I’ve said it before in this blog, but Iceland was tough. Aurora just started experiencing little bouts of separation anxiety before we left which was amplified by 10000 by leaving her routine and being thrust into a foreign country. We were all tired and it was rainy and cloudy every day except the day we arrived and our last day. I feel like I sound like I’m just complaining, and how lucky are we to even have been able to go on a trip like this. Which is true. But I am a firm believer that we have enough unrealistic comparisons out there. There is so much posturing in today’s social media world, and I never want to do that. So, it was hard. I didn’t enjoy a lot of it. I was excited for all the amazing images I expected to have, both lifestyle family photography and honest documentations of our trip and a few styled shoots. I think I got that, but it was a challenge to take pictures in the weather, and so I was easily discouraged.
However, I do think that is a little unfair to Iceland. It was beautiful. I kept telling Michael it looked like Hawaii, like a very cold tropic island. Everything was this intense green and covered in vibrant royal purple lupine. The fog hovered feet above the ground and you really felt you were in another world. We spent a couple days in Reykjavik before heading further into the golden circle near Seljalandsfoss and then on to Oxford.
In Reykjavik we booked a whale watching tour and puffin viewing tour. The puffin tour was incredible, we were the only people on the tour and we got to view these protected islands that are home to thousands of puffins. They swooped and dove all around us fishing and Rory was mesmerized. The whale watching tour wasn’t as enjoyable as it was so windy I couldn’t tell the difference between a whale breaking the surface and the whitecaps.
We spent another day driving around the golden circle, stopping in Thingvellir National Park, Geysir, and Gullfoss. After a failed diaper at Thingvellir our hike was cut very short. The surprise to us all was Gullfoss. It was incredible, like Niagara Falls, but you could literally walk right up to it. Even more incredible, Rory kept asking to get closer and closer. Fear? Not a bit. This girl is going to give us a run for our money.
Settling into the more remote areas of Iceland was interesting with a toddler. We bought the wrong type of “mjolk” for Rory, which ended up being a form of liquid yogurt and ended in many tears of disappointment. Our air bnb had views of a volcano in the distance, but we never saw it with the heavy fog. We got pizza one night that ended up having dollops of cream cheese on it. We almost got stuck in a river trying to get to a canyon. It was also the day with the most amazing sights. We found a waterfall inside a cave. We saw faint outlines of mountains covered in fog with no sign of people anywhere for miles.
The last day we went to Vik, where we finally had a bit of sunshine. The black sand beach was like nothing I had seen before. The contrast between the vibrant green and the black sand and ice blue ocean was incredible. There were horses peacefully munching on the long grass. Rory found a new favorite activity in throwing and eating sand. Truth. She threw a tantrum when we stopped her.
All in all, I probably wouldn’t go to Iceland again with a child her age. I would definitely like to go back and try to see the scenery in the winter with a possibility of the northern lights. Just probably many years from now. Any maybe an adults only trip.
Brynn Burke Photography specializes in maternity photography, newborn photography, baby photography, and family photography in Columbus, Ohio serving the central Ohio area including Dublin, Powell, New Albany, Granville, Delaware, and Dayton. To view more stylized sessions in their trip to Iceland, click here.
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