The wild nature of Iceland
Following a first trip 4 years ago where we walk to reach Landmannalaugar, this time we came back for another adventure to go around the island. For these 15 days in Iceland and to stay autonomous, we have decided to travel along the Ring road using a camping car with Rent.is.
While browsing this country, one realizes the abundance of water in these somewhat lunar landscapes. It flows in a series of waterfalls all over the country. It transforms through time and waves the huge cliffs and sandy beach all along the coast.
It freezes to form glaciers as far as the eye can see, trapping mountains and even covering volcanoes. Constantly present around us, this silent companion changes its temper, ready to make us soaked in minutes, or sprinkled with a gentle snowfall.
Iceland, land of Ice …
This blue ice, sometimes transparent or blackened by the ashes. It stretches for hundreds of miles to form glaciers as far as the eye can see, breaks into huge icebergs in the lagoons, or offers us magnificent crystals sculpted by the swell and the wind, stranded on a volcanic beach black.
Iceland, land of water …
Via the snowmelt or the many springs, the water flows slowly … It digs canyons, freezes in lake with turquoise and emerald colors, it is expelled from the depths of the earth in different geysers, it walks the long plains before throwing itself down in a rough sea!! True sculptor of nature.
Iceland, land of Fire…
All Elements are confused in Iceland, among them, the fire. It also spent thousands of years carving various landscapes creating beautiful black sand beaches, plains completely covered with lava colonized by moss and where stoic craters proliferate at each curve awaiting a future awakening! The many “hotspots” of this country allow us to see loopholes spread over several kilometers, geysers lying deep in the earth and pleasant hot springs, a heaven for a relaxing experience.
To begin our stay, we decided to discover Iceland from the south. Here we went towards Vik to enjoy the view of the many visible waterfalls such as Glùfrábùi, Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss… During the first few days, we used our towels every quarter of an hour due to the snow showers and hail as well as heavy gusts of wind. One afternoon, we have decided to walk on the great plain of black pebbles bordering the ocean (Sólheimasandur) to see the wreckage of an airplane.
It was in November 1973, incidentally during the cold war, that an American Navy aircraft was forced to land in Sólheimasandur due to a lack of fuel. The Aircraft type, a Douglas DC-3 that was about twenty meters long, ended his race on this beach without making any victim. Far from everything, the site is a few kilometers away from the main road and has become over the years the favorite place for photo lovers and atypical places. Here reigns a strange “end-of-the-world” atmosphere that has literally transported us to give its singular feeling of Iceland.
The main objective of our visit to Iceland was the “surroundings” of one of the largest glaciers in Europe, Vatnajökull. It has something special. By covering almost a quarter of the country, it is visible almost everywhere along the road 1.
It is the essence of one of the most beautiful things we have seen in Iceland … the glacier lagoon of Jökulsarlón. Here, hundreds of icebergs rub shoulders with a lake of a pure color, reflecting the spectacular sky of Iceland. However, the show does not stop there. A few steps away, the icebergs eventually run aground on a black sand beach. And this is where the swell begins its role of sculptor by “polishing” these pieces of ice, which by becoming translucent, appear to us like diamonds arranged on these never-ending beach.
After discovering the south coast of the island, we logically ended up crossing Austurland. Discovering the fjords of the east was for us the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful landscapes, far from the hordes of tourists. We discovered a different Iceland, where rules a calm and pleasant feeling of solitude through snow-capped mountains, the inlets tormented by violent winds, all deserted by the Icelanders (very small population in the eastern fjords), the trees and animals …
Our path lead us then to the land of Snæfellsnes. The entire peninsula has a very divers geology and contains rock formations from almost every historical and geological era of Iceland. The heart of this system lays with the impressive amount of volcanic chambers located a few miles under the glacier. The mountains situated up north the Snæfellsjökull glacier are made of volcanic tuf, created by eruptions either under the glacier or under the sea … Let’s just say that the landscape is simply breath-taking.
Stopping here and there to take pictures, we carried on our amazing trip smoothly through the peninsula. Miles after miles, we couldn’t stop but keeping our heads towards the sky. A blue companion discretely revealing its secrets and feeling made of extraordinary nuances of colors into the light along the way, with a peculiar mood shifting attitude at this latitude.
During the 15 days of our trip, we traveled a country of sumptuous sceneries, unique in the world. We rediscover a raw and deep nature. Preserved from the hand of man, the landscapes offer a perfect harmony with the weather conditions of this timeless country, where development and old beliefs mingle. We also took the opportunity to visit the touristic places of Iceland, all equally splendid and disturbing at the same time.
If you ever need one day to replenish your spirit or feel the urge to reconnect with yourself with an irrepressible call of the wild nature, then Iceland and its inhabitants are waiting for you!
Read more: The Magic of Iceland
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