Welcome to 2014! Way back in ’13 we travelled through the countryside of Italy, to the villages of Thailand, past the deserts of Morocco and on to the beaches of Ibiza. But now, friends, we’re going to Iceland. With two incredible photographers – Jessica and Matt – who have captured every last corner of beauty. Oh and PLEASE pore through the gallery as the food, the towns, the beaches are so worth it.
We are Jess and Matt. We’re adventurists and photographers from Toronto. In March we had the chance of a lifetime to explore a country we had only dreamt of visiting: Iceland. Tickets were incredible affordable. We had a list of things we wanted to see but didn’t plan much else. We started in colourful, vibrant Reykjavik. The people, the design and the clothing were nothing we could have ever expected. It was a good thing we didn’t bring that much cash on hand or else we would have singlehandedly contributed to the rising tourism rate in that beautiful country.
The second day we met up with fellow photographers from Seattle, Yuriy and Julia Manchik. We explored the Golden Circle in an amazing Land Rover Defender and did a little bit of off-roading. We got really crazy and snorkeled in glacial water in the Eurasian continental divide called Silfra. It was freezing but an experience that can never be replaced. All underwater images were taken with our GoPro Hero3. Next we decided to take a bit of a guided tour to visit volcanic rock, explore the famous black sand beaches and trek on a glacier! We even got to taste Iceland’s famous lamb stew. Perfect for a cold day exploring outdoors.
The next part of our trip had us exploring on our own. We rented a little Toyota Yaris and drove north along the west coast towards Isafjordur. Google Maps gave us a different route than what locals would even dare to drive and we found ourselves driving along the side of mountains on gravel roads and atop snowy mountain peaks, IN OUR LITTLE YARIS! We made it out alive though and arrived safely in one of Iceland’s most northern fishing towns. Exploring all of the tiny towns had us in awe at the simplicity of the lives these individuals chose to live and had us slightly envious at how careful they were. It was also amazing to find what was likely the only Filipino’s in Iceland living in Flateyri, a coastal fishing town of 273 people. We chatted about how they got there and where they were from and they knew the town in the Philippines where my mom was born!
Instead of driving 7 hours back to Reykjavik, we decided to hop on a tiny plane from Isafjordur’s airport, hopped in another rental and headed east until we found the spot along the highway where we parked and trekked an hour until we found the Douglas C-47 that crashed landed in 1973. It was eerie but amazing to explore the wreckage, sitting on the wing while we had our lunch.
The perfect way to end our trip was with the Blue Lagoon. We decided to splurge and spend the night at the hotel. It was so worth it. The design of the place was amazing and hotel guests have access to a private lagoon of geothermal water after hours to relax before bedtime. The entire trip was one of the most amazing experiences we’ve ever had. A trip to Iceland was only in our wildest dreams but fate got it’s way and it will never be forgotten. Highly recommended for all your adventurists out there looking for something fun and unique that won’t break the bank since everything to do is outdoors and free!
Photography: Daring Wanderer