ÍS: South Coast of the Westfjörds

iceland10 A few spectacular sights seen as we drove along the southern coast of the Westfjords on our way to Látrabjarg.

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iceland11 [35mm taken with my Canon EOS Rebel 2000. Click here for more pictures of northwestern Iceland. Click here for more pictures from my late May 2015 Ring Road Trip.]

ÍS: Driving Around Breiðafjörður

iceland15 A stop for a photo-op as we drove around Breiðafjörður from the Snæfellsnes peninsula to the Westfjords.

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iceland14 [35mm taken with my Canon EOS Rebel 2000. Click here for more pictures from my May 2015 trip around Iceland’s Ring Road. Click here for more pictures of Northwest Iceland.]

ÍS: The Southern Edge of the Westfjords

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Callie and I didn’t plan to detour off the Ring Road to the Westfjords. We only had five days to go around the whole island. But we were making good time, so we took the long, long, bumpy, gravely twisty, over-mountainy and around fjordy road along the southern coast of the Westfjords to get to Látrabjarg, so that we could see the puffins that nest there. We stopped at this gorgeous spot somewhere along the way. Mmmm.

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westfj6[35mm taken with my Canon EOS Rebel 2000. Click here for more pictures of northern Iceland.Click here for more pictures from my late May 2015 Ring Road Trip.]

ÍS: Puffins at Látrabjarg (May 2015)

westfj1When Callie and I made the long, bumpy (vicious gravel roads going winding up and down mountains and around fjords) drive out to Látrabjarg in late May, it was my third visit to that magical place.
westfj2 Látrabjarg is the westernmost point in Iceland. This isolated promontory is known for it’s flourish populations of puffins, razor bills, guillemots, and other migratory sea birds. It is a breeding ground vital to the global survival of many species living there. It is also Europe’s longest bird cliff at 14km long and 440m high at certain points. In peak season puffins sit on the cliff edge and tucked into crannies within arm’s reach, calmly watching you and looking out to sea.westfj10Atlantic puffins are the only puffins native to the Atlantic Ocean- wait….I just realized that if you say ‘puffin’ a lot, the word just gets cuter and cuter until your face is all scrunched up in a big ‘awwwww.’ Anyway, the Atlantic puffin breeds inIceland, Norway, Greenland, Newfoundland, and islands in the North Atlantic, going no farther south than Maine. They mainly fish from the sea by diving into the water, using their wings as underwater propulsion. westfj4These adorable and incredible relatives of the auk spend the autumn and winter out at sea, flying along the water’s surface for easy hunting. However, other than “out to sea in the north,” we don’t really know where they go. It’s a delightful mystery. In the late spring and summer, they dig burrows into cliffs in order to lay a single egg, which takes six weeks to hatch.

Their small wings are a compromise between what they need for flying and for navigating in and under water. As such, they have to flap their wings very fast in order to stay in the air, which makes for a very comical sight (I captured it on an instagram video which you can see here)westfj11 [35mm taken with my Canon EOS Rebel 2000. Click here for more pictures of puffins in Iceland.]

ÍS: Vatnsnes Peninsula

Hvitserker, IcelandHvítserkur, a sheep round-up pen, and a lighthouse on the Vatnsnes peninsula in Northern Iceland.

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Vatsnes, Iceland      [35mm taken with my Canon EOS Rebel 2000. Click here for more pictures from my June Ring Road trip around Iceland]

ÍS: Above the Westfjords Cloudline (2am)

Westfjords, Iceland Driving back to our guesthouse in Ísafjörður after a long day of exploring PatreksfjörðurLátrabjarg, and Rauðasandur.
Westfjords, Iceland  [35mm taken with my Canon EOS Rebel 2000. Click here for more pictures from my June Ring Road trip around Iceland]

ÍS: Lambs by the Church Yard

Rauðisandur, IcelandWe drove along Rauðasandur until the road ended at a beautiful little, black church with a stone courtyard wall and lambs playing on the lush grass around it.Rauðisandur, Iceland

Rauðisandur, Iceland

Rauðisandur, Iceland [35mm taken with my Canon EOS Rebel 2000. Click here for more pictures from my June Ring Road trip around Iceland]

ÍS: Somewhere in the Westfjords

Westfjords, Iceland I remember taking this picture somewhere along the south coast of the Westfjords, and I think it was the same day we went to Rauðasandur, but other than that, this will remain a beautiful mystery spot. [35mm taken with my Canon EOS Rebel 2000. Click here for more pictures from my June Ring Road trip around Iceland]

ÍS: No Darkness/ Twilight on the Shores of the Westfjords

Rauðisandur, Iceland It was already past midnight by the time we started heading back to our guesthouse in Ísafjörður from Látrabjarg and Rauðasandur. The sky stays light 24 hours for most of June, turning cotton candy pink and blue for a few hours as sunset and sunrise merge together in dreamy in-between state. It is a truly surreal experience. After a soak in a natural hot pot, we stopped here on the same stretch of beach on the south coast of the Westfjords to get a good look at the cold waves washing onto the black sand beach.

Rauðisandur, Iceland   [35mm taken with my Canon EOS Rebel 2000. Click here for more pictures from my June Ring Road trip around Iceland]