Virtual Photo Tour: Nordic Edition

While I was going stir crazy and planning adventures I started thinking about a tour through the Northern Latitudes – Iceland, The Faroes, The Shetland Islands and Norway.

Of the four places the only one I’ve visited before is Iceland. I was in Iceland in 2014 but didn’t have as much time to explore as I would have liked. That time I was based in Reykjavik and took trips from there to photograph.

There’s so much to see in Iceland that I don’t want to try to do everything on this first trip. My plan would be to just focus on the coast around Reykjavik and then on subsequent trips see more.

To maximize my time in Iceland I have Michael Levy’s Photography map of Iceland, which will help me find great locations in and around the places that I want to visit.

First stop of the tour is Budir on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, about a 2 hour drive from the airport.

From the notes that I made I would stay at the Hotel Búðir which would be a great base for an exploration of the Peninsula. Impossible to go to Budir and not take at least a few pictures of the black church!

The Black Church of Budir as a Photography Location
The Black Church, Mads Peter Iversen

After 3 or 4 days in and around the Snaefellsnes Peninsula it would be time to move on to Vik.

I’ve been to Vik before and in fact the picture of the church in the banner for the blog page was taken in Vik. I didn’t have much luck when I was in Vik the last time, the weather was shocking, it was pouring and the fog was so thick that even though I knew there were sea stacks I couldn’t see them! I did manage to get a picture (sort of) of the black sand beach though.

After a few days in Vik it would be time to move on to Jökulsárlón and the Ice Beach.

The mouth of the lagoon in Jökulsárlón forms a bottle neck that traps Icebergs causing them to break up into small pieces of ice and to get caught on the beach. I think that this is now a very popular location, not unusual to be shoulder to shoulder with other photographers I’m told. Hopefully not on the day when I visit!

Jökulsárlón and the Icy Beach as Photography Locations
Icy Beach, Jökulsárlón Mads Peter Iversen

After Jökulsárlón it’s back to Reykjavik and home, but not before we stop at some waterfalls. First up Skógafoss, followed by the famous Seljalandsfoss and the nearby hidden waterfall Gljúfrabúi.

Seljalandsfoss, Iceland, Andrey Andreyev

Virtual Photo Tour: Nostalgia Edition: Part 2 – Snowdonia

For the final leg of our nostalgia edition photo tour I want to visit Snowdonia.

Sarah Edmonds Illustration of Snowdonia National Park

I lived there at the end of the 80’s. Photography was still all film and way out of my financial reach. I lived for a year in a mountain hamlet, taking the bus into Bangor every morning. The view from my living room window was something like the image below. It could be quite spectacular. I remember that the mist used to really swirl around the mountains that you could see in the distance. On days when it was sunny the mountains would also catch the light in an amazing way.

Approximate view from my living room window courtesy of google maps

I didn’t have a car at the time and so even though I lived on the edge of the national park things were tantalizingly out of my reach. Because of that I feel like I missed out on a lot.

So where to go on our tour? My first introduction to Snowdonia was a school trip to Betws-y-Coed so I would like to start there.

https://www.gonorthwales.co.uk/explore/betws-y-coed

With school we went to Betws-y-Coed on a science field trip and stayed at the Draper Field Centre. Betws attracted British artists when they couldn’t travel because of the Napoleonic War and eventually in the Victorian era it became the site of the first British Artist colony. I’m keen to visit the Fairy Glen shown in the image below although I understand this has become a bit of a tourist trap.

Fairy Glen, Betws-y-Coed

After a couple of days to explore the area around Betws – including the gwydir forest park and swallow falls – lets move on to the area around Llyn Ogwen.

The Llyn Ogwen area is what we might think of as a subject rich environment. Here there’s Llyn Ogwen, Ogwen falls, Llyn Idwal and Glydar Fach (if your up for a climb).

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/carneddau-and-glyderau/trails/llyn-ogwen-circular-walk

There’s a really great walk around Llyn Idwal and across a mountain range called the Devil’s Kitchen if you’re up for it. I probably would’t be but would rather get in a good spot to take photos of the mountains.

View of Devils Kitchen across Llyn Idwal

One more stop before we head for Bangor and that is to see the ‘Lonely Tree’ at Lynn Padarn Country Park. Let’s have a quick look at the map to orient ourselves.

I was amazed when I saw images of this tree in Llyn Padarn. I thought that I would have to go to New Zealand to see a tree like this. Let’s hope that we have great light when we visit Llyn Padarn!

Robert Rhead: Llyn Padarn, Lonely Tree

Finally let’s finish up in Bangor and then head back to Yorkshire.

Here’s the map of our Wales trip. We’ve only scratched the surface and didn’t even visit Snowdon! Lots more to do when we visit next time!