For years I’ve been an avid reader of Icelandic sagas, and for that reason I’ve wanted to go to Iceland for a long time. Over the years I’ve noticed that when I hype myself up with expectations over a long period of time, I’m invariably disappointed. So it has been with a certain amount of dread that I’ve been facing the prospect of actually setting foot in Iceland.
As soon as I landed at Keflavik international airport I noticed the colour of the light and how lush and saturated everything looked. As I drove into Reykjavík I was struck by how utterly alien the landscape looked. All new geology caused by volcanic activity, no trees in amongst the rocks, just tiny little heath and lichen. I got such a shock when I stepped out of the car to take this picture.
Although the ground is obviously very rocky, the rocks are covered in such think lichen that it is like walking on the softest and most luxurious shag carpet that you could possibly dream of.
After we spent about half an hour marvelling at the amazing landscape we got back in the car and within about ten minutes I saw a small tornado off in the distance.
Although I’ve been through areas within an hour of one passing through the countryside and a small town in Ontario, Canada years ago, and have seen close up the destruction they cause, I’ve never seen one actually happen. More amazement!
After boggling on the tornado until it petered out, we made our way to the accommodation that we booked (reykjavik4you) and were blown away by how nice it is! I’m not kidding, this place it as good as it’s website says it is. Here’s a picture of the lounge area of our room.
Spa bath, DVD player with free movies, flat screen TV, hi speed internet, kitchen plus a great bakery just across the road and it’s located in the middle of town!
As soon as we dumped our bags we went for a stroll downtown. With a population of about 120,000, Reykjavík is not a huge city, but it has tremendous heart. The town is just abuzz with an energy that I haven’t seen anywhere else that I’ve been to in Europe. For me there is a real sense of Reykjavík being a “happening place”, and in the short time I’ve been here, I’m already kicking myself we spent so much time in Finland and we didn’t spend it here instead!
So far, so good (he says, tempting the gods).