For quite a while, I have heard the NPR commercial for Planet Money that mentions “Learn how Justin Bieber saved the Icelandic economy” and had no idea what they were talking about, as I’m not a Belieber.
During my photo tour of Iceland I got the answer to this mystery, as our fearless leader, Loren Fisher, mentioned that several of our locations were in a Justin Bieber video. Here’s one of them…
This is a view looking from Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon, which is a stunning area to visit, as you can see; in the above image, we’re looking back in a southerly direction toward the Ring Road looking down the Fjaðrár river. The name of this canyon is probably one of the more difficult Icelandic words to pronounce; it is a combination of two words: Fjaðrár, the name of the river, and gljúfur, which just means canyon.
This canyon is gorgeous and fun to explore, as it’s only about 2 kilometers long; just leave your fear of heights in the car, as it does have a depth of 100 meters (300 ft), which can be intimidating when viewed from the edges (as I experience a certain amount of vertigo at heights, I tend to be aware of this).
One of the things that really stood out for me are the soft grasses and mosses on the outcroppings into the canyon. They look rather inviting to lie down and take a nice nap (on a drier day), while listening to the wind and the water playing their tunes.
As the weather was a bit fierce, we didn’t spend a lot of time here. It does make me want to come back at some point to hike the canyon from the lower vantage point of the river’s edge. Be mindful that this does require an occasional bit of wading through the Fjaðrár, which will mean very cold water!
Here’s the Justin Bieber video with all the great Icelandic sights: “I’ll Show You”.
I can honestly say that it was fun to see the video and recognize numerous locations that we’d visited; also, I definitely didn’t pull some of the stunts that Bieber did, as they look genuinely risky without a crew to catch you!
A note about the photos; they were taken with a Canon EOS R5 and a Canon RF 24-105mm f4/L IS USM lens. As this was a rather overcast day, I had inserted a Kolari Vision Iridium color enhancing rear filter; I discovered these filters shortly before going on the Iceland trip and really like them, as they allow one to swap lenses and keep the same filter.