Iceland 2016

During June of 2016 my dearest friend Carmen and I embarked on a two week camping trip through the country of Iceland.  The idea behind the trip was unintentionally created by our grandfathers who were college roommates and eventually traveling companions.  Our respective mothers followed in their footsteps and travelled extensively together, and so we felt the calling to continue our shared generational traveling manifesto. 

We arrived with no set agenda, so we sprawled out a map, blindly waved our fingers in the air, and landed on southern Iceland.  We packed the car and drove south, and then to the east, then up north, and before we knew it we had driven the entire circle of Route 1, stopping and exploring much of its surroundings.  Throughout the entire duration of our trip we were continuously taken aback by the epic range of diversity within Iceland's landscapes.

Nature is the biggest source of inspiration for me as an artist, and the ultimate healing aid as a human.  Last year’s political mess was like fighting the undertow of an ocean’s strong current.  It left me struggling for air at times, and ultimately exhausted.  Whether I was aware of it or not at the time, this trip serves as an inspiration to me to take hold of what I feel is truly pure and real in this world, and to protect it.  I get a sense that Iceland has practiced this ideology throughout its history.  For me these images depict a few elements of Iceland’s purity.


Reykjavik


Carmen and I spent our first two nights in an AirBnb apartment in the city of Reykjavik.  We stayed in the bottom floor of the building complex, which was quaint but had all the necessities we needed. (Plus it was roughly a block and half from the one and only "Viking Fries" - look it up.)  We gave ourselves the two days to gather our camping gear which we rented a couple weeks before we left the States from....
www.iceland-camping-equipment.com

Also!
We went to a campsite that is located in the center of the city, which was recommended in a few blogs to visit the sites "Free Shelf".  The reason why its free is it tends to be the place most travelers will spend their last night before they go home. Leaving all the items that they cant bring on the plane (i.e propane, silverware, matches, lighters..etc).  We got 7 small propane canisters - yes some were a 1/4 full, but it saved us money!  They also have the same set up, but for food!  We wished we had seen this during our first visit , but unfortunately we discovered it at the end of our trip when we came back to return/gift other campers items we could no longer benefit from.  This was a great recommendation, we also got items like hiking boots, thermal liner pads for our sleeping pads, cutlery, Tupperware containers, books, maps..etc) 
www.reykjavikcampsite.is
 



We spent our second day walking through the streets of our neighborhood admiring the architecture. 


þingvellir

We camped for two nights in þingvellir national park, just beside the lake.  This turned out to be one of our favorite campsites throughout the trip.  Waking up early in the mornings we'd catch a glimpse at those who got up early to fish, all the while sipping hot tea, eating warm cereal with cranberries, cinnamon and peanut butter. Trying to savor the last few pages of "Sputnik Sweetheart" by Haruki Murakami. 

This place became home instantly.
 

Seyðisfjörður

We left Southern Iceland after camping for two nights. The first night in the town of Vik, and the other in a town just north-east called Hofn.


We continued driving northeast until we found ourselves here...



Seyðisfjörður. A fjord skillfully carved by the ice age glacier, is distinguished by excellent harbour facilities and Norwegian heritage. Seyðisfjörður has been an important trading center from the nineteenth century up to modern times, due to natural harbor and proximity to the european continent. The colourful, Norwegian-style wooden houses, dating from the early years of the 20th. century render this village unique in Iceland.


This structure originally was a cattle barn, but has since been transformed and re-established itself as an artists home, and store front.


 

North Iceland

"Horses were first brought to Iceland by the Vikings who settled the country in the years 874 ~ 930. For nine centuries, no other horses have been brought to Iceland, and now there is only one breed of horse in Iceland: the Icelandic horse, one of the purest in the world".