1 week trip in Iceland
(First 3 days)
When you grow up listening to Björk and Sigur Rós it’s impossible not to wonder what makes their music and videos so unique and breathtaking. It doesn’t take long to realise that their own country is the biggest inspiration.
I’ve been craving to experience Iceland on my skin for half of my life but I never managed to fulfill this dream of mine. In December I found out that I still had one week holiday left to take before the end of January 2015. I let Isa know while she was still in Budapest, and, in a couple of hours, this text message popped up on my mobile “I’ve found a cheap flight to Reykjavik, shall we?”. Of course my answer was YES. We considered for a couple of minutes the cons of this decision: short days and cold weather. Not enough reasons, in our opinion, to postpone the trip.
There’s no words to describe how me and Isa felt for the first hours since we landed on a shiny afternoon. Utterly amazed would not be enough. The colours of every single detail around us were so vivid and the light so warm. We reached Reykjavik in time to see the sunset from Harpa, the icelandic opera house, and the breathtaking pink mountains on its background. We strolled around the city for a while, enjoyed a local flea market and a hot bowl of spicy Vietnamese soup (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Noodle-Station/157246895889?sk=info&tab=overview) before meeting with James and Audra, our Couchsurfing hosts.
That same night we followed their advice and we traveled far from the city lights in order to have better chances of seeing the northern lights. That was the first time we met a very shy Mrs. Aurora Borealis.
Our second day started with a boiling sulphureous shower (in Iceland hot water comes directly from geothermal hot springs) and a yummy breakfast/brunch in the lovely “grandma style” Tiu Dropar (www.facebook.com/TiuDropar)in downtown Reykjavik. The well known Golden Circle was our daily pick. We travelled to Þingvellir, the largest natural lake in Iceland, to the geothermal active valley of Haukadalur, with its erupting geyser Strokkur, and to the impetuous, almost frozen, Gullfoss waterfall. We soon discovered that it was pretty much impossible to drive for more than 10 minutes without stopping our car and take some pictures. We also found out that the main street, the Ring Road, was far from being clean from ice or snow as we thought it would. Back to Reykjavik harbour to dine at Sægreifinn (http://saegreifinn.is) with shrimps and salmon skewers along with whale steak.
Blessed with a very mild weather while on the Golden Circle, not so lucky when we ventured to Snæfellsnes, a peninsula in western Iceland, on our third day.
After pancakes with bacon and maple syrup in the artsy Grái Kötturinn, a Björk’s favourite (www.facebook.com/graikotturinn), we left Reykjavik to travel up north. The wind was strong enough to move my 4WD, Iceland proof, car and we risked our lives a couple of times for suddenly steering to avoid snowdrifts in the middle of the street. This dreadful weather gave to the peninsula an even wilder charm and probably contribute to make this place one of the highlights of the journey. Sweeps of crooked black lava rocks covered in moss, dramatic sea cliffs beaten by humongous waves in the mist, the majestic Snæfellsjökull, the cobalt blue ocean, the utter desolation and the awareness of being in one of the few places on Earth where Nature still reigns over men.
Soundtrack: Samaris – Silkidrangar
Jörð + Vatn, “earth and water”, are all around you.
Olympus OM-1, Lomochrome Purple 100-400 / Fuji Superia 400 / Fuji Velvia 100 (35 mm), January 2015, Iceland