Iceland: Day 8

Tired or not – I snapped awake at 3am. Time to check for the Aurora. I could see from the window that the sky was clear in the North! Stars! So, I got myself dressed, grabbed my gear, and headed to the lobby to see what I could see. This was our last, best chance to capture the Aurora on this trip. Every other night was completely clouded in.

Unfortunately, it was not to be. We used the hotel wireless connection to watch satellite data as it updated over the course of two hours… checking the sky frequently. No luck. Iceland was just outside the range of the Aurora. At 5, we gave up our vigil and headed back to bed for one more hour of sleep.

In the morning, we drove out to shoot the waterfalls once again – but although the sunrise was beautiful, the sky directly over the falls wasn’t very photogenic. Jay walked out into the lave fields and photographed the beautiful, glowing clouds.

I hoped to capture some of that brilliant color over a crater in the distance. I grabbed a long lens, and ran… well… it was more of a long, painful stumble on my injured leg… to some nearby lava boulders. I climbed as high as I could – which wasn’t very high… and I missed the colors entirely. I did get a nice shot of the early morning light at it painted the snow on the crater.

Afterward, we all packed up our gear and started the long drive back to Reykjavík. We were looking forward to a relaxing swim in the Blue Lagoon before our long flights home… and relaxing it was. The water is a lovely blue – and so wonderfully warm. The heat felt fantastic on my bruised legs. What a treat.

Unfortunately, while smearing our faces with smooth, volcanic cream masks (provided for visitor use in the pool area, and sold in the gift shops), Jay’s wedding ring slipped off his finger. All of us searched for it – scooping black pebbles and smooth sand from the bottom of the lagoon. No luck. Jay’s ring will remain at the bottom of the blue lagoon. He was so sad to lose it!

After a quick shower, we returned our rental cars and took a shuttle to the airport. We shared a delicious lunch before scattering to catch our flights. We flew from Iceland to JFK in New York, then caught our next flight to Pittsburg. We were too tired to drive the final leg of our trip, so we grabbed a hotel room for the night.

Tomorrow, we’ll rise bright and early, and drive home. And then we’ll pack up two camera bodies and three lenses to send in for repairs. And return the two (miraculously unharmed) lenses we rented from for this trip. And replace my water-damaged iPhone. And go find Jay a new wedding ring! And I’ll get some x-rays to make sure I haven’t done any serious damage to my knee.

What a trip!

14 replies
  1. Sathya
    Sathya says:

    Wow what an expedition ! It was nice following ur trip thru ur blog.
    Sorry about Jay wedding ring. May be someone would treasure hunt it down the ages :)

    • Varina Patel
      Varina Patel says:

      Hi Caryn,

      I think the most important advice to to be prepared! Iceland is a beautiful country – not least because much of it is wilderness. Be sure you have everything you need in case you get stuck somewhere – it may be a while before someone arrives to help you out! Also, the emergency number on the island is 112 – it should work even if your cell phone doesn’t have service. You should always have a cell phone with you. I know you wanted photographic advice – but considering the troubles we encountered on this trip, I felt t was important to add that bit of advice.

      As far as photography is concerned, I think you’ll love Iceland. Most of the locations you’ve read about in our trip report are relatively easy to access from the main road. There are some great websites with information about Iceland, too – this one is a good place to start…

      I hope you have a fantastic trip! Watch out for icebergs! ;)

  2. Srdjan
    Srdjan says:

    I found a wedding ring in Blue Lagoon. Could you describe how Jay’s ring look like so maybe you are lucky to get it back?

  3. Eygló Aradóttir
    Eygló Aradóttir says:

    Have you gone back to Iceland? Because if you haven´t , “you ain´t seen nothing yet” ;) You haven´t seen the home of the trolls, Vestfirðir – Westfjords.


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