In english/ nature

Amazing Iceland

“What is Iceland like?”
“Wonderful!” you reply. “Beyond beauty, you add. But these words still cannot fully describe the admiration you feel. So you try again.

It’s as if this island has just been newly created. The landscape looks pristine. The earth is still damp. You enjoy deep breaths of fresh air. Surrounded by crystal clear streams and swirling rivers wherever you go. A simmering hot spring here and there. A surrealistic landscape. Steam rises and becomes your new point of navigation.

Katoengras

Katoengras (Cotton Grass)

There is this endless space. Meadows filled with buttercups and swaying violet lupine. Swaying fluffy bolls of hrafnavfífa, cotton grass in puddles and by the waterside. Wild thyme catches your eye and you almost trip on angelica root.

You drive a few kilometers and see lava fields completely covered with moss. Grazing sheep, but no fence. No need, as there is plenty of space.

It is rugged and dangerous territory. Glaciers, gorges, hot springs, waterfalls – phenomena not to be messed with. The high waves at the black lava beach of Reynisfjara can be treacherous if you come too close. Some people ignored the dangers and paid with their lives.

It is very clear, if this was not already the case, that nature rules. Surrender and cooperation is the only way to go. Follow the rhythm of the weather, seasons and light. Or leave.

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IJsland - zwarte strand

The black beach of Reynisfjara

An unknown bird lands on the sandy path. It looks somewhat like a chicken. You keep your distance as you do not want to startle it. Crimson eyebrows and white – brown patches. It turns out to be a rjúpa, a ptarmigan. They used to be popular among hunters.

Everything is extreme here, including the natural beauty. You had already created a picture in your mind as you had seen pictures and videos. But now that you are here you realize that these impressions are a far cry from experiencing the real thing.

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IJsland - huisje

You understand why Iceland is full of creative expression. Great expression sets new expression in motion, a continuous expansion. Music, literature, visual arts. Music and literature are collective loves in this country. Not surprising, as admiration needs expression. Nature as muse.

You listen to the sounds of the language and try to understand what they are saying, but cannot make much sense of it. It sounds so unfamiliar and complex and you start to wonder how they can understand each other. One of the first words you learn is Velkommin, welcome.

That’s what Iceland is like. Well, sort of.

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