III. First encounters in Norðurland

August 21 - 28, 2014

The north of Iceland is a place that keeps on giving. A very diverse landscape spanning from hills much like back home in Transylvania and plateaus that I remember seeing in pictures from Tibet to areas much like the surface of the moon that gave me an idea of how the interior of Iceland might look like. That's for another adventure though. Of course the road seems to always go up in these parts of the world. That's a quick portrait of us after a climb. Akureyri was the final destination for the day.

Other than biking and being immersed in the land, we spend quite a lot of time in the tent. While I usually work on my images (and not only mine), Aura seems to get a lot more sleep than I do. She also has more time reading, a thing that I start to miss. The funny thing is that we both have books about Russia. Maybe that's a sign of where we should head out next. Other than that, she audio records herself about the highlights of the day, while I try to write. I'm behind with the writing.

One of the most exciting days of our trip so far was the one going to Goðafoss. We were blessed with countless clouds that make you want ride your bike as far as the eye can see. Wind was also present, but we're already good friends.

The natural wonders of Iceland is what brings tourists to this country. This year sees over a million people doing their vacations here and the service industry bringing more income than the fishing one. Iceland's economy is slowly shifting and so are the nature conservation issues that inherently arise. People around here are already starting to think about this. Even if the highly visited areas are very clean, Leave only footprints saying doesn't work anymore. It's bigger than that as we have found from the Icelanders we talked to.

Three weeks on the road so far and we already had a lot of amazing moments that we will cherish and remember for the rest of our lives. And who would have expected that we will see the aurora too? Well, we did. And it was a wonderful first encounter at Lake Mývatn.

The lake offers a very diverse landscape to explore. We didn't get to see everything, but we made sure to treat our muscles and joints with a bath at the thermal pool.

We did get to visit the pseudo-craters and the rich birdlife around them, the lava fields and the Hverfjall Crater which is one of my favorite landscape forms I've seen in Iceland so far. We got on top of it too.

Sometimes Aura, in her green jacket, thinks she's some kind of a biking Hulk trying to split apples with her bare hands. A thing that almost never works. She's usually a calm creature though (she made me write the last part).

The truth is that when you're biking, you can't afford to stop too much in one place. And when those beautiful moments of light happen, you have to act quickly. Now, I feel I'm something in between of a nature, street, adventure photographer and nothing of those. Anyway, it's different from what I'm used to. But then again, this whole thing is different for us. We already changed in ways we can't yet comprehend.

As I'm writing this, we're somewhere in the eastern part of Iceland. We biked and also took the bus to buy some time and to avoid a severe weather warning - lots of rain and 70 km/h winds - that still managed to make us look like amphibians. We even biked during the night on the shores of the Atlantic which was quite surreal. Take care and don't forget to stay outside.

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