Iceland is a place I dreamed of for a long time. It's taken me a little over a year to write about this incredible place. Why? Because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to share how I truly felt about this other-worldly country. Worried I wouldn't be able to do it justice with my words or photos, falling short of mark. I've tried on numerous occasions to get this blog post started, only to delete everything and leave it for another day. Finally though, I'm able to share a little part of an amazing nine-day journey around the southern half of this fascinating island.
Whether you are looking for waterfalls in abundance, volcanic sand beaches or a moon-like planet made of ice, Iceland has it all. A contrast often affectionately referred to has the land of fire and ice, there is every sort of terrain you can imagine. I've never felt so small as I did in Iceland, and here's why...
Waterfalls for days
Iceland has a pretty good offering when it comes to the waterfall front, with two of the most notable and easily accessible from Reykjavík being Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss along the south coast. Both of these waterfalls can easily be covered in a day, although crowds can get quite large due to the accessibility, so visiting early in the day is best.
No doubt you've seen this guy all over your insta feed or on the cover of a travel brochure, enticing you to visit this nordic treasure. In the warmer months, when ice isn't posing a risk, you can walk behind this waterfall and get snap happy while trying to stay dry. Don't forget to pack your raincoat!
If Seljalandsfoss didn't make you feel small as you crept behind the curtain of water, this one will. With a wall of water 25m wide, plummeting 60m to a stream at the bottom, standing at the foot of Skógafoss is sure to give you an idea of just how powerful gravity is. Don't miss taking the steps to the top to see if from a birds eye view.
Some other great waterfalls to visit include: Goðafoss, Gullfoss, Selfoss and Háifoss.
Feeling small against the mighty
If you're looking to really find a little perspective of your scale in the world, Icelandic vistas are the perfect place to gather your sense of place and be humbled by how small we are in this big wide world. Gather your thoughts as you stare out over the expanse where black volcanic sands meet white-wash as the waves lick at the coast line of Reynisfjara beach, wonder at the seabirds that call Dyrhólaey home or marvel at how the forces of nature created a feather-shaped canyon at Fjaðrárgljúfur.
If that hasn't got you enough of the offerings in the south east of the Island, then head further east to Jökulsárlón and listen as the icebergs crash into each other at the lagoons ocean mouth. Diamond Beach that sits on the ocean side of the lagoon is littered with icebergs large and small, and these are only fragments of the huge glacier they once belonged to.
Watch lady aurora dance across the sky
Perhaps why you really want to visit Iceland is to experience the brilliance of the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, as they mesmerise onlookers in a playful dance of light across the night sky. This was easily the most moving of all my experiences in Iceland. Seeing the Aurora had been on my list of things to achieve in life since I was 5, so seeing them 20 years later make my heart swell in appreciation for all the natural magic that exists in the world. Forget glitter and gold, give me waterfalls, icebergs and Lady Aurora and i'll be happy as Larry.
Iceland feels like something prehistoric, like it belonged with the dinosaurs sans the Jurassic Park jungle. Ancient and full of stories, home to myths and legends of elves and trolls, let yourself get back to the power of nature in one of the most dynamic and magical places on earth.
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