Iceland Part 2 — The Golden Circle

Calamity is commonplace

One minute you are driving along just fine and then the road gets whiter and whiter and whiter and suddenly you can’t tell the difference between where you are going and where you have been but it’s alright because really, “being stuck is just a state of mind.” 

This part of the trip included Hvalfjordur (Whale Fjord), the Golden Circle and our favorite hotel — The Ion. It was in the middle of absolutely nowhere and made me feel like I was in a James Bond movie. They have an amazing geothermal pool that we sat in and watched the northern lights from — more on that below — we traveled through Thingvellir National Park (where the Vikings set up the first democratic parliament and also the spot where the North American and European Tectonic plates are pulling away from each other), got spit up on by Geysir, saw a lot of waterfalls and started to make our way to the black sand beaches of South Iceland …

Photos taken with my Canon AE-1, Holga, Olympus Stylus, and iPhone.


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Below is the ‘road’ that we were traveling on when I started to lose my mind and felt the world closing in on me because all I could see was white white white and thought that we would for sure get stuck and just be trapped there forever. We eventually came across another car that was actually stuck and we couldn’t go past them so we had to turn around (they were fine, had help, were Icelandic and were just very ‘oh this kind of thing happens we’ll get out eventually‘ chill about it) and had to backtrack all the way out of there. But we made it!


The second time we saw the Aurora Borealis we were soaking in this geothermal pool alone when the lights started dancing above us. It was completely pitch dark, the water was just the right amount of hot, the air was cold and refreshing on my face, I could reach out and hold snow in my hand while the rest of my body felt like it was in a toasty blanket of water, and then the green, pink, and purple lights above us … whew. I had no idea if we would even be able to see the northern lights at all while in Iceland, let alone under these circumstances … I just felt incredibly lucky and beyond grateful to be gifted with such an experience. I don’t know how many completely perfect moments I’ve had or will have in my life, but this will always stand out to me as one of them.


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