The Thinking Swans, Iceland – Somewhere In Time Weekly Travel Photo.

By Posted in - Big Trip & Iceland & Photo Journal & Photography Posts & Photos & Somewhere In Time on April 8th, 2011

Somewhere In Time is a weekly travel photo from around the world. Enjoy!


One thing I loved about Iceland was the language. I don’t mean the accents or the words–it’s the simple fact that people in Iceland appreciate language. In Reykjavik, I remembered thinking very clearly that language and thoughts permeated almost everything–the street graffiti was poetic; the newspapers were written beautifully with words that made you think, stop and really think about what you were reading. The bookstores were beautiful, intimate and busy.

At one point walking around Reykjavik I thought to myself:  “Iceland is a thinking man’s land.” It seemed very apparent from the first day that the Icelandic people were philosophers at heart. To me, it feels like the type of place that you could go and ask a question and it would be answered with another question but in the end it would make complete sense. You would be more inspired and creative because of it. You would be invigorated about life. I wanted badly to spend a winter there and learn the language, so I could wear woolly sweaters and sit in front of living room fires partaking in the deep thinking conversations that I imagined they must have when it is too cold to go outside. You know, the kind of thinking & talking that arises when you are in your home with only your thoughts (and hopefully several good bottles of wine), kept inside because of the elements.

We were driving from Hofn to Reykjavik and I was passing the time by clicking away out the car window wondering what the camera might find. I love shooting out of windows–any kind of window will do but a moving window is my preferred poison. Shooting out a moving window engages me in a 1-on-1 way with my environment–a way that is totally different than if I am just a passenger in a car. It’s a quiet, thinking time for me that I really cherish.

I spotted these swans floating around in this little pond, and I asked Randy to pull over so I could get a better shot but in a moment they scattered & fluttered away. It was very cold & early in the morning–it was actually the same morning as the other photo of the blue Icelandic sunrise.

I didn’t have enough time to make what I wanted of the photo–of what I saw in my head. Quite frankly there are definitely some technical issues with this photo. It almost didn’t make the cut for the Somewhere In Time series because of them but there is something about it that keeps pulling me back to it. I don’t know exactly what it is but at the moment these peaceful, bobbing, quiet swans struck me as so inherently beautiful that I had to take a photograph of them.

They bring me back to Iceland. The graceful & poetic curve of their necks are visual reminders of a place that appreciates philosophy and the beauty of language. When I think back on my own personal journey in Iceland the swans are always there.


*Please remember all photos on this website, unless otherwise noted, are copyrighted and property of, & Bethany Salvon. Please do not use them without my permission. If you want to use one of them please contact me first because I do love to share and I would be flattered. Thanks!

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(23) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Kelsey -

    April 9, 2011 at 5:51 am

    Beautiful shot!

    I know what you mean about it being a “thinking man’s country”. One of my best friends in college was Icelandic, and he now makes a small, but sufficient income as a published poet there. Being a professional poet in the US will earn you a cardboard box. It definitely seems to be a place that appreciates the intellectual. Though, I’m told that that is the case throughout much of Scandinavia as well.

    • Bethany -

      April 9, 2011 at 3:33 pm

      Hmm… that’s really interesting. I’m sure your friend must have been great to talk to. I think you’re right too being a poet in the US will get you much of nothing – sadly…@Kelsey,

  • Andrea -

    April 9, 2011 at 8:41 am

    The reasons for visiting Iceland just keep coming for me. These swans are beautiful – I love how they are just chilling in a line like that for you. Gorgeous shot!

    • Bethany -

      April 9, 2011 at 3:33 pm

      Thanks 🙂 YOu should totally go – we really want to go back, feel like I hardly saw it.@Andrea,

  • Debbie Beardsley -

    April 9, 2011 at 9:20 am

    Beautiful, serene picture. The more I read and see of Iceland, the more I want to visit!

    • Bethany -

      April 9, 2011 at 3:34 pm

      It’s an interesting country. I never thought much of going before but now I think frequently about going back. 🙂@Debbie Beardsley,

  • travelroach -

    April 9, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Wow, absolutely stunning…it looks like a watercolour.

  • Sonya -

    April 9, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    I wish I was somewhere in Iceland right now! Stunning photo!

    • Bethany -

      April 9, 2011 at 3:35 pm

      You and me both! Thanks for commenting 🙂 @Sonya,

  • Roy -

    April 9, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Wow, gorgeous photo! I loved Reyjavik when I visited years ago. Would love to go back one day….

    • Bethany -

      April 11, 2011 at 8:15 am

      thanks Roy. I hear ya – I am itching to go back too! @Roy,

  • Sophie -

    April 12, 2011 at 6:38 am

    Gorgeous photo. Reykjavik is a fun little city, surprisingly chic!

    • Bethany -

      April 12, 2011 at 7:51 am

      Good description Sophie! It is very Chic 🙂@Sophie,

  • Sofia – As We Travel -

    April 12, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    I think it’s a great photo, I’m glad you decided to share it!
    I’d love to visit Iceland soon, it seems like an amazing place.

  • Charu -

    May 5, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Very poetic and nostalgic.

  • Cailin -

    May 5, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Love 🙂

    • Bethany -

      May 5, 2011 at 6:31 pm

      Awww… thanks Cailin 🙂 @Cailin,

  • Michael Hodson -

    May 5, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    that is a really magical shot — the way the sun works to make the lighting a bit unusual and off is key. Yes, people, you CAN occasionally shot into the sun… don’t follow all the rules all the time.

  • Ken Kaminesky -

    May 6, 2011 at 8:03 am

    Absolutely gorgeous… But that is something I expect when I come to look at your photos here 🙂

    Keep up the wonderful work!

  • Raymond -

    May 6, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    That is magical! Looks like the type of spot where you’d see faeiries, imps, pixies, brownies, sprites, fauns, and maybe a dwarf and a leprechaun or two gettin’ up to no good. 🙂