Phone Photos: The Fimmvörðuháls Trail

Do you know how difficult it is to describe Iceland without feeling like a slave to hyperbole and superlatives?  Most breath-taking scenery.  Land of starkest contrasts.  Most changeable weather.  Waterfalls beyond number.  After awhile it begins to sound ridiculous, even though I swear I’m speaking truth.

As proof of my dilemma, I offer the Fimmvörðuháls Trail, a hike which begins at the mighty Skogafoss waterfall and ends fifteen hard miles later in Þorsmörk (Thor’s Valley) after traversing between the Eyjafallajökull and Mýradalsjökull glaciers.  I dare you to view the following photos and not  fall into the same description predicament that I’m struggling with…
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I rest my case.  🙂  (And this trail showcases only a small portion of all the visual delights Iceland has to offer).

A few side notes on this post:

  1. Iceland really is a land of the midnight sun.  We were on the trail ten hours and the last few sun-soaked photos of this post were taken around 10 PM.  The sunshine was a gift from God after all the fog and mist of the snow and lava fields.
  2. I didn’t have the chance to photograph any part of the last few miles of the trail which ends at Basar.  We were rushing to catch the last Highland bus back to our car so I wasn’t allowed to dally to take photos.  It was such a shame, really, and our biggest regret of the hike for two reasons: 1) We had already unknowingly missed the bus by 2 hours and 2) the end of the hike was delightfully Shire-esque with mounds of wild flowers and lush green foliage and even more beautiful views around every bend.  Plus, traversing the Cat’s Spine should have been documented for posterity.
  3. I love my Galaxy S9.   The wider angle of view showed Iceland to the best advantage.  The photos I took with it are some of my favorites of our trip.

Washington, D.C. Highlights

 

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Washington, D.C. was our first family travel destination of 2017.  We spent Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend there, seeing the sights and witnessing the city’s monumental preparations for the Presidential inauguration.  Over the course of four days we visited the International Spy Museum, the National Zoo, Ford’s Theater (where Abraham Lincoln was shot), the Petersen House (where Abraham Lincoln died), the National Archives, the National Air and Space Museum, the National Holocaust Memorial Museum, Arlington National Cemetery, and Mount Vernon (George Washington’s home).  We logged 22 miles on the pedometer for the weekend but, because most of the museums closed by 5 pm., we were always back in our hotel rooms by early evening, sipping milkshakes from the Shake Shack and watching movies or reading with our comfies on and our feet propped up.   We had fun, learned a few new things, spent quality time together and even enjoyed some downtime.  Really, what more could a person ask for?

International Spy Museum.  (A combination of espionage history and James Bond movie artifacts make this a fascinating and fun experience.)

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{ James Bond’s Aston Martin }

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{ Metal dentures belonging to Bond villain Jaws – the actor could only keep them in his mouth for about 40 seconds at a time because they were so painful to wear. }

The National Zoo.  (Home of pandas and other adorable critters.  Unfortunately, winter offers limited viewing of many of the animals.)

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Ford’s Theater and the Petersen House.  (Informative museum outlining events leading up to President Lincoln’s assassination.  The bedroom where Lincoln died felt especially eerie.)

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{ The gun John Wilkes Booth used to shoot Lincoln. }

The National Archives.  (Highlights include the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution and one of the few remaining original copies of the Magna Carta.  No photography is allowed in this building).

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The National Air and Space Museum.  (A popular museum chronicling the history of flight and the exploration of space.  This was by far the busiest museum of the trip. }

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The National Holocaust Memorial Museum.  (An emotionally taxing experience, but it should not be missed.  The world needs to remember human rights atrocities so they are not repeated…)

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{ Portraits of families and friends from one Jewish village in Poland taken before the war.  Most of the villagers were killed during the Nazi occupation. }

The Lincoln Memorial.  (After visiting the Ford Theater and Petersen House we felt compelled to see this monument.  It was interesting to observe the preparations for the inaugural celebrations but the set-up was bothersome when it came to taking those iconic photographs.)

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Arlington National Cemetery.  (The resting place of more than 400,000 active service members, veterans and their families.  It is also the home of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.)

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Mount Vernon.  (The rural estate of George Washington overlooking the Potomac River.  Washington’s tomb is located on the grounds.)

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All in all, it was a great getaway and a great beginning to 2017.  I’m looking forward to the other travel experiences this new year brings my way.

A Quest for the Soul of Scotland

Last year was full of milestones for my family and, to celebrate our accomplishments, we traveled to Scotland for some time together and a little adventure.  In a trip that was incredible from beginning to end, our most favorite experiences happened in the wilder places of the country.  That is where we encountered the soul of Caledonia.

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{ Coastal walk to Dunnottar Castle}

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{ Beach below Dunnottar Castle }

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{ Dunnattor Castle from beach }

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{ Corrie Fee, Glen Clova }

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{ Corrie Fee, Glen Clova }

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{ Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye }

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 { Steahl Falls, Glen Nevis }

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{ Steahl Falls, Glen Nevis }

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{ Steahl Falls, Glen Nevis }

Discover quests of all kinds at The Daily Post.

Phone Photos: The Best of Summer Travel 2016

This summer has been a fun season of travel in Maryland, Virginia and New York.  Although I was apt to reach for my big girl camera to capture the scenery and experiences of those adventures, my handy-dandy Samsung Galaxy did a pretty nice job in a pinch.

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{ The Boardwalk at Ocean City, Maryland }

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{ Poplar Forest (Thomas Jefferson’s retreat) near Forest, Virginia }

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{ Lover’s Leap on the Jeb Stuart Highway, Virginia }

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{ Primland Resort, Meadows of Dan, Virginia }

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{ The Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia }

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{ Castle Rock Gorge hike, Rocky Knob Recreation Area, Virginia }

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{ Lewey Lake, Adirondacks, New York }

20160802_14325020160802_133351( Sucker Creek, Adirondacks, New York }

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{ Indian Lake, Adirondacks, New York }

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{ Lake Champlain near Fort Ticonderoga, New York }

Photos were taken with a Samsung Galaxy 5.