Iceland: East, Part II

When I think about my trip to Iceland, this is always the day that comes to mind first. A day full of beautiful scenery, coffee, new friends, lots of laughs and just taking everything in together. A day I will never forget. 

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After waking up in our beloved van, we headed to a little coffee shop nestled along the edge of a mountain - The Viking Cafe. Located right next to Stokksnes, it made for a relaxing morning drinking coffee and walking along the beach. Every day, I think of this place and wish I was still there drinking coffee and eating their amazing waffles. 

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Stokksnes

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We headed out out from Stokksnes, a place that will always be a special place to us and headed for Jökulsárlón. Otherwise known as the Glacial Lagoon. 

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Jökulsárlón

(Diamond Beach)

When we arrived here, the beach was lined with people. We could barely even see the water. Sam and I quite literally had to sprint down the beach to get to an opening to make sure we could get a few pictures before the sun set. Once we finally found a spot and were able to catch out breath, it was amazing to see these huge chunks of ice washed up on shore.

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We arrived at the lagoon in broad daylight, surrounded by tourists and selfie sticks. Even with chaos happening around us, this place took our breath away. We spent a few minutes here during the day, but decided to come back later. When we arrived after the sun had set, and the people had dispersed - we had the entire lagoon to ourselves. Somehow, we were completely alone with one of the most popular tourist destinations. 

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We spent the remainder of our evening on the other side of the lagoon. We were soaking up the last bit of sunlight when a hue of red caught my eye. I saw a girl in a red scarf, taking photos with a tiny film camera that she had. She was with two other guys just talking quietly amongst themselves. Something about the colors she was wearing and the light, I just had to take her picture. I asked politely and she was more than happy to let me take a few portraits of her.

Meet Amie.

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Amie is from Scotland, but when we met her she was hitchhiking through Iceland. The two young men she was with were from Germany and they had picked her up along the way. Amie had no agenda in mind other than to find work somewhere on the island so she could explore Iceland to it fullest - she now works at an organic farm in the East. 

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After taking her picture and talking for a while, we offered them all a cup of hot chocolate from our van. We sat in the parking lot exchanging stories next to massive glaciers, sipped hot chocolate and watched a full moon appear. This is what traveling is about. 

Chelsea Ruggiero