Instagram Roundup – Iconic Iceland

Background

Ever since I started posting an-image-a-day on Instagram, I have posted many series on different destinations. Notable amongst them have been my series on New York City (NYC), Paris, Ladakh, and Delhi (you may check those out here – NYC Instagram | Paris InstagramLadakh Instagram | Delhi Instagram).

You may want to follow me on INSTAGRAM for your viewing pleasure.

This is the first such roundup I am doing in 2018. This time, it is Instagram Roundup – Iconic Iceland. This destination blew my mind with the diverse facets of nature it offers. I hope you enjoy Instagram Roundup – Iconic Iceland as much as my other Instagram roundups.

Results:

This series of 31 images ran from 25th November to 21st December 2017. While it ran, it got 2966 likes and 94 comments. During this period, my Instagram account got 38 new followers.

Here’s the Instagram Roundup – Iconic Iceland Phase-I

Þingvallavatn Lake (Thingvallavatn Lake) - Instagram Roundup - Iconic Iceland
Here is a typical glacial vista as winters begin there. In the background, you can see the largest lake in Iceland – Þingvallavatn Lake (Thingvallavatn Lake).
Þingvallavatn Lake (Thingvallavatn Lake) - Instagram Roundup - Iconic Iceland
Here is a view of visitors enjoying the typical glacial vista as winters begin there. In the background, you can see the largest lake in Iceland – Þingvallavatn Lake (Thingvallavatn Lake).
Langjökull Glacier - Instagram Roundup - Iconic Iceland
Here is a glacial vista from the second largest glacier in Iceland – Langjökull Glacier. This 900 sq km glacier is at an altitude of 1360 mt.
Þingvellir National Park (Thingvellir National Park) - Instagram Roundup - Iconic Iceland
Here is the rugged landscape of this magical land as seen in Þingvellir National Park (Thingvellir National Park). It is one of the two UNESCO World Heritage sites in Iceland as it is here the Icelandic Parliament (Althing) used to meet for 15 days a year between 930 CE and 1798 CE. This shot has been taken from the American tectonic plate while you can see the European tectonic plate in the distance.
4x4s in Langjökull Glacier - Instagram Roundup - Iconic Iceland
As we were making our way to Langjökull Glacier, our monster truck had stopped to give way to these 4x4s.
BTW, I had gone to Iceland to attend a travel bloggers conference – Trablin International Summit. It was held in Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre.
Gullfoss waterfall - Instagram Roundup - Iconic Iceland
En route Langjökull Glacier, we witnessed the majestic Gullfoss waterfall.
Luis at Langjökull Glacier - Instagram Roundup - Iconic Iceland
My new friend Luis is exuberant being at Langjökull Glacier.
Snowmobiles at Langjökull Glacier - Instagram Roundup - Iconic Iceland
An impressive array of speedy snowmobiles at Langjökull Glacier, ready to take off!

Instagram Roundup – Iconic Iceland Phase-II

Snowmobiles at Langjökull Glacier in low sun - Instagram Roundup - Iconic Iceland
We rode the speedy snowmobiles at Langjökull Glacier and outlined against a low winter sun, these nippy machines looked stunning.
Ice Cave reached by Snowmobiles - Instagram Roundup - Iconic Iceland
After an icy ride on the snowmobiles, we disembarked at a seemingly lonesome spot. Hiking about 400 mt down an icy slope, we found ourselves at the entrance of an Ice Cave. Here’s the entrance stairway as seen from inside of the cave.
Icicles in the ice cave - Instagram Roundup - Iconic Iceland
Inside the Ice Cave, we saw icicles dangling from the roof of the cave.
Visitors at Þingvellir National Park (Thingvellir National Park) - Instagram Roundup - Iconic Iceland
Visitors are enjoying the splendid view of Þingvellir National Park (Thingvellir National Park) from a viewing platform on a rare sunny day in winters.
Strokkur Geyser - Instagram Roundup - Iconic Iceland
This Golden Circle and Glacier Tour I did was graciously hosted by Reykjavik Sightseeing – one of the best and most personalised tour operators operating in Iceland.
During this tour, we also visited the world famous Strokkur Geyser. The water temperature here is between 80 and 100º Celsius and the largest geyser erupts at a frequency of 3-5 minutes. You cannot but help marvel at the power of nature!
Into the Glacier Monster Truck - Instagram Roundup - Iconic Iceland
Our next day Ice & Lava tour took us ‘Into The Glacier’. To get to the entrance of the heart-shaped ice cave, we rode a monster truck. Its tyres were of a mammoth 74″ diameter and were large enough to dwarf a tall man!
Eerie Ice Cave - Instagram Roundup - Iconic Iceland
The ice cave had an eerie feel. While the temperature at the glacier outside was around -12 to -15º Celsius, inside, it hovered around a steady 0º Celsius!

