Saturday, 4 June 2011

Lost in Iceland…

…is the official motto of Iceland. And a very suiting motto as the landscapes of Iceland can make you lose your way but also because the beauty and wildness and the tenderness of the green moss reflecting in the sunbeams can hypnotize you and make one completely lost in Iceland.

We did not visit Iceland underneath a clear blue sky. Which was actually quite lucky as cloudy weather, mixed with occasional showers and sunlight gives you one of best experiences Iceland can give you. The changing colors of the vegetation in the mountains go from dark to green to silvery dark and then once in a while bright sunbeams sweep over the lava fields. That is simply magnificent.

Having arrived in Reykjavik most of us went on various excursions around the complex and fascinating areas of the southwestern region of Iceland. One cannot mention Reykjavik or Iceland without thinking of the Golden Circle, a tour which takes you to three of the most spectacular and historic places in Iceland. One of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland is Gullfoss, the golden waterfall, with its two cascades at right angles. The famous geyser Stori Geysir in Haukadalaur is quiet today, but his little brother Strokkur erupts every 10 minutes starting with a huge blue bubble. The third stop was at Thingvellir the former place of the ancient parliament. Since 2004 belongs Thingvellir to the world heritage of the UNESCO.
Another group travelled along the Ring of Fire in the mountains of Hengill. In this area you find huge geothermic fields, full of steam, heat and a horrible smell of sulfur. One of the highlights was the visit of the new geothermic power plant Hellisheidarvirkjun where we learned about the production of energy and the geology of the area.

Some of us took the more adventures 4*4 big wheel drive into the mountains and across small rivers. It was amazing how steep slopes the cars would be able to climb and the drivers told us that it was not even close to what the cars really was capable of. Luckily we were also driving on ordinary and gravel roads as the physical strain was surprisingly hard when we were jumping all over our seats.
Having finished our tours the cosmopolitan and vibrant capitol of Reykjavik tempted us with its cool and trendy but laidback cafés and restaurants. It is hard to believe that Reykjavik lays just a few hundred kilometers below the Arctic Circle and is in fact the most northern capitol in the World.

Now two sea days await us before arriving to the land of icebergs, sled dogs, lush fiords, the Greenlandic people and hopefully a whale or two…