If I didn’t have the photographic and video evidence, Iceland could have easily passed for a vivid dream. Much easier to get to than another planet but very much like another world, it’s bright with color and pattern and volume, where nature’s best traits go to show off. It’s green and rich, where the earth marbles with the moss, the water rushes and bubbles and bursts, and the daylight goes on and on. There’s wildlife and winding roads, hot springs and hipster coffee shops. And really, really good hot dogs.
And it only took 5 hours to get there by plane.
Iceland is wild with variety. Where else can you find glaciers, mountains, waterfalls, geysers, volcanoes, black sand beaches, and sprawling fields of wildflowers in one place?
It’s a very strange thing to go to bed with the light of day, and wake up with it, too. If I had the energy, I could have stayed out all night (but when each day is spent driving, exploring, and driving and exploring some more, who has the energy?).
That Iceland can be so dreary and so crushingly gorgeous at the same time is an interesting contradiction, but it’s one that makes a lot of sense when you’re there. The sun will make an appearance every now and again, but I’ve told myself that it doesn’t care to compete with all of the other natural beauty around.
Iceland is also expensive. Reasonable airfare be damned—this is not a cheap vacation. Lodging (try Airbnb for a better selection), food, gas, souvenirs if you’re so inclined, it should all come with a warning, “beware sticker shock.”
But it’s all worth it to get to space. Well, the closest I’ll ever come to space, and that suits me just fine.