Almost 4 years ago, I went to Iceland, this European country who seems to be lost in the North Pole, but is actually just 3h away from Paris by plane. I randomly saw the pictures I took during this trip a few days ago, and I decided that even if it was a bit old, I wanted to share them here because this trip to Iceland was so incredible and wonderful.
So Iceland, I went there at the end of October 2013, for a music festival, the Iceland Airwaves. I heard about it on Penelope Bagieu’s blog, thanks to her comics blog posts, that made me fall for Iceland. The idea of going there just stuck to my mind, and in 3 seconds, I convinced a friend to go with me, I booked the plane and festival tickets and a Couchsurfing host.
This country is lunar
The least I can say is that I haven’t been disappointed by Iceland and its incredible lunar landscapes, the comfiness of the small coffeeshops in Reykjavik, and the lovely colorful houses looking like doll houses.
I spent 10 days there, mostly in Reykjavik, the main town, where the Iceland Airwaves festival was. It’s a indy music festival, with many different styles, rock, folk, electro…. The specific point is that it’s happening everywhere in town, from the tiniest café to the bookshop, the rooftop of a fancy hotel, from a clothes store shopwindow…
The town is literally invaded by music without loosing its chilled atmosphere, because in Iceland, a festival doesn’t go with drunk and out of control people, the Icelandic are very civilized, polite and calm. Nothing to do with it, but they also know how to wear a huge fluffy woolen sweater and make it the masterpiece of a trendy outfit like nobody else.
The cutest coffeeshops of the world are in Reykjavik
So, between 2 concerts, I tried many coffeeshops in town, like the Laundromat, which represents the atmosphere in Reykjavik, I mean a comfy cocoon, where you can enjoy a piece of carrot cake with a hot latte, seated in a vintage sofa, while watching the snow falling behind the window, that’s very enjoyable.
Reykjavik is a very adorable city. Everything is cute, the graffitis, the advertisings, the urban furniture and decoration. Everything is clean of course, welcoming and colorful, I guess this is a way to deal with the freezing weather in those winter months.
A very green city
In the heart of Reykjavik, at the corner of a street, I bumped into a huge, beautiful lake, with swans and ducks. Urban life is very different in Iceland.
With Penelope’s advice, I went to see the small graveyard close by the lake, with its graves mostly under trees and grass. It just looks like a fairy tale or a fantasy novel and it was so unexpected to see this forest-graveyard in the middle of the town!
Another place I liked to visit, is the harbour. It’s around a huge part of the city and you can see big boats and the snow mountains at the background and this water, looking so freezing, it’s all very…stimulating.
Don’t miss the most famous hot-dogs food truck of the country, I don’t have any proper photo, but you can’t miss it. After that I wanted to buy the delicious sauce they use but as I just have a cabin luggage, it was impossible to bring back the 200ml pot of sauce / sad face /.
The Unpronounceable but vertiginous church
To finish with the tour of Reykjavik, I went to the top of the Hallgrímskirkja church which is the highest point in town, and helped me many time to locate myself. This lutherian church is vertiginous from the bottom, with its pointed shape, we are not used to that architecture in Southern Europe.
From the top, it’s the entire town, the sea and mountains that you can admire, a great reward to the braves who climbed the endless stairs.
Getting out of town
Another great thing to do when in Iceland, according to me, is to leave the comfy Reykjavik. You can find day-tours of the Golden Triangle at the tourists office. This is a 300km around Reykjavik tour, where you discover the geysers, huge frozen waterfalls, frozen, rocky, mountainous landscapes that just look as if you are on the Moon.
You will also witness that there is actually more sheeps than humans on this Northern island, and that arguing with the neighborhood is not Icelandic. Nature seems to be so hostile, out of control here, but also amazing. This was a great day for me and I had no regret that I did it, as I haven’t seen such landscapes since, Iceland is really unique.
Take me back to Iceland!
My only regret is that I didn’t go to the Blue Lagoon, which is close to the airport. These famous crazy blue bathing hot water, naturally warmed by the volcanoes. By the way, I learned from my Couchsurfing hosts that water and electricity are almost free in Iceland, because naturally produced by hydrothermally from the volcanoes.
I loved Iceland, this country surprised me and amazed me as well. A few months before I went there, one of my friend travelled to Iceland during summer, and her pictures were also incredible, so I thought that Iceland must be visited by every season.
Did you already go to Iceland ? What did you preferred or what would you like to see there ?