Instagram Roundup – Iconic Iceland Phase-III

LED-lit façade of Harpa Concert Hall & Conference Centre - Instagram Roundup - Iconic Iceland
Reykjavik has its own share of beauty. And when we talk of this city’s beauty, we cannot ignore this whacky architectural marvel – Harpa Concert Hall & Conference Centre!
Its ever-changing coloured LEDs make it an interesting building to watch (this image was shot at 9 AM!). Its sea-side location also gives it the perfect relief that is much-needed for such a gorgeous structure! And, don’t miss out the fresh snow in the foreground!
Luis on tube entrance of ice cave - Instagram Roundup - Iconic Iceland
The entrance to the ice cave was through a tube that was embedded into the glacier. My friend Luis climbed atop that to do some classic captures. The temperature at the glacier was around -12 to -15º Celsius!
Stunning Church - Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavik - Instagram Roundup - Iconic Iceland
Talking of Reykjavik’s beauty, you must check out this stunning church – Hallgrímskirkja.
The height of its facade can only be captured with an ultra-wide lens (It is 74.5 metres tall)! I shot this image with a 17mm tilt-shift lens.
Sun Voyager, Reykjavik - Instagram Roundup - Iconic Iceland
Sun Voyager is almost a symbol of Reykjavik, This stainless steel installation is just 700 mt. from Harpa.
It is a sculpture by Jón Gunnar Árnason. Sun Voyager conveys the promise of undiscovered territory, a dream of hope, progress & freedom.
Here’s an image I shot during those truly rare moments in Reykjavik when the sun-drenched this glorious installation in its golden light!
Barnafoss Waterfall - Instagram Roundup - Iconic Iceland
Barnafoss is a vast waterfall located around 100 km from Reykjavik. This nature’s marvel was half frozen when we visited there on 10th November.
Sunset over North Atlantic Ocean - Instagram Roundup - Iconic Iceland
Despite doing the Whale Watching tour twice with Reykjavik Sailors (one of the best whale watching tours in Reykjavik), I was unlucky in not being able to spot the elusive whales. But this scenic North Atlantic sunset more than made up for this.

Instagram Roundup – Iconic Iceland Phase-IV

Naturally heated pond at Blue Lagoon - Instagram Roundup - Iconic Iceland
Imagine getting into your bathing suit and soaking yourself in a large natural pond while the mountains around are snow covered, the icy winds are blowing at 30kmph and the pathway to the pond is slippery due to black ice and fresh snow!
Yes, that’s what we did at this naturally-heated pond called the Blue Lagoon! Its mineral-rich water has a lovely bluish-turquoise hue and steam rises off its surface constantly. Its heating is courtesy the freak geothermal activity that marks the entire lava formation called ‘Iceland’.
Þórufoss (Thorufoss) waterfall in Mosfellsdalur valley - Game of Thrones (GoT) Tour - Instagram Roundup - Iconic Iceland
We did our Game of Thrones tour with Gray Line. Þórufoss (Thorufoss) waterfall in Mosfellsdalur valley was our first stop. This is where the dragon swoops down and attacks the defenceless shepherd boy and his goats.
The tour guides – Dee Dee and Mobus did an excellent job of creating the GOT atmosphere around the sites we visited, Gray Line by and large sucked. I wish their approach to their guests was a little more human. When I share the Northern Lights images, I will also share the details of their behaviour. Stay tuned!
Near Þórufoss (Thorufoss) waterfall in Mosfellsdalur valley - Game of Thrones (GoT) Tour - Instagram Roundup - Iconic Iceland
Here is a visual from the famous serial Game of Thrones (Season-4) that shows the exact location from where the dragon swoops down to attack the shepherd boy and his goats. This cliff is near the Þórufoss (Thorufoss) waterfall in Mosfellsdalur valley.

