Thursday, June 26, 2008
Back since Sunday night but still exhausted and overwhelmed by a trip that makes me wish I could still be there. Iceland was much more than I had expected, and nature-wise, probably one of the most beautiful places I've ever been to.
Yes, it was cold, especially up in the mountains, and some places were so remote that we would spend hours without seeing anyone else, but then that's probably one of the things I liked best. The weather does change pretty quickly... it could be sunny, then quite rainy, then it would snow, and then a couple of hours later it would be sunny again. It's a good thing we were well prepared. I dressed in layers, and my raingear and hiking boots have never been used so extensively.
The food was quite outstanding in some places and we never ate badly, except one night we stayed out hiking so late that the only place open was the local gas station. It took a while for me to get used to the smell of geothermally heated water (it does smell quite bad) but spending midsummer’s eve at the Blue Lagoon got me reconciled with it.
We saw wild seals, whales and puffins, lots of sheep and horses, and even a pack of wild reindeer, which I read is not that common. And more waterfalls than I can remember.
And the views, of course, which are breathtaking all around.
The above photos are of Landmannalaugar and the beach at Vik, probably two of my favorite places in Iceland. We took way too many photos, which I’ll try to sort out soon, upload them to Flickr and blog about here.
For those lucky ones that will be in Iceland next weekend, there will be a free concert next Saturday in Reykjavik, featuring Bjork and Sigur Ros, to raise awareness for environmental issues in Iceland. Before I left I read her interview on a local paper (in English, Icelandic is still beyond me), and couldn't agree more. And I hope they succeed in getting their message through. Because one of these days I’d like to go back to Iceland and find it just the same or even better.