Friday, February 10, 2017
“The atmosphere in Iceland is just incredible. Iceland is unlike any place in the world and having the opportunity to drive through the entire country and see the different landscapes and areas of the country was so much fun,” says American amateur photographer Dan Goldberger.
Dan visited Iceland last October with his friend, Corey Berse, with the sole purpose of photographing landscapes. Well, and also to have a bit of fun.
“Iceland offers so many opportunities for photographers, the Northern Lights, the waterfalls, and the unique landscapes, and as a result has become an extremely popular destination for photographers,” says Dan. He and Corey drove the entire ring road in just six days, an achievement in itself, and opted to rent a camper for the trip.
“We had a rough itinerary with certain must-visit places: Kirkjufell, Aldeyjarfoss, Goðafoss, Jökulsárlón, Vestrahorn, Skógafoss, but we also built in time for weather and the unplanned stops, stuff we saw on the side of the road and the resulting detours,” says Dan. He and Corey elected to cook many of their meals in their camper, rather than try and find restaurants at random times and in unplanned places. This resulted in an amusing anecdote that has nothing to do with nature and the northern lights.
“Our camper had a refrigerator and stove in it and we bought a bunch of food to cook throughout the trip. We also bought milk for our coffee. That didn’t work out so well. We bought a carton of milk, rather than a container with a screw top. When we drove down some of the unpaved and F roads, the lock on the fridge popped open and the milk spilled all over the fridge and leaked out onto the floor of the camper. Despite our best efforts to clean it all up, we were not entirely successful. For the last three days of the trip, our camper smelled like spoiled milk. Put differently, it smelled terrible,” says Dan with a laugh.
No place like Jökulsárlón
Dan and Corey were extremely lucky on their first night in Iceland, enjoying a more than an hour of northern lights.
“Being able to see the green light dancing in the sky can hardly be put into words,” says Dan, who managed to get some fantastic shots of this capricious natural wonder. How about other highlights on their journey, places travelers should definitely visit?
“My two favorite places were Aldeyjarfoss and Jökulsárlón. Both of these places are unlike anywhere else in the world. In my opinion, Aldeyjarfoss is an incredible waterfall that you cannot fully appreciate until you are standing over it. Jökulsárlón is a glacier lagoon where icebergs that have broken off of the glacier float into on the way out to sea. Those icebergs then wash back up on to a black sand beach. There is no place like this in the world.”
Pack a lot of layers
Dan is a partner at the law firm Dorsey & Whitney LLP in New York and a law professor at Cardozo Law School. Therefore, it
shouldn’t be a surprise that he planned his trip to Iceland carefully.
“We did a lot of research before our trip and were pretty prepared for everything. Even still, I wish we knew how much spray came off of some of the larger waterfalls and how wet we would get,” says Dan, who didn’t manage to get good shots of Seljalandsfoss because of the aforementioned spray. Anything else that surprised him about Iceland?
“I was surprised most by how quickly the landscape and the weather changed. When we were driving, it seemed like one minute we were in a lava field and the next minute a desert with steam vents.”
Dan and Corey traveled 1800 kilometers all in all and definitely want to come back to Iceland as soon as they can. I can’t let Dan go before I ask him for some tips for other Iceland bound travelers.
“Do your research and be prepared to change your plans due to the weather. Also, visit a town pool and experience some Icelandic culture,” says Dan. But what should travelers pack?
“Layers. We planned to spend a lot of our time outside taking pictures at all times of the day so we knew we needed to dress warm. Given how quickly weather changed–both the temperature and the conditions, you have to be prepared for all different kinds of weather. Having layers and waterproof clothing served us very well.”
Below you can see the video that Corey and Dan made during their ring road trip: