3 Months of Wandering …
Heck, time flies! It has already been two weeks since we returned home. Yet, I have not posted the conclusion of this trip. Shame on me, it is time to catch up!
For fun, let’s start with some stats for this trip :
- 26,000 more kilometers on the clock
- 96 days of wandering
- 7 countries crossed (8 if we include Faroe Islands)
- 11,000 photographs taken, representing around 125 GB of data
- 2 flat tires
- 18 liters of the cheapest red wine available
- 18 rolls of toilet paper … hahaha just kidding on this one. We did not count them… Wait! Did we? ;)
Which leads to :
- 271 km/day
- 115 pictures/day
- 0.19 liters of cheap wine/day … It’s a shame, I know. Will work on this one for the next trip! ;)
This was actually quite a big trip. Our body feels pain but our brain is filled with images, sounds and smells. I will always remember the serenity of Jökulsárlón, with its seals swimming between icebergs, its arctic terns feasting and its icebergs slowly moving. As I will remember the apocalyptic smoking lava fields of Leirhnjúkur under the burning light of the setting sun, where life seems like it has disappeared long time ago. I will also remember the relaxing ambiance of the old Norwegian stave churches, a mix of sounds and smells, and the feeling of infinity on the winding and mysterious roads of Finnmark. So much great moments are coming back to my mind as I am writing those words. However, among these memories, there is one I did not share with you yet. This one is part of my favorites, maybe even my favorite memory from this trip.
Let’s go back to Iceland. It is the second to last day we spend here and I want to fully enjoy it. After coming back to the south in order to visit Landmannalaugar, there is a place I want to photograph, again : the black sandy beach by Jökulsárlón. 3 weeks ago I have been frustrated to find this place under the rain and though not to be able to photograph it as much as I wanted to. But this time, I am lucky. Everything is there : the light of the setting sun, interesting clouds, hundreds of icebergs dying on the thin black sands and a raging sea. The only drawback : something like 20 photographers, probably here for the same reasons I am here. But in the end, it becomes an asset allowing me to focus on different point of views, far away from the crowd.
After I fell on the ground to avoid a huge wave I did not see coming (which resulted in a broken rib), I finally find a beautiful iceberg, harassed by the waves. Light is becoming really great : on one side, cold blue hues and on the other, warm orange tones. A few minutes after, a rainbow appears. Then, the highlight of the show, a seal playing in the waves suddenly stops to fulfill its curiosity : “What the heck is this human doing with this stuff!?”. This is what we can call an ultimate combo! Unfortunately, the seal is not visible on the pictures due to the wide angle lens coupled to the long exposure. But even if not on the photographs, the memory is printed deeply into my mind and I will probably remember this moment for the rest of my life.
I then spend all the night here, around Jökulsárlón. After a good hot coffee, I decide to go to the lagoon and have a walk. I am all alone. Actually, not. Dozens of ducks and hundreds of terns share this incredible moment with me. It’s like I am the only human being left and nature has taken back its due. I am in a total communion with it, this is the one of the greatest feeling I experienced so far.
The sun rises, it’s time to go back to the beach and take some last shots before the lights gets too bright. Sea is now calm and tide is low. The “iceberg cemetery” is bathed in a warm light and I fully enjoy these moments of grace. For me, photography is not an end in itself. It is a mean to greatest ends, like this one. I love photography because it makes me see an infinity of things that I would not be aware of otherwise. I love traveling for the exact same reasons. And I love writing on this blog to share all these experiences with you, hoping that it will give you this passion I have for travel, nature or photography… or simply give you some good time and make you dream.
This adventure ends here, but THE adventure goes on. Thank you so much for your kind words here on the blog, or on whatever social media, for your private messages and for reading. Life is short, enjoy it now and see you soon! :)