Just recently I visited Iceland and experienced their Icelandic ‘spring’. I say this in parenthesis as it was the coldest I have ever been, and apparently, this didn’t even register as slightly ‘cold’ for the locals! “It’s not bad weather, just bad clothes” I was told!
I have wanted to travel to Iceland for some time, and while I wanted to go there, I didn’t quite know what I would find there. With only a population of just over 300,000 people, I expected a smallish city called Reykjavik, some mountains, waterfalls, glaciers and maybe a bit of snow. But what I didn’t expect to experience, was the majesty of standing before those mountains and glaciers, the vast magic whilst standing in amongst the lava and moss as far as the eye could see, and feeling the total silence and isolation of this sparsely populated landscape. The people could not be more different to the landscape. Warm and friendly people with a special attitude towards their unique country.
It was, to say the least, quite spectacular and the most fitting word I can use to describe it is magnificent. The sun never set while I was there, adding to the mystery. The eeriness of the midnight sun, which confuses your circadian rhythm putting you in an incomprehensible daze of asleep and awake, makes you think differently about the world. My eight days were enough to see a large part of the country and of course Reykjavik with its interesting meld of life, art and history. Creativity seems to be everywhere in the capital – barely contained indoors due to the cold. The Icelandic Sagas are intertwined with the woollen fibres of the knitwear famous in Iceland, and it’s nice to see that they are appreciated by the locals and not just there as souvenir culture for the tourists.
As Iceland becomes more popular as a stop-over between the USA and Europe, I hope those who stop do so for more than 3 days, and take the chance to see more than just the Blue Lagoon and the Golden Circle. Because while these are fantastic places, and unlike anything else in the world, Iceland has so much to offer those who are lovers of the outdoors, the musicians, the artists and those who are willing to get off the beaten track.