Words and Images by Loo Kin Hong—
Iceland is known for her majestic nature that charms visitors with her beauty and serenity. Her natural beauty offers almost all the natural scenery of the world on one island. Travelling in Iceland is an experience and a journey as English poet William Blake puts it, “to see a world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wild flower”. These are the 5 unforgettable moments that shaped my overall Icelandic experience, and makes me constantly yearn for a return to Iceland.
1) Taking a boat tour at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
The boat tour offers moments of unforgettable beauty and serenity. It has a lagoon with a glacier and floating icebergs. It is recommended to book in advance and take a speedboat to the lagoon for an intimate and spectacular experience.
Another interesting fact: When the weather is cloudy, the icebergs are as blue as seen in the picture. However, if there is strong sunlight, it will be white in colour. If you are lucky, you can see the shy Seal resting on the iceberg as shown in picture 2 (though this is only possible if you take a boat tour to go further into the lagoon) or hold a thousand-year-old iceberg that melts in your hand.
2) Admiring Aura lights (Northern lights)
No words can describe the absolute magic of Aura lights and you will know that even the best photograph will not truly capture its beauty if you have ever seen one. If you are lucky, you can see an unobstructed 360 degrees of sky filled with many stars and Aura lights dancing gracefully. It is mostly green in colour with a tinge of white and purple. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a good camera and didn’t learn how to use my camera to capture it. Picture 3 gives you a glimpse of its mystic.
3) Absorbing the sound, sight and smell of the waterfalls in Iceland
Iceland has many waterfalls, each having its own unique beauty and charm. If you are lucky, you can even catch a rainbow at the waterfall! It is deeply therapeutic to see these waterfalls, listen to the gushing of water and smell the sweetness of fresh vapour dancing in the air.
4) Driving along the highways with scenic Icelandic beauty
Driving out of Reykjavik to various attractions along the highway route 1 (a loop around the Iceland island) gives you a refreshing drive. The scenery changes as you move along the route- from seaside views, to snow-capped mountains, from green fields to endless skies…
5) Experiencing private moments that are uniquely yours
In our travels, we often have certain moments at different countries that are especially poignant in our memories. Some parts of our travel may be but passing moments but there are also some that touch us deeply and stay in our hearts for a long time. The natural majesty of Iceland and its vast expanses of stillness and beauty has given me many contemplative moments for personal introspection. These form the unique and personal moments of our travel that make us yearn so deeply to return to its beauty. In addition to the pictures above, the pictures that are to follow below are a few of my standout moments that are now a part of my fondest memories of Iceland.
P.S. Iceland meals are expensive (USD 30-50 for a plate of fish and chips, though the fish are incredibly fresh and nice.) So, do stock up food from the supermarket if you are looking to save costs. All the attractions, except a handful, are free. Make sure you have at least 2 drivers if you are renting car and driving yourself. It can be a long and at times a dangerous drive. There is no licensed money changer in Iceland. Do change Icelandic money at the Icelandic banks. Most of the shops accept only Icelandic króna and not Euros.
About the Author:
Kin Hong is a final year undergraduate student at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He majors in Economics. He is also actively involved in local community work. He enjoys travelling, listening to classical music, cycling and reading.