SURREAL. REFRESHING. MYSTICAL. OTHER-WORLDLY. CALMING.
The five words I would use to describe Iceland.
Flying from New York City's chaos, crowds of people and consumerism to Iceland's calm, untouched desolation was quite an insane experience. Though the two are only a short six hour flight apart, the differences could not be more extreme!
Iceland's entire population is less than the number of residents in Midtown Manhattan alone. 66% of Icelander's live in the adorable and colorful capital city of Reykjavik. The other 34% fascinatingly get by in the "countryside" of Iceland. "Countryside" does not seem like an accurate description, though, considering the landscape is so strange and other-worldly it truly resembles outer space more than planet Earth. The Apollo 11 actually trained in Iceland to prepare for landing on the moon because the terrain is so similar.
Iceland takes nature to a whole new level. I have always considered myself someone who loves the outdoors and this place is just the beacon of natures majesty. I spent Thanksgiving week soaking in geothermal hot springs, climbing Europe's largest glacier to get to an ice cave, wandering down a Diamond Beach, chasing too many waterfalls to count, petting wild horses, watching geyser's shoot water 100 feet into the air, and eating chocolate covered black licorice for every meal (seriously delicious!!)
The Winter sun in Iceland does not rise until 10am and it then sets at 4pm. The trade off for waking up to complete darkness at 8am is complete darkness at night. In the Nordics this means one thing - the Northern Lights!! The starry sky dripping with green and orange lights were without a doubt the highlight of my trip.
I have a tough time explaining Iceland because it is unlike any other place in the world that I have been.
It is stunning and indescribable, baffling and weird. And that is precisely why you should go!
The photos could never do it justice....
Click here for my recap of the Northern Lights! Because they were so amazing they deserve their own post.
And click here to learn more about Reykjavik and the Icelandic people. Because they were so bad ass, and also deserve their own post!
Big thanks to Danielle ~ for your driving and good folk tunes.
And to Laura ~ for your map reading and Irish sense of humor.
All too good, xo.