If you go to Iceland be prepared for mouth-dropping scenery and creepy scenery and touched by the gods scenery. Be prepared for geysers shooting up into the sky every five minutes and mossy rock formations transforming in your imagination to trolls and elves. Be prepared for overhead Vs of geese filling your head with the voices of a carnival of “the hidden people.” Be prepared for cold lagoons full of icebergs and hot blue lagoons full of people. Be prepared for sagas of incredible deeds by incredible people. Be prepared for a country where they still devour books and a tenth of the 300,000 people of Iceland have published their own book.
Or don’t be prepared at all – just go!
I took a short walking tour with the company I Heart Reykjavik my first day and the guide took the group about the old town, pointing out places of interest, places to eat and eccentricities of the city like the many wall murals.
From the city of Reykjavik I traveled in my rental car the famous Golden Circle, stopping to walk about the continental rift at Thingvellir and see the Strokkur geyser at Geysir.
The next day, with my muse along as this trip was to get atmospheric details for my novel, Fountain of Souls, I drove Highway 1 along the south-east coast, stopping at Skatafell to see the glacier there, and to see the Skogafoss waterfall where suddenly a rainbow appeared and I felt blessed.
So many sights in Iceland surprise you with their natural beauty.
I continued the long drive to the Glacier Lagoon, and to my hotel at the farm Smyrlabjorg about twenty minutes past the lagoon. I loved that hotel with its friendly staff and wonderful food and view.
Next stop, the Glacier Lagoon. I had reserved a few days before (luckily since quite busy) a place on a rubber raft to tour the lagoon and see the glacier up close. I highly recommend the raft trip if you can take a few bumps and playful high speed racing across a lagoon full of icebergs. OK – yes I was scared, but it was fun too and the stops for pictures were out of this world. And then, the glacier calved an iceberg as we watched, the sound incredible as tons of ice hit the cold water two hundred yards from us.
The next day after the glacier boat ride I visited the black sand beach at the bridge of the Glacier Lagoon, where I’d read one could find marvelous ice shapes. I’ll let you judge. I can tell you that personally, being a lover of crystal, having searched for (rock) crystal in countries all around the world, I was in heaven before these fantastical, temporary, crystal shapes.
Final stop, my last day, was the famous Blue Lagoon near the airport. The water is warm and thick with salt, and steam rises and is whipped by the cold wind, giving a mysterious appeal to the place. I thoroughly enjoyed my few hours there.
Great place Iceland, if you like nature. Magical.
Recommended reading: Egil’s Saga (then visit the Saga Museum)