(Continued from Part 1.)
Iceland has one of those landscapes that pictures can hardly do justice. I found the fjords of Norway to be the same way–nothing but being there can really show you how giant ice fields dominate your vision, how the treeless hills rise so high and steep they feel like they might fall down on you, how the lava fields stretch on, twisted and broken.
Iceland combines harshness with luxury–one of the ways that we stayed warm was visiting hot-springs. We didn’t go to the Blue Lagoon, which the Wanderer says is very crowded and over touristed. Instead we visited the Secret Lagoon, which is surrounded by little geysers.
A few days later, we visited the Myvatn Nature baths, and soaked for hours.
I wanted to visit Iceland to see what it was like, so I could describe it in a novel or two, but I’m worried I will have to fall back on cliches. It really is alien. It really does seem to exist on an inhuman scale. Humans have carved out small cities and towns that feel like any other country’s, but between them is a landscape that varies between lush, green fields, and black rock that even lichen has hardly domesticated.
Next post: more of Iceland’s history.