Instagram Roundup – Iconic Iceland Phase-V

Stöng at Þjóðveldisbærinn (thjodveldisbaerinn) near Hekla - Game of Thrones (GoT) Tour - Instagram Roundup - Iconic Iceland

As a part of Game of Thrones tour, we visited Þjóðveldisbærinn (Thjodveldisbaerinn). Here, in Season 4, Episode 3, the scene of Wildlings attacking the village has been filmed.
The Reconstructed Farm is based on the excavated farmhouse Stöng from the Commonwealth Era in Iceland and provides visitors with an opportunity to study the buildings of Icelandic ancestors and learn about their background and daily life.The excavated farm Stöng is believed to have been destroyed in the Hekla eruption in the year 1104.
Stöng at Þjóðveldisbærinn (Thjodveldisbaerinn). Game of Thrones (GoT) Tour - Instagram Roundup - Iconic Iceland
As a part of Game of Thrones tour, we visited Þjóðveldisbærinn (Thjodveldisbaerinn). Here, Mobus (our co-guide) is powerfully enacting the scene as it happened in Game of Thrones. The other person was an extra in the actual filming of GOT.
Northern Lights near Reykjavik - Instagram Roundup - Iconic Iceland
I went out on two Northern Lights tours. The first one was with Gray Line. While I captured some interesting shots during this tour, the experience was harrowing. The driver, as well as the guide (Gray Line Northern Lights Mystery Tour Bus No. 12, Thursday, 9th November 2017), were both totally arrogant.
Here is the full story.
As we were to reach Reykjavik back only around 1 am, I requested them if I could be dropped at Reykjavik Sightseeing’s office (about 700 mt away from their scheduled stop) as my car was parked there. I also told them that the Reykjavik Sightseeing folks had already spoken to someone in their organisation for this drop. Their entire attitude may be summed up in one sentence – “We are not running a taxi service.” I asked if I would get a taxi from the scheduled spot. Their response – “We can’t guarantee any of that.” All this, despite someone in their organisation agreeing to this request made directly by the Reykjavik Sightseeing’s Founder.
Anyway, enjoy this spectacle called the Northern Lights!

Instagram Roundup – Iconic Iceland Phase-VI

Green, Purple, Orange Northern Lights near Reykjavik - Instagram Roundup - Iconic Iceland
This spectacle called the Northern Lights may be summed up in one word – “Magnifique!”
Visitors enjoying Northern Lights - Instagram Roundup - Iconic Iceland
Awestruck visitors enjoying the Northern Lights in full glory!
Ice and Lava Tour turns into Northern Lights Tour - Instagram Roundup - Iconic Iceland
Here was a tour that started as ‘Ice and Lava Tour’ with Reykjavik Sightseeing. We had set out at 7.45 am. As we had done the day’s itinerary and were on our way back, the Reykjavik Sightseeing folks asked if we were in a hurry to get back to Reykjavik. We said no, we weren’t. They then officially converted this tour into a Northern Lights tour and this is what we witnessed.
These Reykjavik Sightseeing folks stand head and shoulders above the Gray Line Tour guys. Their approach is a lot more human and empathetic! Do try them if you visit Iceland!
Northern Lights high up in the sky - Instagram Roundup - Iconic Iceland
This is what happens when these Northern Lights dance high up in the sky! Aren’t they glorious? And, don’t miss out the glitter of the innumerable stars!
Let me know in comments if you have witnessed this magical phenomenon!
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