Heading up a site that profiles lots of other people’s impressions of other countries is definitely a fun thing to do even if you don’t get to speak about what you’d like to get out of travel too much.
Today is an exception to that rule. I’ve decided to hijack the blog to shed a bit more of a spotlight on Northern Europe, and, specifically, Scandinavia, in order to share some of my thoughts about one country in particular that’s always had me pretty captivated.
Sitting a fair way to the north of my native England it’s not too far to reach either. Not to be confused with its supermarket namesake, I’m talking about an Iceland that’s famous for being in movies where landscapes are of the essence. Not frozen food.
So here are my five main reasons I want to go to the land of ice and snow.
And, just so that you know in advance, you’ll find that these have little to do with stocking out my freezer and everything to do with adventure.
We’ve had a fair bit written about waterfalls on the site but nothing really seems to compare to that of the amusingly-named Svartifoss Waterfall, located in Skafatell National Park in the east of the country.
Translating (less-amusingly) as Black Fall, it’s the lava columns, coloured a deep shade of black, that I guess give this place its name and make it one heck of a stunning-looking site.
Seeing the Northern Lights has long been on my list of things to see while travelling ever since I was a young kid reading Philip Pullman and wondering what they were really all about.
Now knowing a lot more, that the aurora borealis are not only visible in Iceland but many other places too, I’m still keen on seeing this phenomenon of physics in the night sky.
The result of electrons colliding with the Earth’s atmosphere, it seems only fitting a place as stunning as Iceland let me in to witness even more natural splendor.
Although I’m pretty wary of the prospect of getting up close and personal with a smoking, smoldering volcano, I feel as if at least once, in my life, I should face the fear and do it anyway.
Besides, what better way to understand how one of nature’s greatest phenomenon’s can bring a whole region of the world’s transport infrastructure to a standstill and drive many people crazy for weeks on end?
Thank you Eyjafjallajökull. Not just for how difficult you are to pronounce but also for what a humble reminder of the awesome might of nature you served us back in 2010.
The fact that some of Iceland’s volcanoes could erupt at any moment makes a trip to the country even more exciting.
Let’s just hope I’m not nearby.
Apart from being tall, attractive and few and far between, Icelandic people have always interested me ever since I had the pleasure of having known quite a few from my studies and travels.
From my favourite bands like Sigur Ros and Mum, to iconic figures like Bjork and Eidur Gudjonsen, Icelandic people strike me as a pretty eclectic bunch, into the arts, progressive-minded and free-thinking.
Getting to know a lot more of them, whether it’s jostling for space in a Reykjavik bar or sharing Harðfiskur (that strange dried fish I’ve heard much about), is definitely part on my agenda.
This is quite a strange one but I actually really like puffins. Much better than I do penguins (which Iceland doesn’t have thankfully).
But if there’s ever a reason to check out a cute creature of nature then the puffins of Dyrholaey, a peninsula in the south of the country, are definitely up there in terms of being a top drawer.
I’ve also heard that they make pretty good burgers too. Although I imagine that eating them might be a tough prospect after seeing them nest and frolic around the basalt hills. Not for the fashion designed Giles Deacon however, who seemingly has no problem eating these beauties.