Iceland Mag

11 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag

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"Iceland has a universal beauty. It’s a rare and raw gem"

By Sara McMahon

  • Back again Maria Bryzhko visited Iceland for the second time in two years to take photographs and to holiday. One of her favourite places to visit was the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. Photos/Maria Bryzhko

Maria Bryzhko is an Italian wedding photographer who recently visited Iceland for the second time in two years to take photographs and to holiday. Her first visit was during summer, when Iceland sees 24 hours of sunlight and lush, green meadows, but this time Maria wanted to experience the country in a different mood – namely during winter.

Maria Bryzhko, Iceland, Photography

Maria travelled along the south coast and shot many beautiful photos on the way. Photo/Maria Bryzhko

“The reason I wanted to visit Iceland the first time was that I wanted to see the natural beauty that I had up until then only experienced through photographs and videos, for myself. And I was not let down; It was even more beautiful than I had anticipated,” Maria tells. “It was the first time that I found the saying “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” not to be true. Iceland has a universal beauty. It’s a rare and raw gem.”

During her first visit Maria travelled from Reykjavík along the south coast to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, north to Húsavík and Skagaströnd, ending up in Ísafjörður, the unofficial capital of the Westfjords. This time around she wanted to focus solely on the south coast and all its treasures.

Maria Bryzhko, Iceland, Photography

PhotoMaria Bryzhko

“I love different parts of the country for different reasons, but this time the village of Vík and Jökulsárlón were my favourite spots to visit. My favourite spot to shoot, on the other hand, was the hill in front of Jökulsárlón lagoon and Route 1, called Þjóðvegurinn in Icelandic. I know it sounds unspecific because that part of the ring road is very long, but the view along the way is extremely beautiful: a lot of sky and ever changing light. I couldn’t have asked for a better set.”

Maria Bryzhko, Iceland, Photography

Photo/Maria Bryzhko

Asked whether she has any recommendations for first time visitors to the country, Maria names the Skaftafell National Park in Southeast Iceland. “It leaves you breathless!” she says enthusiastically. Adding: “For those who plan to spend time in Reykjavík, I recommend they have dinner at Fiskmarkaðurinn restaurant and a drink or two (or more) at Dillon Bar on a Friday night. I also have to recommend that you do a bit of shopping in Reykjavík – it’s a very chic city. This might sound odd coming from someone who lives in fashionable Milan, but I think Reykjavík has better clothing stores.”

Maria says she plans on returning to Iceland for the third time, hopefully next winter, and has already begun to mark down all the new places she wants to visit and revisit. “I’ll definitely be back,” she concludes. 

Maria Bryzhko

Photo/Maria Bryzhko

 

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