The land of Fire and Ice. A weekend in Iceland.

A couple of months ago, after what has been a challenging year for my wife and I, we decided we needed to get away from things for a few days to recharge our batteries. When talking about where we could go we were very aware that we have been very lucky so far to have seen many wonderful places and we really wanted to experience something new / different. 

Naturally I wanted to go somewhere 'photogenic' and my wife really wanted to see the Northern Lights.... so it was settled... it had to be Iceland!

We have just returned from a wonderful weekend away visiting a country truly unlike anywhere we have ever been before. Iceland has become very popular in recent years, with Tourism now ranked No.1 in contributing to their booming economy.

It is especially popular with Photographers (it's become a running joke amongst my colleagues... have you ever met a Photographer that HASN'T been to Iceland?) and I can see why.

The light is truly magical (and difficult to adjust to) and the landscape is other worldly. The land of Fire and Ice is the perfect description for this magical place.

Yes, it is a very expensive place once you get there (prices are insane) and the weather is challenging.... it rained more or less constantly whilst we were there and both of our Northern Lights trips were cancelled which was especially disappointing for my wife. But, it is stunningly beautiful, the people are remarkably friendly and the food and beer is awesome.

I should give a shout out to Marteinn at Citywalk.is for providing an amusing and very informative walking tour around Reykjavik. It was a great way to explore the city... well worth 2 hours of our time. Also, a big thanks to Haldja (I think I have the spelling right) for keeping our spirits up during the Golden Circle tour. Not an easy feat given the weather.

Here are a few of my images (taken on my little Fuji X-E2. Considering the awful weather I am very pleased I didn't take my DSLR's!). There is no way that they can do this beautiful country justice... but hopefully they might encourage you to visit yourself.

 The view across the bay in Reykjavik. This was the first thing we saw on our first morning. With sunrise at 11am the light (or constant dusk during the precious few daylight hours) took a lot of getting used to.

The view across the bay in Reykjavik. This was the first thing we saw on our first morning. With sunrise at 11am the light (or constant dusk during the precious few daylight hours) took a lot of getting used to.

 'Sunset' at Reykjavikurtjorn. I had hoped that this lake would be frozen over during our trip but sadly it was warmer in Iceland than the UK at the time of our visit.

'Sunset' at Reykjavikurtjorn. I had hoped that this lake would be frozen over during our trip but sadly it was warmer in Iceland than the UK at the time of our visit.

 As part of the Golden Circle tour we took, we visited the Strokkur Geyser. It was an utterly fascinating and otherworldly place. Very much like being transported back to the beginning of time.

As part of the Golden Circle tour we took, we visited the Strokkur Geyser. It was an utterly fascinating and otherworldly place. Very much like being transported back to the beginning of time.

 I didn't get a particularly great shot of the Geyser itself, primarily because of the weather. It was raining so heavily we decided to watch it once and then head back to shelter.

I didn't get a particularly great shot of the Geyser itself, primarily because of the weather. It was raining so heavily we decided to watch it once and then head back to shelter.

 The tectonic rift between the North American and European continents in the Thingvellir national park. Utterly fascinating.

The tectonic rift between the North American and European continents in the Thingvellir national park. Utterly fascinating.

 Mrs C taking a photo of Hallgrimskirkja. The church is probably more impressive inside than out, which is saying something.

Mrs C taking a photo of Hallgrimskirkja. The church is probably more impressive inside than out, which is saying something.

 Off Whale watching on the 'Andrea'.

Off Whale watching on the 'Andrea'.

 Gulfoss Waterfall. Challenging to photograph in pouring rain and a howling gale, but mind blowing all the same. I was soaked to the skin after this.

Gulfoss Waterfall. Challenging to photograph in pouring rain and a howling gale, but mind blowing all the same. I was soaked to the skin after this.

 One of the most interesting buildings we stumbled across. I think it was a youth hostel, but I could be mistaken. Whatever it was, it looked amazing.

One of the most interesting buildings we stumbled across. I think it was a youth hostel, but I could be mistaken. Whatever it was, it looked amazing.

 Reykjavik Harbour. Note the Coast Guard vessel in the background. Iceland does not have any form of Military and only has 4 Coast Guard vessels, one of which is seen here.

Reykjavik Harbour. Note the Coast Guard vessel in the background. Iceland does not have any form of Military and only has 4 Coast Guard vessels, one of which is seen here.

 Christmas in Iceland. Lights EVERYWHERE.

Christmas in Iceland. Lights EVERYWHERE.

 A waterfall in Thingvellir National Park.

A waterfall in Thingvellir National Park.

 Kerio Crater just before Sunrise. One of the most 'atmospheric' places I have ever been.

