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Things I Want to See and Do in Iceland, Part One

I was going to write about the Easter long weekend but it kind of sucked so let’s just talk about our upcoming trip to Iceland again, shall we?

My father-in-law asked me this past weekend what I was looking forward to the most about the trip. My first answer was: being in Iceland! Second answer: the ocean! I miss the ocean. I know they are not very specific answers, but I really can’t wait to be there and to see and smell the ocean again.

Just for the sake of writing a blog post, I’m going to try to be a little more specific. In order of appearance, as we plan to travel anti-clockwise around the island, I’m looking forward to visiting:


Reynisdrangar are basalt sea stacks situated under the mountain Reynisfjall near Vík in southern Iceland. Legend has it that the stacks originated when two trolls dragged a three-masted ship to land unsuccessfully and when daylight broke they became needles of rock. You can see this interesting rock formation in Bon Iver “Holocene” video below, starting at 5:10. The whole video is fantastic, by the way, and it shows the highlights of southern Iceland very well.


Jökulsárlón is a large glacial lagoon in southeast Iceland, on the borders of Vatnajökull National Park. It evolved into a lagoon after the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier started receding from the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. Some scenes from the movies A View to a Kill, Die Another Day, Tomb Raider and Batman Begins were filmed there. The lagoon actually has some icebergs in it! Probably not as big as the ones I saw in Newfoundland, but icebergs nonetheless. You can see a glimpse of the lagoon in the video above starting at 2:15.


This is the place where they filmed the scenes set in the freezing cold area North of the Wall in season two of the popular, nerdtastic TV show, the Game of Thrones. My inner nerd is telling me I must go there. We’re planning on doing a two-hour guided hike on the glacier. Should be fun! We didn’t get to walk on the glacier when we went to the Columbia Icefield in Alberta 6 years ago (not sure if it was even allowed). This should made up for it. Here’s hoping I won’t fall into a crevasse!


I want to take this tour in which you hop on a tractor-pulled hay wagon for a ride to a nature reserve where you can see some puffins! Check out the photo gallery and tell me if you think I’m crazy for wanting to do this tour because it looks incredibly lame to you. I can’t say I’m too thrilled about the idea of climbing up a sand slope (I have bad knees) but I think I’ll survive. I hope.


Dettifoss is the most powerful waterfall in Europe. It is also the star in the opening scene of the movie Prometheus (at least to me). The movie itself wasn’t all that great but I thought the waterfall looked awesome. Here’s a video of the waterfall minus all the CGI:

We might not be able to get to the side of the waterfall where the scene in Prometheus was filmed due to crappy road (we won’t have a 4WD vehicle) but I’m sure the view from the other side would be just as spectacular.


I think in order to understand why I would want to go to this tiny island 40 km north of northern Iceland on a 3.5-hour seasickness-inducing ferry ride and back, you need to read this story. The story made me laugh so hard I had tears running down my cheeks. And then I made a mental note to go there when I’m in Iceland. If after reading the story you still can’t understand why, well, maybe I’m just a masochist that way? ;-)


Kirkjufell is a mountain in the northern part of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. According to the Icelandic Wikipedia entry for it, this beautiful mountain used to be called Firðafjall before it received its current name. That mountain used to be named after ME, dammit! Of course I have to go there, see it with my own eyes, and worship the beauty! I know, I’m so vain. But once you see what the mountain looks like, you would wish they had named it after you.

I’m sure I’m missing a few things. That’s why I added “Part One” to the title of this post so that the rest can go to “Part Two”. :-) When I’m going to post the sequel is anyone’s guess, but hopefully it will be up before we leave for Iceland NEXT MONTH. I’m so excited I just had to capitalize those two words!

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