Published: July 14th 2011July 14th 2011
Iceland's stunning landscape, much like its people, is a ever curious mix of spectacular contradictions. Icelandic people are often hip, urban, modern and worldly, but they are also just as often the sturdy, rugged farming and fishing sort, tightly tied to tradition. Yet each live side by side, one representing Iceland just as strongly as the next.
Similarly, Iceland's score of thundering waterfalls, with streams icy blue pouring into green meadows, is a stark contrast to her steaming volcanoes surrounded by abysses of gray ash. But they are both very much Iceland. As are its miles of snowy glaciers, stretching alongside the black sand beaches of the Atlantic, separated only by the two-lane pavement of Route 1.
In Iceland, everything is in motion. Massive pieces of broken slate, as if from a giant shattered blackboard, push their way through fields of green, making themselves into mountains. Mud pots bubble and churn, fuming with the such heat and the stench of sulfur, that standing alone in the northwest desert of Iceland, you feel sure that the earth must be cooking up a mess of eggs in a cast iron skillet nearby. And enormous chunks of glacier break away, right before
your eyes, and slowly, as if they were humans bobbing about in inner tubes along a lazy river, make their downstream descent into the sea.
The contrast of colors, bright then muted and then impossibly bright again, the constant temperature flux of the land between hot and cold, and the ever-moving wind and water ice and earth and steam, makes you feel as if Iceland is somehow more alive than the rest of the planet. And perhaps she is.....
As we continued to make our way around Iceland via the ring road, we meandered up the coast and towards the Eastern Fjords. With every turn and twist and switchback of the road, we would find ourselves overlooking something even more scenic than the view before. It wasn't long before my camera's memory card was filled to bursting, and Brian's iphone ran out of picture-taking gas, and sank into exhaustion, in need of a good long charge before it could be used again. At this point we realized that Iceland is simply too stunning to possibly attempt to capture in 4 x6 frames. We spent the rest of the afternoon with our eyes all agog and our jaws dropped
in a perpetual state of 'wow', letting Iceland's beauty saturate us to the point, until, like our cameras, we too, were all worn out.
There are more photos below