Posted by: seasin | September 17, 2009

Iceland

During the early months of this summer, I enjoyed playing a game. Whenever asked about our summer holiday plans, I would watch carefully the face of the person asking (most of them were just asking for conversation purposes, not because they had a real interest) and then say sweetly: “Oh, we’re going to Iceland”. Expression on their face when the reality of my answer sank in: priceless. You could actually watch the little struggle going on in their mind :”Iceland? Summer holiday? So what the hell do I say now? Why the hell? No, I can’t ask that. Nod politely? No, because I actually want to know why the hell!”. It usually came out as “Oh, really? Wow, how…cool!”. At this point, I would usually add that we’re also spending a week in Ireland. Which didn’t do anything to help them solve their puzzle. Iceland-brrr; Ireland-wet. It somehow didn’t compute for anyone as the ideal summer holiday.

But you know what, it was. Iceland. Cool, that is. And wet. And cool in the rap-lingo sense. Waaaay cool.

The words and feelings that describe it: stunning; lonely; dangerous; tidy; harsh; soft; cold; boiling; fertile; baren; ladden with contrasts, in short; colorful in the most improbable ways; dwarfing and taming humans, forever a rock and water reminder of who is really the master-the mighty Earth gave birth to us, and our arrogant lifes are in its rocky claws at all times. This is Iceland, through Transilvanian eyes.

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Horses (special, Icelandic horses) grazing and relaxing nearly wild under the shadow of extinct (or maybe not) volcanoes. Almost every mountain top is shrouded in white clouds, and the sky is painfully blue all around.

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Rivers and streams-some birthed by glaciers, some spurted out hot from the loins of the Earth-when you meet them, they have cooled down, but they’re carrying with them the mark of Evil-and depositing it all over the rocks. Yellow sulphur, as bright and sunny as seems, is a warning of the destructive power of what lies beneath

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Glaciers. Also hiding under clouds. And hiding, in turn, in their frozen bossom, live, breathing volcanoes.

IMGP0877Sea meeting molten rock, creating sculptures. And people living everywhere, isolated in this breathtaking nature.

IMGP0889Waterfalls. Everywhere. Most of them don’t even have names.

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Horses. Nothing else to add, really.

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Geysirs. Water coming out of the earth and flying high towards the sky, boiling, like a hot, wet, breath of a giant whale hidden under the hills. Beautiful and menacing.

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Water in the shut mouth of old, dead volcanoes.

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The broken feet of a mighty glacier, floating to disappearance in an unique Glacial Lagoon.

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And as a surprising domestic reminder, sheep. Grazing peacefully, all looking like cuddly toys, heavy with fluffy warm wool, hanging to the most precarious slopes, in picture-perfect landscapes.

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All around it, the sea. With scattered islands, the spawn of volcanoes, some younger than me, some already just a memory in science books. Iceland is a place where islands are born and die at the whim of a sulphur-smelling god.

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And horses.

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And a stick’s throw away, mud boiling like a witches’ cauldron.

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Surrounded by the surreal, ephemeral pinkness of the moss flowers.

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A blue lagoon of a less than tropical aspect

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And one to rule them all: the volcano

This was Iceland, to me: water, rock and improbable, fragile life-here in the form of grass clinging, vibrant and juicy, on to the very edge of death and destruction

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Responses

  1. […] View original here: Iceland « Seasin's Blog […]

  2. That looks like a dream vacation to me.

    • Oh you’re right-the island is absolutely stunning and unique. I’d encourage anyone who has a chance to give it a go-on top of offering something unusual and special to do and see every day of your trip, it’s easy to get to, clean, virtually crime-and-hassle free. I’ll remember it for ever, unlike some beach holidays I’ve had before, which now meld together in a fuzzy memory of sun burn and easy lazy afternoons in the shade while the earth is baking quietly 🙂


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