Iceland Day 9: Home

We’ll by the time this is posted I’ll be home again. Today I head home. As what is becoming the norm, I’m not going to talk much about my day and more reflect on the trip as a whole. Though today I did wake up feeling a bit worse than yesterday, the sore throat persists and I bet I’m “that guy” getting the others on the plane sick. I’m feeling really tired and drained but I’m not sure if that’s the 5 hours of sleep after days of hard hiking or the cold I’m fighting off. It’s not very funny though to be stuck on a plane feeling under the weather, especially when there is 16 hours of flying plus all the other stuff on each end, it’s like doing a 24 hour stint while sick with the added stress of an intentional transfer in less than 2 hours at JFK.

Either way Iceland! I’ve enjoyed this trip a whole lot. It’s been a lot of fun, but not entirely for the reasons I would have guessed starting out. The scenery was spectacular and different, and some of the adventures were fun, but I think the people really stood out for me. Icelanders in general seem very friendly and quick to make friends. There is a social aspect we’re kind of lacking, though I think this may be much to do with me living in the big city than most, but they seem to maintain that small town feel well past the normal sizes. Reykavik definitely isn’t quite as warm and inviting as other places in Iceland, and I get the feeling like it’s trying to be bigger and more impressive than it is.

Because of the very small tourist season everything became more structured than I wanted it to be, and that at times got in the way. I felt a lot like I had to be somewhere at all times, and I wasn’t always happy with where I ended up. There are just too few accommodations, but it makes sense when most of the year they go empty.

I don’t think I would ever go back to Reykjavik, there isn’t much interesting there, but Ísafjörður definitely would be somewhere I’d love to travel back to, and I’d recommend it for people who like the outdoors and hiking. Actually I think that extends to Iceland as a whole. In general it’s mainly suited to the outdoors types, if you’re not big into hiking it’s probably not worth a visit.

Now for a mini equipment review! This time I brought about my new 24-105mm L lens and thought it lived up to the good press. I had none of the problems from my old 28-135mm. It turned in photos very comparable to the 10-22mm I love so much though with a longer more natural zoom range and the Image Stabilization often allowed me to take shots I wouldn’t normally be able to. I think I took about 2/3rds of my shots with this lens which seems about what you’d expect on a trip like this. I also brought along a ZipLine ultra compact tripod with manfrotto quick release. I can’t say I’m nearly as pleased with this. It was nice to have something that acted like a tripod without carrying 6 lbs of aluminum, but it like is the operative word. The problem with this light weight tripod is that it lacks real stability. It will get rid of the high frequency movement your hand gives to an image ok once it settles down which helps in shots slightly below say 1/60th of a second, but even a light breeze causes it to visually move. It just doesn’t get all that great of shots. I’m tempted to try a light weight monopod as a good middle ground between the two but I’m not convinced that will produce much better results either.

Other than that I’m fairly happy with the gear I brought in general with the exception of that absolutely terrible backpack.

I’m already looking forward to that next trip wherever that may be.

To Be Continued….

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