm #sonya7rii #landscapephotography #travelphotography #아이슬란드 #유럽 #반도
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