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Icelandic Beach House
On a trip to the amazing Iceland this January, my husband and I ended our first day at the small seaside town of Eyrarbakki. I wasn't prepared for how beautiful the Icelandic coast would be. The sun started its slow descent right around 4:45 each afternoon, but the sun didn't fully set until around 6:00 p.m., making for the longest and most beautiful sunsets I've ever witnessed.

I loved this quaint beach house nestled on an isolated stretch of beach in Eyrarbakki. Now that's an ocean view! The beach house looked so warm and cozy on an otherwise frigid afternoon, and I could practically picture the family inside relaxing in front of a crackling fire, watching the sun's slow descent. I wondered if they ever got tired of watching the sun set in Iceland but decided that would be impossible.
Now That's What I Call Horsepower
One of the things I didn't expect on my January trip to Iceland was how many people used horses as a mode of transportation. Iceland is well known for its beautiful ponies, and they were one of the things I was most looking forward to seeing on the trip.

Icelandic ponies are about three-quarters the size of a standard horse, standing about 52-56 inches tall and weighing in at 700-850 pounds. The ponies have an endearing curiosity and sweet disposition about them, and they all seem to really enjoy a good scratch behind the ears.

Despite the frigid January cold, we saw people everywhere riding their horses around Iceland, seemingly oblivious to the cold. Between this eco-friendly form of transportation and their adeptness at harnessing geothermal power, I think Icelanders are way ahead of the curve when it comes to being green.
Now That's What I Call Horsepower Eyrarbakki  Iceland

No One In Sight
One thing that really struck me about Iceland during my January trip there was how incredibly unpopulated the country is and how desolate large parts of it felt. Just over 300,000 people call Iceland home, with about one-third of them living in or around the capital city of Reykjavik. As soon as you get outside Reykjavik, you can literally drive for hours without seeing another person, and houses like this one are few and far between. You definitely need to be a self-sufficient person if you want to make Iceland your home.

While I loved visiting Iceland I don't know that I could live there - I think it might be just a bit too remote for me.
No One In Sight   Eyrarbakki  Iceland

Black and White, Hard and Soft
Visiting the tiny fishing village of Eyrarbakki on the southern coast of Icleand, home to only 570 people (not including the prisoners at the village's prison, Iceland's largest), I was struck once again by the dramatic contrasts I noticed all through Iceland: icy cold next to fiery hot, soft and fluffy against hard and sharp. In this case it was pitch black, jagged sand covered by pure white, soft foam.

I know now why they call Iceland "The Land of Fire and Ice." Such contrasts run throughout the country and make it a magical place unlike any I've ever seen.
Black and White, Hard and Soft   Eyrarbakki  Iceland

Icelandic Sunsets: A 1.5-Hour Light Show
By far one of Iceland's best features, especially in the winter, is its amazing sunsets. When my husband and I visited in January, the short days meant that the sun fully rose above the horizon around 10:00 a.m. and dropped below it again at 6:00 p.m. or so. During the day, the sun sat just above the horizon and bathed the landscape in a soft alpenglow - magical lighting for photography.

My husband and I made it a point at around 4:30 each afternoon to be somewhere we could watch the sun setting, and we would sit there enjoying the sun paint the sky all shades of pink and blue before slipping below the horizon around 6:00. Then off we would go to find a delicious dinner, happy as could be.

Those amazing Icelandic sunsets - and the serene lighting throughout the day - were some of our best memories of this one-of-a-kind country. I can't wait to go back!
Icelandic Sunsets:  A 1.5-Hour Light Show Eyrarbakki  Iceland

See You Tomorrow, Sun
My husband and I ended our first day in magical Iceland at the small coastal fishing village of Eyrarbakki, where we were treated to the first of many dazzling sunsets I came to associate with this amazing country. I caught my husband in this moment watching the sun set and wondering at the beauty of Iceland's coast.

Eyrarbakki is typical of what we found in most towns outside Reykjavik, very small with just over 550 residents. What set Eyrarbakki apart was the prison located there, the biggest in Iceland and by far the largest employer in the region. The village used to be home to an aluminum frying pan factory and fish processing plant, but both unfortunately have closed.

If you're looking for the best place in Iceland to watch the epic, 1.5-hour winter sunsets we enjoyed each day, I recommend heading for the beach in Eyrarbakki for a view that can't be beat.
See You Tomorrow, Sun Eyrarbakki  Iceland

Eyrarbakki, Iceland