When I travel, there are usually a few mementos that get stuck in my head from the places I visit. Many times they are related to some unique sights, ancient history, and food. For Iceland, these are my first taste of fresh raw scallops, my first sightings of cute puffins, pale blue color of the icebergs during our boat ride on the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lake, walking on the glaciers, and drinking a glass of wine at 1 am in the morning while getting a suntan. I happened to have the first two experiences on our first day in Iceland, just a mere few hours after our arrival at Keflavik International Airport near Reykjavik. You will see these in my next post (coming soon), but first some impressions of the place itself – Iceland.
I went to Iceland in 2011 with my friend Gail. We were there in July. We rented a car at the airport with a navigation device which was extremely helpful. We could take side roads, and explore and then go back to the main road that circles the entire island. And we just did that for two weeks. Our car was not a 4×4 Jeep, even though the icerental 4×4 options were very tempting, so we could not go to the inland areas where the roads are in bad shape, but we had a chance to take a day tour to the inland on our last few days in Reykjavik.
Visiting Iceland in June or July is a perfect choice for 24-hour daylight and midnight sunshine. There is no concept of driving in the dark and getting lost, and there are no rules about what time you must go to bed or what time you wake up. Those 24 individual hours are all yours to spend. If you are good at sleeping fewer hours, then you see more.
I love the ruggedness. I love the purity. I love the scenery. It is lupin time. Everywhere we go; there are fields of purple lupines. We watch the Iceland horses. We see some with their winter coat, and some without them. We see the sheep and cows freely grazing with no owner around. We have excellent wine. We have the freshest and cleanest fish you can imagine.
We walk on the glaciers. We take a boat ride on Jokulsarlon Glacier Lake dotted with icebergs. We put, hopefully, the first human prints on secluded black sand beaches. We lie down on the softest and the greenest moss possible, and listen to the cascading waters. We even have days to walk around with just t-shirts and soak in the sun. We stay in places, advertised as hotels, where we have a room in a 4-room barrack where the owner is nowhere to be seen.
On our meandering tour, we visit the supermarkets and see their few-square-feet produce section with most produce flown in from other countries. We take long hikes in the fields. We see the most striking shaped basalt columns.
I will post as many articles as possible about our Iceland trip with tons of pictures. I took 660 pictures total. And they can hardly do the justice to the unspoiled beauty of Iceland.