№ 18 — Seljalandfoss, Iceland

We went to Sel­ja­land­foss before tak­ing a fer­ry to Heimaey in the West­man Islands/Vestmannaeyjar in the morn­ing. We got there before tour bus­es from Reyk­javik start­ed to arrive, which was a plus because we had the falls all to our­selves. The minus was we couldn’t spend a lot of time there because we had a fer­ry to catch. I also didn’t want my clothes to be all wet and my boots all mud­dy on the fer­ry ride so I didn’t do the walk behind the falls. My hus­band did, though. But then again, he’s always been more adven­tur­ous than me. Sel­ja­land­foss is love­ly and all but it’s not real­ly one of my favourites in Ice­land.

I was unable to take pic­tures of so many Ice­landic attrac­tions in all their glo­ry due to the lack of wide-angle lens (the widest I could get with my micro 4/3 cam­era was around 40mm) and it was quite frus­trat­ing for me at times. For those going to Ice­land, if you own a wide-angle lens, don’t for­get to pack it. If you don’t own one, buy or bor­row one from some­one! You won’t regret it. The next time we go there, I am so tak­ing my DSLR with an ultra-wide angle lens. Sure it would be heav­ier to car­ry but it’s not like we’ll have to go on a long hike or any­thing. Most Ice­land attrac­tions are locat­ed right by the side of the road! Just one of the rea­sons I love Ice­land, being a wimpy hik­er and all. :-)

№ 13 — Hraunfossar, Iceland

Hraun­fos­sar is a series of water­falls in West Ice­land where the water comes from springs in a lava field. I was unable to cap­ture the whole thing due to the lack of a wide-angle lens. It’s a lot of water­falls in one and real­ly wide! We kind of stum­bled upon it on the third to last day of our trip in Ice­land. It was a nice pick-me-up since I was a bit bummed about the trip being almost over, even if we were already water­falls-d out by then. Ice­land just has sooo many water­falls! There’s anoth­er water­fall near­by called Bar­nafoss but it’s prob­a­bly my least favourite of all.

Hraun­fos­sar pours into the river Hvítá. The river has a light sea-green colour because it’s glac­i­er-fed. “Hvítá” itself means “white river” in Ice­landic. The area around the falls is quite pret­ty. It’s close to a spot where Ice­landic (Reyk­javik?) peo­ple go for a vaca­tion in the sum­mer. We passed one area with a large num­ber of cottages/summer homes, a few were quite fan­cy. I think that’s their cot­tage coun­try.

Of all the water­falls in Ice­land, Hraun­fos­sar is def­i­nite­ly one of my favourites.

№ 10 — Búðir, Snæfellsnes, Iceland

I had been looking forward to taking pictures of this church at Búðir in Snæfellsnes Peninsula because the location is very picturesque, but earlier in the day, the boat that was supposed to take us on a whale-watching tour left without us because apparently Icelandic people are not the greatest at at marking places so we missed the area where we were supposed to board the boat. When we finally found it with a help from a local Icelandic family we met at the harbour, the boat already left even though it was still before the time it was supposed to leave. We'd already had a whale-watching tour cancelled when we were in Northern Iceland (and the tour operator didn't even bother to notify us about it being cancelled so we had a hurried breakfast that morning for nothing -- could've had more of that tasty, homemade skyr at the B&B otherwise) so I was feeling extra bummed about it.

Anyway, when we got to Búðir, I was quite the Ms. Grumpy McGrumpsalot and my heart wasn't really in it when I was taking pictures of the surroundings. We could have taken the path to a nearby beach but didn't because I was grumpy and now I kind of regret it. Oh well. Some other time. When we go back to Iceland to explore the Westfjords (the only region we didn't get to see in our first visit), we will have to give Snæfellsnes Peninsula another chance for sure.

Addendum: We're one-tenth of the way through the 100 Places Project! Hurray!

