“You are the sky ~
Everything else is just the weather.”
– Pema Chodron
When I first told people we decided to take a trip to Iceland, their reaction was always, “why?” It’s not everyone’s top choice but for some reason, it has always been Odd’s. Now we can finally cross it off his bucket list.
We spent 4 days last weekend there. It is definitely not for everyone. After experiencing 25+ degrees Celsius in Berlin, it was hard to pull out our winter gear and set north for bitter weather. I cursed once that first bone chilling wind ripped through me, but soon I realized I couldn’t change weather. Kelly Clarkson is right. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!”
What really helped were the friendly people like our taxi driver who told us his family moved from Trondheim, Norway (that’s Odd’s hometown) in the 1600’s.
Or maybe it was the helpful café owner by The Fisherman’s Village who told us about leaving and moving back to Iceland to be closer to family. Apparently many people come from neighboring cities to taste his wife’s Tomato Soup. Karina agreed it was comforting on a cold rainy day.
This is Hlid Fisherman’s Village where we stayed one night. It is on the tip of the coast and very Norwegian-esque with only a few rooms and thatched rooftops. It is also a short walk to Álftanes Kaffi on a good day.Or maybe it’s the lure of The Blue Lagoon. Yes it’s next to a power plant and yes the smell of sulphur is a bit unsettling, but it is an experience one must definitely try if you’re heading to Iceland.Thumbs up to enjoying it despite the cold wind and rain. I think it actually made it more memorable! While we applied our silica mud mask, the lifeguards were wrapped in parkas, scarves and goggles to shield their eyes. Imagine that!Our “end-of-Berlin-experience” celebration included dinner at Lava Restaurant.To be honest, I rather preferred The Secret Lagoon in the village of Fludir. It’s so secret we couldn’t find signs to get there. Eventually we asked and I’m glad. With the birds chirping and the wind ever-so-quiet, it was a much more pleasant experience.The Bridge Between Continents where the tetonic plates meet and are known to move at a rate of 2 cm per year. Odd is standing closer to the Eurasian plate and Karina is on the North American plate (or maybe I have it backwards?). Karina found the sand to be warm to walk on. How amazing is Earth?!The Great Geysir bubbling in action.Staying positive despite all the rain at Seljalandsfoss.At Gunnuhver, we stood watching mud pools of geothermal activity.
The highlight for me was actually the water crashing against the rocky shores at Reykjanes Peninsula. It was here I realized how strong the people of Iceland (or any cold climate nation) must be to weather such harsh conditions. I am amazed at how, despite their economic and volcanic history, the citizens remain friendly and hopeful for the future of their country.
We stopped often to say hello to the sheep and horses scattered throughout the land.
So very beautiful and friendly.
Oh and I almost forgot to mention that an International parade of some sort came through Reykjavik’s shopping street.Can you believe they have a Filipino-Icelandic community? Odd counted 20 Filipinos in the parade. I think I have only seen 2 in Berlin at a time and they were my cousins or parents – ha!What I am most impressed with was how rugged, untamed and uninhabited the land is. Volcanic rock, moss in some areas and more fertile land in others. Despite the lack of sunshine and wet weather, I am very grateful for these experiences. I may not understand it all, but I do appreciate the natural beauty of the land and the simple ways people live, love and survive. With each new visit, I learn. Four days was not enough and hope to return some day – hopefully, in warmer weather. One can dream…