Saturday, December 24, 2016

ICELAND: Discovering the Surreal Blue Waterfall - Bruarfoss

There are so many beautiful waterfalls in Iceland, it can be hard to prioritize which ones to see. From the main attractions, to the small ones you discover along the roadside, each one has it's unique structure and beauty. Throughout our trip, we found ourselves trying to categorize each waterfall, and we decided that Bruarfoss is definitely the most surreal.

Due to the minerals in the water, Bruarfoss is bright blue. Honestly, this place is so picture perfect and surreal it is amazing how well it photographs! It's also a less known destination so taking perfect photos was easier due to the lack of tourists in the area. I promise that these photos are not adjusted to make the water appear more blue than it is in person (and a google search will reveal hundreds of photos similar to ours) - it really is that blue! It's an incredible sight that is worth seeing in person to believe it.

Finding Bruarfoss is a challenge. We followed directions from previous travelers, which led us down some small, gravel, country roads, and then on a hike through about .6 kilometers of mud. Despite our muddy boots, the journey was absolutely worth it.

Thanks to Unlocking Kiki for sharing so much insight about the hidden magical places of Iceland! We can't recommend her blog enough for planning a trip to Iceland. 

 This is part of a series of posts about the Golden Circle in Iceland.

Have you been to Iceland? Which was your favorite waterfall?

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Thursday, November 10, 2016

FLORIDA: Coral Castle

Our love of travel and weird destinations occasionally brings us to some bizarre roadside attractions. Coral Castle is definitely a strange one. As the name implies, Coral Castle is an eccentric limestone structure (crafted by the even more eccentric Edward Leedskalnin) in Miami. This location has some bizarre theories that magnetism or supernatural abilities were utilized in the process of carving and moving these stones to their present location. Edward constructed this site over a period of 30 years, and it's believed that it was a testament of love to his 16 year old ex-fiancee, who rejected marriage to him just a day before their wedding. Many of the structures are chairs that look like thrones, but in addition there is a table shaped like Florida, several planetary structures, and a bed. There is also a seemingly archaic tower which served as his living quarters over those 30 years.

It's certainly an interesting location, but rather small, and so it can easily be seen within an afternoon. Admission is pricey for what you get (although a tour is included), so definitely check Groupon before visiting!

What are some of your strangest local attractions? Have you ever visited Coral Castle?

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Sunday, October 23, 2016

ICELAND: The Golden Circle | Part 1

Iceland's Golden Circle is a popular tour of some of the most incredible natural attractions nearby Reykjavik. We would recommend going clockwise from the city as this will allow you to see the main attractions first. The entire trip can be driven within about 4 hours, but you should plan a day to complete the sights if you enjoy photography. In addition to the main 3 stops (Thingvellir, Geysir, and Gullfoss), we also added on some stops to some lesser-traveled destinations - which was super rewarding.

We began our tour early in the morning. As we opted to rent a car for our week in Iceland, we were not constrained by having to meet the timing of a tour bus. We would highly recommend doing the Golden Circle in this way if possible, in order to have the best opportunity to get photos without a bunch of tourists and to add on other destinations at your discretion.

Our first stop was Thingvellir National Park, which is located between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Thingvellir is also the location for the formation of the Icelandic parliament. This park has a lot of history and geological beauty, and it's therefore a very popular destination. We arrived at the park around 8am, an hour before the info shop officially opens and tour buses arrive. This allowed us to get in many shots without having the nuance of many people in our photos and to get the best light possible for early morning.

Our second stop was Geysir - the geyser for which all others are named. There are several geysers in the area, but the most notable attractions are Geysir and Strokkur. While Geysir itself is rather inactive, Strokkur Geyser is only a few feet away and erupts every few minutes. It was really incredible to spend some time in this hot springs area, where you can hear the ground boiling beneath your feet! We did not spend much time here but there were a few trails that meandered through the area.

This is part of a series of posts about the Golden Circle in Iceland.
Check out the other posts here.

Did you tour the Golden Circle? Which was your favorite part?

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