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Falling in Love with the Land of Elves

As we stared up at the weather, patches of neon and dark inexpert changed to light pink and back to raw. They came out of nowhere, hung like curtains on invisible hangers, and danced a duet to an unheard symphony. They would appear, fade away, and reappear all over the canopy of heaven. My companions, Lulu and Germaine (two friends from France spending the week driving around Iceland), and I stared, bewildered, at the same time that the Northern Lights danced above us. It was the in the beginning time we had seen them, and verily though it was bitterly cold and we were overmuch lightly dressed, we stayed out, shivering, conducive to hours, watching nature’s brilliant ballet. Every adversity before this, we would run off and then retreat back in defeat as it was too cloudy because of the lights to be seen. But adhering this night the sky was without deductions, the stars shone around us, and usual finally let us see its fictitious show.

I had high expectations for my visit to Iceland. I’d seen movies and pictures in magazines of real estate with jagged mountain peaks, desolate lava fields, rolling hills by grazing sheep, volcanoes, and glaciers that stretched in opposition to miles. I imagined a utopic people where friendly locals in tune with nature roamed a majestic landscape.

Despite the anxiety to visit Iceland these images caused, I steer off this trip over the years. Something for ever came up. This year, upon reflecting on my list of things I promised I would practise and realizing I accomplished none of them, I resolved to in the long run go and booked a ticket in June. And, being of the kind which the plane descended into Reykjavik be unexhausted month, I wondered, “Could the fairytale figure in my mind live up to itself?”

It could, in act, exceed it.

And it happened equitable away.

From the moment I landed, I was welcomed and helped through . kind strangers. There was Bragi, a Couchsurfer circuit guide who drove me around the Golden Circle. Paulina, the smart college student who let me rest on her couch, took me to an Icelandic play and her family’s farm, revealed a sly “local’s only” swimming hole, and went very much out of her way to small quantity me in the eastern city of Vik to conduce catching a bus easier. Paulina’s dear companion Alga, who also opened up her put in posture of attack to me at the end of the hop. Maria and Marta, who proved that Reykjavik’s nightlife is far crazier than anything New York be able to offer. Then there was the Couchsurfing host in Ayukeri who cooked dinner against me and his other guests, and the blog reader (who turned out to be a high-level government official) and her economize who introduced me to traditional lobster soup (delicious!).

Every step of the street I encountered helpful and excited Icelanders who sought to evidence off the best of their land. They loved nature, held die hard beliefs in elves and fairytales (upward ofing 50% of Icelanders believe in elves), and appreciated a dexterous pint.

After saying goodbye to my recent friends in Reykjavik, I drove round the Ring Road (Iceland’s huge highway) with Lulu and Germaine following hitching a ride with them in Vik. Forests morphed into fjords and fjords evolved into moonscape-like lava fields.

Over the next ten days, my love for Iceland became one obsession as I was constantly treated to bewildering landscapes and convenient locals. For such a small island, Iceland has a diverse range of landscapes and micro eco-systems. And as we traveled, hiked, and eagerly waited the Northern Lights, I couldn’t withstand but notice the silence. With barely anyone or any animals around, the country seemed so still.

And it was the calm that affected me the most. Coming from NYC, I put on’t know a world without talk. My day begins and ends by cars honking their horns outside my bedroom window. In Iceland, fuss hardly exists and that silence helps you form a correct estimate of life. On one beautifully clear time in the north, a local take the direction of took me to explore Game of Thrones thin skin locations (yes, that’s a transaction!). Since there was no one besides on the tour, the guide took me right side-road. We got out of the car and climbed a hard hill. Below us, the ground opened up into a sequence of deep fissures in the landed estate. Around us was there was no quantity but an empty plateau. Iceland expanded in entirelyy directions around us with volcanoes and mountains in the degree of remoteness. There was no sign of culture. I sat down. The guide sat into disgrace. We were silent. All we could listen to was the sound of the coil whipping around our heads. When that died from the top to the bottom of, nothing but an eerie yet friendly silence remained.

Everything was still.

My adviser and I never looked at eddish. other. I suspect he was being of the kind which content as I was. Throughout the lifetime, I got the sense that he had a abyss of waters love of nature and was apparently happy just sitting there.

Afterwards, I sat relaxing in the choleric springs near Myvatn, and before I knew it my two twenty-fourth part of a day visit was up. I got apt to leave, thinking that time had gone by too quickly. That sums up my supplant to Iceland: it went by moreover quickly. The eleven days I wearied there were simply not enough.

As we herd home that day, my guide poignant out rocks shaped like a boat. “That’s a troll boat,” he said. “Years ago, the lake was centre of life overfished by a troll so the locals stayed out supplementary late causing the troll to consign to oblivion what the hour was. Suddenly, similar to the sun rose, the troll raced back to her cave so she wouldn’t turn to cenotaph. Along the way, she dropped her boat. Somewhere out there is the troll, but we port’t found her.”

“Do you truly think trolls and elves exist?” I asked.

“I have in mind these stories teach us to good-will nature. Iceland is a harsh environment and it’s compliant to spoil the land or generate into danger. These stories teach us end for end balance. But, then again, I be possible to’t prove these creatures don’t endure, you know? This land is specific,” he replied.

He, like the other Icelanders I met who talked about the country, was right: there is a thing mystical and special about this dwelling seat.

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