The Ice Elf Palance & Northern Lights

The morning drive out of Grundarfjordur was pretty dreamy. The morning light shining through the clouds created a kind of magic with the reflection of the water that seemed like a cool toned watercolor. Hues of pale blue and pink along with silvery water made a calming contrast against the steadfast mountains and shoreline as we drove east out town.

We took a new road out, heading into the highlands of central Iceland and toward our first and only booked tour. We had previously thought that we would do a guided glacier trek or some ice climbing but due to the weather in southern Iceland our schedule got put off. Traveler true, traveling in Iceland means go with the flow, in this case the lava flow, badum cha! (obviously a Matt sentence).


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Hunting Hot Springs and Northern Lights in Iceland

The morning after our night in Akranes was foggy, a night after too much wine foggy. Despite the late night, we decided to get an early-ish start to our trip to the Snaefellsnes Penisula, which is in the western part of Iceland.

We grabbed some coffee and pastries from a café in the main square of town. Side note, from our experience coffee is served in teacup like quantities in Iceland. Makes you wonder what our American deal is with needing venti and trenta size coffees. So in preparation for the effects of a caffeine addiction we stopped at the regional grocery store, Bonus (which has a pink piggy bank for the “O”), for some caffeine of the “gives you wings” variety.


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Sliding through Southern Iceland

When there is real work to do it seems we pray for snow days even as adults. In this case, the morning sun was a happy signal that it was time to play. We were free. We threw on our full gear knowing we could shed layers and then packed up for the day. Matthew having traveled in many cold climates had made my packing list and we were nearly identical as we headed out. Thermal underbar, ski pants, flannel jacket, down vest, raincoat, boot liners, ski socks, hiking boots, neck warmer, hat and gloves. We also had purchased some walking level crampons, which came to be an absolute essential on the icy pathways and frozen cliff sides.


Traveler True: Yaktrax Walkers for winter travel. We had been advised by REI staff to use a more heavy duty version but due to the price we decided to go with a basic pair and were in no way disappointed. We knew that if we were gonna take on any extreme hiking we would be able to rent mountaineering crampons.

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