From the Time Vault(2016).. Summer of Iceland..
This has been such a turmoil this year with covid-19, I decided to pen down my adventures from the past. It certainly feels weird not being able to go out or travel anymore. I have been privileged enough to be able to travel around the world and explore all the places with depth and sanity.
I am a big fan of the North. It is just because I love winters. I appreciate the sun but I am born to enjoy the warmth from the fire burning from the fireplace or the cozy sweaters or the sun rays falling through the window. I enjoy the little pleasures of life. So I am going to think about the time I went to Reykjavik, Iceland. This trip was the most special because it changed my perspective towards Nature.
I have been travelling to the cities on my weekends. Just taking my backpack to the airports on Fridays and coming back home dead from exhaustion on late Sunday night to a good night sleep, used to be my weekend. Iceland was different. I planned this trip with a friend. We decided to spend four days in Reykjavik so that we can explore the area with much time to relax.
We had planned the journey from Copenhagen to Reykjavik and we planned to take the early morning flight so that we have our day to ourselves. We knew that public transport can be an issue there and since we did not know how to drive, we decided to keep our bookings for our private tours so that they could pick us from the Keflavik International Airport and drop us to the place we were planning to stay. We also decided that we would go to Blue Lagoon on the way to Reykjavik city as it was mid way from the airport and our tour company had given us that option to have a pit stop for a couple of hours and then resume our journey.
Day 1: Blue Lagoon (Geothermal Spa)
The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa in southwestern Iceland. The spa is located in a lava field near Grindavík on the Reykjanes Peninsula. It is approximately 20 km (12 mi) from Keflavik International Airport.
The temperature was okay. It was mid may considering it is summer season for Iceland, it was on the colder side. We reached Blue Lagoon and we were instantly mesmerised by the sheer beauty of the place.
It was cold like 5 degrees outside and the water was warm up to 28 degrees centigrade. To me it all felt so mystical. We spent a good amount of time in the water. We had been given locker rooms and there were options of swim suits as well in case anyone needed them. We spent almost three hours in the waters and took so many pictures.
After we were ready to go to Reykjavik city, our bus dropped us at the hotel we were staying at. Our hotel was small and nice. It was a bit of a walk from the downtown but we enjoyed walking around the city. The day came to an end with a nice walk to the waters nearby.
Next day was supposed to be very interesting. We had booked the famous tour to the Golden circle. The Golden Circle consists of three equally stunning locations in southwest Iceland: Thingvellir National Park, the Geysir Geothermal Area, and Gullfoss waterfall. I was already very excited and could not sleep. Also, the sunset in Iceland in summers happens at midnight and it never gets dark so it felt like sleeping in daylight.
Day 2: Golden Circle:
We started out from the famous Gullfoss meaning Golden Waterfall and it didn’t fail us. The name comes from the fact that on a sunny day, the water takes a golden-brown colour. This is due to the fact that it is glacial water, and carries lots of sediments that glacial ice has carved off the Earth over the years. It is world’s one of the most famous waterfalls. This was time well spent.
Next stop, Geysir. Being a science kid, this was super interesting to me.
A Geyser is a spring from which water and steam is ejected forcefully into the air at heights ranging from less than a metre (a few feet) to over one hundred metres (several hundred feet). Geysers are a quite rare phenomenon on Earth due to the precise conditions that are required for them to form. They are mainly clustered near active volcanic areas.
I had never seen something like this before. The eruptions at Geysir can hurl boiling water up to 70 metres (230 ft) in the air. We sat there and watched the Geysir to erupt again and again. It was a treat to watch. The cold weather mixed with the warm steam coming from the Geysir was just keeping us not wanting to move on.
After a day of long drives and amazing pitstops, we arrived at Thingvellir National Park. The park sits in a rift valley caused by the separation of 2 tectonic plates, with rocky cliffs and fissures like the huge Almannagjá fault. This place makes you see how exactly global warming is affecting the planet earth.
After a long day of the golden circle, we were tired and exhausted and we just ended our day to look forward to the next day to our next tour.
Day 3: Volcanic Sites, Waterfalls, Black Sand Beach
Our next tour was much warmer than the previous day. We were going towards the south of Iceland for a full day tour. The tour included gorgeous waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss, driving past through Eyjafjallajökull (Iceland’s Most Famous Volcano), stopping at the vast black sand beach and then finally visiting the glacier snout of Sólheimajökull to see an outlet glacier of Mýrdalsjökull. Admiring the ever-changing feat of Mother Nature up-close.
We first stopped at Seljalandsfoss waterfall to walk behind the cascades. There were beautiful rainbows to see and we could walk behind the cascades and feel the spray on our face. We then continued to Skógafoss to marvel at the 60-meter drop along with another rainbow to watch.
The next stop of the day had to be the Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach. This was the icing on the cake for me. Reynisfjara is located on south coast of Iceland and is considered as THE Black Beach in Iceland, with its distinctive Icelandic black sand, enormous columns of basalt, and massive waves crashing into the shore. The basalt rock formations have so unique shape, that they were used for a few episodes of Game of Thrones!
Lastly, Mýrdalsjökull. It is a glacier in the south of the Icelandic highlands. It is the country’s fourth largest ice cap, covering nearly 600 square kilometres (232 square miles), and its highest peak is almost 1500 meters tall. It is most well-known for sitting atop the notorious and explosive volcano, Katla.
This was it!!! This was my favourite place of the entire trip. I felt being blessed and lucky to witness the beginning of everything. I could see the glacier melting to become water. This creates life and I felt so close to Nature like never before.
Day 4: Reykjavik Downtown.
We decided to rest on the last day before starting our journey back to Copenhagen the next day. It was quite and the city is so beautiful and exquisite. There are various small shops in the downtown city. I gathered all my souvenirs and felt extremely satisfied with my trip.
Next day early morning was our flight back so we took an early morning bus to the airport. Luckily, I caught one last sunrise from Iceland as my last souvenir before leaving the amazing country.
Lastly, I am very grateful to the person who recommended me to take this trip because it changed my perspective towards travelling. It made me close to nature and learn about the realities of global warming and its effects. I hope it does the same to others too.