№ 6 — Hvítserkur, Iceland

Of all the rock for­ma­tions in Ice­land that are said to have been a troll at some point, Hvít­serkur is my favourite. It looks like a 15-meter tall mon­ster ris­ing out of the sea. Pret­ty awe­some. We vis­it­ed it on an unusu­al­ly sun­ny day which hap­pened to be the day of the 8th anniver­sary of our wed­ding. It was high tide when we got there so we couldn’t get closer to the rock. It was a beau­ti­ful spot nonethe­less. I loved it and am glad that we found it even though its loca­tions is a bit off the beat­en path.

As we were dri­ving out of the area, we were stopped by a young farmer who explained to us in bro­ken Eng­lish that the road was closed (in actu­al­i­ty, it was blocked by a trac­tor; it was a nar­row, dirt road) because they were try­ing to get a flock of sheep to anoth­er pas­ture across the road. Three peo­ple were involved in the whole ordeal. They looked so frus­trat­ed and the flock of sheep so pan­icky. The whole thing last­ed for about 10 min­utes but I don’t think we would have mind­ed so much if it had last­ed longer because it was actu­al­ly rather enter­tain­ing to watch.

So, if some­one asked me how many Ice­landic farm­ers it takes to get a flock of sheep across the road, I’d con­fi­dent­ly say: it takes three, and a trac­tor.

№ 4 — Reynisfjara, Iceland

We arrived at Reyn­is­f­jara beach in South Ice­land at the same time a bus full of tourists did. We tried to rush towards the beach to get some pic­tures with­out the horde of tourists in it but, alas, they were too fast! Then the weath­er changed from cloudy to cloudy with some driz­zles and the wind start­ed to pick up. Soon we found our­selves stand­ing in the mid­dle of a storm. We saw some pret­ty big waves crash­ing again­st the basalt columns this beach is famous for. A bunch of tourists took cov­er in a shal­low cave. We just made sure we were stand­ing far enough from the water because the waves on this beach are known to be treach­er­ous. I heard it’s due to the fact that there is noth­ing between this beach and the South Pole.

Luck­i­ly the weath­er changed back to the way it was ear­lier after 5–10 min­utes of stormy weath­er and the tourists took the oppor­tu­ni­ty to go back to the bus, except for this one guy who was busy tak­ing close-up pic­tures of the rocks. I fig­ured he must have thought we were part of the bus tour and the fact that we were still stick­ing around meant he was good. Just to let him know that we weren’t part of the tour, I asked my hus­band a lit­tle loud­ly (just loud enough for the tourist to over­hear me) where we’re plan­ning to dri­ve to after this and where we’re going to have lunch. Well, dude got the hint and he start­ed run­ning towards the bus. Good thing the bus hadn’t left with­out him. Final­ly, we had the love­ly beach all to our­selves. Win!

The Icelandic Phallological Museum

I thought being in this high­ly spe­cial­ized muse­um would feel super awk­ward, but it wasn’t real­ly. At least not until a group of ladies start­ed to (over)share their first sex­u­al expe­ri­ences for every­one to hear. Of course they had to con­gre­gate right by the only human penis spec­i­men in this muse­um, which unfor­tu­nate­ly looked real­ly sad and shriv­eled.

The video is a trail­er for a doc­u­men­tary about the, uh, phallologist’s search for a human penis for the muse­um col­lec­tion (like­ly that sad spec­i­men we saw). I think the muse­um shown in the video is the one at the old loca­tion in Husavik, which is now home to The Explo­ration Muse­um. The cur­rent loca­tion is in Reyk­javik, in the less busy part of Reykjavik’s busiest and most touristy street, Lau­gave­g­ur.

You should con­sid­er a vis­it to the muse­um if you ever find your­self in Reyk­javik. If any­thing, it makes for a good trav­el sto­ry. While you’re there, be sure to check out the elf’s penis (mag­i­cal­ly invis­i­ble), merman’s penis (kind of looks like a bad­ly-paint­ed piece of sty­ro­foam) and the ghost penis (sur­pris­ing­ly big and vis­i­ble). The whale penis col­lec­tion is pret­ty inter­est­ing, too.