Russian Time Magazine

Off the Beaten Path of Iceland’s Ring Road

With the recently opened airline WOW in San Francisco and Los Angeles offering low priced direct flights to Californians.

This summer I decided to explore mainland Europe. Taking along my younger brother Chase and our good friend Jeff we rented a car and began our journey on the Ring Road, a famous path that takes you around the whole of Iceland.
Still overcoming jetlag we set off early the first morning to take a much different approach. But first, a little science.
Over thousands of years the divergence of the North American and Eurasian tecto filter down through ice and volcanic rock until finally arriving in Silfra mineral-free and three times clearer than the finest shores of Hawai’i.
Teaming up with, the three of us strapped on our anti-hypothermia dry suits and hopped into experience Silfra for ourselves. The clarity was unbelievable. All around us fluorescent algae formations sent streaks of lime-green and silver cascading through the dark blue water.
We drifted across the glacier melt with North America on our left and Eurasia on our right. The calm reflection of the surface mirrored the plates beneath it, creating the illusion that we were swimming through an infinite plane of walls and water. It was a truly tranquil experience.
With satisfied eyes and frozen lips we exited the rift, attempting tops was a hot springs river just south of the park. What a change of scene!
Heating back up in the hot springs river of Reykjadalur

Northern Iceland: Beasts of the Deep and Icy Volcanoes

The iconic church of Husavik
Due to the test. We opted for a speedboat cruise with local company Gentle Giants and, after putting on some wind gear, zoomed off across the freezing ocean.
Time to find some whales

Before our search for the watery beasts began the speedboat top at the famous Puffin Island, which was currently inhabited by thousands of these goofy little birds.
The majestic puffin

During the summer months, the working puffin gets a vacation from its hard days of catching fish and flies out to Puffin Island where it can spend its paid time off relaxing in shady caves and fluttering about alongside thousands of puffin friends. What a life!
Speedboats rolling up on Puffin Island

Once we got our fill of cuteness we headed out to, the beast boasted its might with a great spray of wind from its blowhole. The sight was magnificent; however the smell of whale breath was anything but. Yuk!

We would see the blue whale come up for air several more times over the next hour as we glided across the ocean. Along the way we saw dolphins, humpback whales, and even got to anyone in a whaley mood!

Lofthellir Lava Tubes: Where Fire Meets the Ice

The entrance to Lofthellir

Later that same day we to Lofthellir.
The door to the lava tubes

The formation of the Lave Tubes was a true spectacle of nature. Thousands of years ago, a nearby volcano erupted in what was one of Iceland’s most catastrophic events. However, before the eruption the volcano needed somewhere tore all its lava. With unimaginable force the lava pushed and melted its way through the earth, creating the tubes of Lofthellir. Once the magma finally spewed out, the large empty tunnels were left behind, deep in the ground. Now where there once was fire and light, darkness and ice have taken over, forming a pitch-black wonderland of frozen sculptures such as the ones pictured below.

A Stroll Down Beer Lane

Taking a beer to chase our drinks with some traditional fermented shark cubes. Yuk! By the end of the night we were sitting in one Iceland’s most popular Micro Bars, sipping on craft beers and chatting with new friends about the quaint, yet buzzing city of Reykjavik.
Gentle Giants:
Saga Travel:
Wake Up Reykjavik: