foreign travel

Iceland (cool!)

Fountain-of-Souls-400x600 Featured Book by Ray Else

Fountain of Souls: An A.I. ChronicleWho rules A.I., rules the World.

Ray with Iceberg

Here I dare touch a small iceberg recently calved from the Jokulsarlon glacier.

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!


This cat welcomed me as I hiked from the car park to Centerhotel Klopp where I spent 2 nights in Reykjavik, a lovely city whose old town has that charming small town feel with friendly people.

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.


Beautiful colored rushes


The glaciers are enormous, and spill down their skirts all over the mountain range


Too costly (and too little traffic) to build two way bridges so a lot of bridges on Highway 1 are one lane – you just have to slow down to make sure you don’t crash.


Wonderful Hotel Smyrlabjorg about twenty minutes beyond the Glacier lagoon (and about a half hour from Hofn). Easy to spot from road and there’s a sign.

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.


View near Glacier Lagoon


Glacier Lagoon with ice patches and icebergs – note the head of a seal in the water – they were fishing for dinner when I visited


Everyone with a camera was going crazy capturing the beauty


Here is my crew with survival suits heading to the boats to visit the glacier up close


Fearless adventurer


What a trip!


Icebergs all around as we head for the glacier’s face


Blue ice indicates a young berg – the sun eventually bleaches it white


Incredible feeling to see this ice up close


A baby berg snatched from the ice water


The face of the glacier



The boat driver, who I believe was from a long line of Viking berserkers, took my picture after nearly dumping me in the ice water with his showboating πŸ™‚


New icebergs fallen from the face


What can I say?





Maybe my favorite picture – a baby crystalline berg reflecting in the water

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.



Elephant head



Mermaid with a lion’s head catching a big fish





Bird in flight

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)

2 replies »

  1. Iceland is a unique country. After your post, my desire to visit Iceland became bigger! But it’s not a cheap country and travellers need to plan each detail to fit into the budget.

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