This page exists as an alternative to the multi-section, multi-page main trip report. After all, the main report consists of thirty-seven pages of text and somewhere around seven hundred pictures. For some, this might be too much to bear, and I understand that.
So, I've created this section, which I call "The Short Report". I've taken the big report and condensed it down, from thirty-seven pages to two, and from seven hundred pictures to seventy pictures. It should give you a concise overview of what we did and saw, without incurring excessive eye strain or a caffeine overdose.
If you've come here and are looking to read the main trip report, this isn't it! Please go here
Before getting into individual pictures, here's a set-to-music three-minute montage of our nine-day odyssey in Iceland. Click directly on the image below to start it.
Video Montage, Elemental Iceland. - Click on video above to start
Day 1 - Southwestern Iceland and Reykjavik
Upon arriving in Iceland, we spent a day touring around the the small peninsula at the extreme southwestern tip of the country. There's quite a bit of interesting scenery and volcanic activity here, as well as Iceland's capital city, Reykjavik. We toured the peninsula, got a sense of the Icelandic countryside, then headed into Reykjavik to experience its vibe and to have a tasty evening meal at Icelandic Fish and Chips.
Day 2 - Geothermal Power, a Natural Hot Spa, Geysers, and Waterfalls
Our second day in Iceland was a mixed bag of things, all of them somehow related to water: we visited a modern geothermal power plant - a significant bit of infrastructure for a volcanically-active country like Iceland; we hiked up a valley to a geothermally-heated "hot" stream, and found a nice spot to have a spa-like soak; we visited the active geyser field of Geysir (note the name similarity - Geysir is where the english word geyser comes from); we then visited Gulfoss, one of Iceland's biggest and most beautiful waterfalls.
At the end of the day, with the above whirlwind of visits completed, we drove along Iceland's south ring road to stay at a beautiful campground very close to another beautiful waterfall - Seljalandsfoss.
Day 3 - A Backpack between Volcanoes, Part I
The morning of our third day was spent setting up for a 2-day backpack that would lead us up and over a mountain pass separating two of Iceland's active volcanoes - one of which was the famous Eyjafjallajökull volcano that erupted and disrupted air traffic in 2010. A bit of bus logistics allowed us to leave our rental van at the southern end of the backpack route, and dropped us off at the northern end, in the very scenic Þorsmörk valley.
The first part of the backpack, leading up from Þorsmörk to the pass, was one of the scenic highlights of our trip. Fantastic valley and mountain scenery (along with good weather) from the start of the hike all the way up to the pass.
At the pass, we got to see the fresh lava flows deposited in the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull - still hot and steaming under our feet.
We spent the night in an austere mountain hut just beyond the pass.
Day 4 - A Backpack between Volcanoes, Part II
Day four of our trip saw us hike down in slightly drizzly conditions from our mountain hut to the community of Skógar, at the southern terminus of our backpack. Along the way, we witnessed the most amazing parade of incredible waterfall after waterfall, culiminating at the bottom with the largest - Skógafoss - another of Iceland's most famous waterfalls.
After the backpack, we spent a very pleasant few hours driving east along the ring road, stopping at several scenic and/or historic sites.