17 February 2014

The beauty of Iceland

I could barely see through the rain lashing at my window to the landscape beyond. I could just make out the dark grey sky touching the rocky ground that stretched out as far as I could see. If it wasn't for the sea, I could have been landing on Mars, there was not a live thing in sight.

The coach ride into Reykjavik later didn't inspire much confidence either, I couldn't see a single thing, the thought "where the hell am I" passed through my mind more than once.

I confess, I didn't do any research on Iceland whatsoever beyond the fact that you could see the Northern Lights there. It was the best thing I could have done. No expectations, and the amazing landscape that is Iceland, blew me away. I visited Iceland March 2013.

Reykjavik Church and Parliament
The city

Reykjavik is a small but cute city. I loved how safe I felt walking around. Everyone was really nice, from the taxi driver, to hot dog seller, to shop keepers, they all were welcoming and friendly. The houses were unique and the views out to the sea from some of the main streets were staggeringly beautiful.

Houses around Reykjavik City centre

Street art in Reykjavik
The landscape

I booked a tour to explore the amazing landscape and natural formations of Iceland. I saw a whole town dedicated to hydroponic farming powered by natural steam and importing 2 boxes of bumble bees per week to help pollinate the crops. I visited the Geysir exploding into the air every few minutes, the Golden Waterfall which was is an amazing show of natures power and the 8km divide between the American and European tectonic plates that pull 1cm further apart each year.


The Golden Waterfall

Tectonic Plate Divide

You can see the layers of lava due to the divide

You can see the 8km divide between the tectonic plates here

The Northern Lights

I cannot begin to explain how amazing it feels to see the Northern Lights. The ones spotted on our tour weren't those amazing green ones you see in photos. In fact, we almost missed them entirely. The ones I saw were a pale white and could have been mistaken for light pollution if we hadn't been out in the middle of nowhere. That and the way they moved...it was almost unearthly and totally mesmerising. I froze my butt off despite the layers and ski jacket but it was worth every second and utterly magnificent. Definitely not something that is easily forgotten and has made me eager to see the full blown spectacular display.

Sorry I don't have any photos, my camera wasn't good enough for the more muted lights we saw :(

The natural springs

I could not pass up the chance to swim in the natural hot springs of the famous Blue Lagoon. Once in the gorgeous hot springs you could not drag me out. It was divine! They had free silica around the pool to slather onto your skin as a nice treatment and a swim up bar which also sold ice cream. There is something so deliciously delightful about eating Ice-cream in seriously cold weather while soaking in a hot spring.

Thinking bout visiting Iceland? have you already been? Questions or tips are welcome :)


  1. How is their English there? I take it you didn't need to learn any of their native tongue (what is their language?) to get by?

    1. Everyone spoke perfect English which i was not expecting at all. Their native tongue is Icelandic. Apparently English and Danish are compulsory subjects in their school system.