WE LOVE ICELAND. There we said it.
In places we love, I would put it second to Hong Kong. Closely followed by Poland and Scandics.
After our 2nd trip to Iceland this October, we fully decided that we love it, and here’s why:
We first travelled to Iceland back in 2012, when it wasn’t really a popular place to visit. There was only 1 airline with 1 flight from Heathrow a day and hotels were scarce, let alone any AirBNB. Most people who did go to Iceland at this time were either photographers, those studying or quirky people. Perhaps we fitted within one of these brackets.
We travelled just before the solstice in March 2012. We had an 11:30pm flight from Heathrow with Icelandair on the busiest day for travel yet. Adam had just landed from Rio on the same day, he literally flew home, grabbed his cold weather suitcase and headed back to the airport. Unfortunately, for us, the Northern lights appeared as we were searching for our hire car and a very exhausted other half just wanted to do the drive to Reykjavik. This was when there wasn’t a single bus transfer available.
I remember our trip fondly, even with the -8 degrees Celsius, snow storms and 4 hours daylight. It felt cozy (Hygge) to head back to our hotel room, take off layers of jumpers and scarves and use a hairdryer to dry out our boots. We also liked how remote it felt. We drove the 3 hour trip to Vik on the coast and only saw 4 or 5 other cars.
So when we returned in October this year, I was expecting much the same. Although the tourists spots where A LOT busier than our previous visit, and there were more cars on the road, as soon as you left these areas, that remoteness was back. We stayed in an AirBNB this time, which only helped for us to feel more at home.
So what specifically do we love about Iceland;
I would say the remote feeling you get when you leave the city. There’s something slightly daunting yet thrilling about being on your own out in the wilderness. As Iceland is getting more popular, this is only becoming more of a reality when you head to the West Fjords or drive further than Vik.
The scenery is some of the most moving we’ve seen. No matter how far you drive in Iceland you have to just stop to take it in every so often, hence being so glad there’s lots of places to stop on the way. It always changes too, unfortunately global warming isn’t helping, but seasons are slightly off and glaciers are melting, but that means new waterfalls all the time.
Black beaches and hexagonal rocks. I know you can see these in a lot of places, but I’ve never seen them this big before. Even better, icebergs on a black beach makes for an instagrammers dream.
There’s only extremes, and I wouldn’t expect anything less from Iceland. The weather changes by the hour and it’s either boiling hot (inside stores) or freezing cold (in the winter season). It gets so cold that some waterfalls turn into ice shards as they fall blasting your face. Also, it’s either light ALL the time or dark ALL the time. I love this.
Layers. My favourite attire. Yeah, I sound like my nan here, but there’s not many places where layers are fashionable. Including layered socks. However, being Out Out on a Friday night at 2am you don’t see many layers or coats then, even in February!
Music. I told you about the rap music already.
OH, what else. Well, the Northern Lights of course?! Who couldn’t resist that magical display and it’s even better when you’re not in a group and can stand out in the cold with a flask of hot drink watching it for hours.
We like Iceland that much we’ve actually considered having it as one of our ‘to live’ places. What about you? Do you have anywhere that we’ve liked so much you’ve considered living there?