Kerio Crater just before Sunrise. One of the most 'atmospheric' places I have ever been.

 Looking back up from the bottom of the Crater.

Looking back up from the bottom of the Crater.

 A shot at Sunrise. I metered off the painting in the Gallery, and waited for someone to walk by hoping to create a 'crown'.

A shot at Sunrise. I metered off the painting in the Gallery, and waited for someone to walk by hoping to create a 'crown'.

 Thingvellir National Park.

Thingvellir National Park.

 More geothermal activity at the Stokkur Geyser site. Iceland produces ALL of its electricity from natural sources such as this.

More geothermal activity at the Stokkur Geyser site. Iceland produces ALL of its electricity from natural sources such as this.

 Making our way back from the Bjorngardurinn. Wow... Beer is expensive in Iceland (have I already mentioned that? My first pint was £12!).

Making our way back from the Bjorngardurinn. Wow... Beer is expensive in Iceland (have I already mentioned that? My first pint was £12!).

 Another shot of Reykjavik bay at Sunrise.

Another shot of Reykjavik bay at Sunrise.

 Sadly I didn't write down the name of this waterfall, but I do remember that the 'structure' to the left of the falls is a Salmon Ladder.

Sadly I didn't write down the name of this waterfall, but I do remember that the 'structure' to the left of the falls is a Salmon Ladder.

 Light trails outside the Harpa music hall in Reykjavik. Mrs C showed a lot of patience with me whilst taking these shots! The statue is of Danish Cellist Erling Blondal Bengtsson.

Light trails outside the Harpa music hall in Reykjavik. Mrs C showed a lot of patience with me whilst taking these shots! The statue is of Danish Cellist Erling Blondal Bengtsson.

 Another waterfall in Thingvellir National Park. This was probably the highlight of the trip for me. Even though I was soaked through, freezing cold and hungry, this place was mesmerising.

Another waterfall in Thingvellir National Park. This was probably the highlight of the trip for me. Even though I was soaked through, freezing cold and hungry, this place was mesmerising.

 Reykjavik high street.

Reykjavik high street.

 Sun Voyager. Viking culture is everywhere in Iceland.

Sun Voyager. Viking culture is everywhere in Iceland.

 Not sure what to make of this.

Not sure what to make of this.

 Thingvellir. This national park was the original seat of the Icelandic Parliament. Very evocative and most likely hugely influential in Game of Thrones!

Thingvellir. This national park was the original seat of the Icelandic Parliament. Very evocative and most likely hugely influential in Game of Thrones!

 One of Icelands 13 Santas?

One of Icelands 13 Santas?

 Strokkur Geyser in the mist.

Strokkur Geyser in the mist.

 Waiting for calmer waters.....

Waiting for calmer waters.....

 Hallgrimskirkja. The darkness throughout most of the day meant shooting at high iso's... even at midday.

Hallgrimskirkja. The darkness throughout most of the day meant shooting at high iso's... even at midday.

 Thingvellir again.

Thingvellir again.

 At the bottom of the Kerio Crater. The walk back up was not fun.

At the bottom of the Kerio Crater. The walk back up was not fun.

 The Harpa Music Hall. Designed (apparently) to look like both fish scales and also the Northern Lights (sadly as close as we got to seeing them).

The Harpa Music Hall. Designed (apparently) to look like both fish scales and also the Northern Lights (sadly as close as we got to seeing them).

 More from Thingvellir. The annoying tourists just wouldn't move so the umbrella kind of ruins this a little.

More from Thingvellir. The annoying tourists just wouldn't move so the umbrella kind of ruins this a little.

 A little more Geyser action. The smell of sulphur was 'interesting'.

A little more Geyser action. The smell of sulphur was 'interesting'.

 Reykjavik harbour.

Reykjavik harbour.

 Another gorgeous building in Reykjavik. As cold as it was outside, it was always warm indoors thanks to the never ending supply of hot water!

Another gorgeous building in Reykjavik. As cold as it was outside, it was always warm indoors thanks to the never ending supply of hot water!

 Mrs C on our first morning in Iceland.

Mrs C on our first morning in Iceland.

 The 'Sun Voyager' sculpture in Reykjavik. Notice the light in the background.... no idea what this was so if anybody does, please do tell me!

The 'Sun Voyager' sculpture in Reykjavik. Notice the light in the background.... no idea what this was so if anybody does, please do tell me!

I will share many more images on social media over the coming weeks, including a few from my Bronica ETRS hopefully, but now it's all about Christmas, Weddings and planning for the new year.

So, even though there was no snow and lots of rain, it was warmer than the UK and the Beer was EXPENSIVE, Thank you Iceland... it was a wonderful trip!