It has been top 5 bucket list for me going on the better part of 5 years now. Adding to my desire to travel to this winter wonderland, it seemed that the past 2 years an overwhelming number of friends, or friends of friends, have traveled there. Not one has had a negative thing to say about it. My curiosity finally led me here. In mid-January nonetheless. This can be viewed as either a fortunate or unfortunate time to visit, depending upon your outlook.
What is Iceland? It is an island of out of this world terrain with weather that shifts by the minute. It can’t truly be seen or experienced until you fully immerse yourself into it. It teases you from the warmth of your airline seat. But what the reality has in store for you will dazzle your eyes, ignite your passion for adventure and chill your bones. Literally chill your bones. It truly is unlike any country I have ever visited (30 and counting). The polar (no pun intended) opposite would be India. Ironic that they both begin in “I”?
Coming in over cold, blue ocean and as you approach KEF (Airport code for Reykjavik) you are drawn to the blanket of white. Of course, that is assuming you are landing like I did in mid-January (I’ll have to revisit and write a future blog about when normal and sane people visit – typically between late April and late September). This vast whiteness that stretches for what seems like eternity is interrupted only by pockets of blue ocean and black mountains clad in lava rock that stretch their majestic beauty up into the heavens. As your eyes transport the mind into a seemingly subconscious state you would swear you are entering a Star Wars film set or about to go Beyond the Wall of Westeros with the Wildlings (or “Free Folk”) in Game of Thrones. Snapping back to reality as the wheels touch down on the tarmac you wish that you could escape out of the jet way and sprint right into this winter wonderland.
Just don’t forget your coat. A heavy coat. And gloves. Thick, waterproof gloves, preferably. Oh, did I mention waterproof shoes AND socks as well. And be sure to pack thermals. In fact, why don’t you just wear the thermals, waterproof socks and shoes on the plane. It will make everything easier once you land. Because it’s likely to be wet and it’s absolutely gosh darn cold here. Let me state that more emphatically. It’s bloody damn cold!
From here I will take you on a daily adventure of this mystifying winter wonderland. Buckle up and settle in. Hope you are warm.