It is winter now in Iceland, but it will be spring before you know it and you’ll want to go there, so let me tell you what it is like when the days are long and it warms up (sort of).
Once again, we traveled with Overseas Adventure Travel. We went last May, an “iffy” month, still cold and often rainy, but fewer tourists. A good trade off. We began in the capital, Reykjavik, traveled along the southern coastline, up along the west side and across the northern edge. There was a lot of looping in and around since that’s the geography of the coast.
Reykajavik has about two thirds of the country’s 320,000 people, which makes Iceland a country of towns and villages more than cities. Reykjavik’s newest addition, sitting right on the waterfront, is a stunning concert hall called Harpa, designed by Olafur Eliasson. This multi million dollar performance hall almost went belly up when Iceland went bankrupt but, lo and behold, funds were found to complete the project. This probably falls under the heading of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
I’m glad they finished Harpa. Its facades of windows are spectacular even on a gloomy day. Inside or out, the struts and glass sections create amazing patterns.
We spent a lot of time outdoors. The Snaefellsnes Peninsula gave us rain, wind and cold, but we could tell spring was approaching. The grass got greener and brave little flowers poked through the ground on the cliffs above the water.
We had sunny weather on the day we visited a horse farm. The Icelandic horse is short, stocky and sturdy. And friendly. And cute!
This girl was more enamored of the flowers than the horses. I guess she’s used to them (the horses).
Up and around we went to Akureyri, only forty miles from the Arctic Circle. A beautiful place.
Waterfalls, craters and volcanic rock are plentiful throughout Iceland.
Siglufjordur Village is Iceland’s most northerly town. Its promo name is Siglo (for those of us who are language challenged). It has a lively waterfront. We had sun!
More beauty in Thingvellir National Park.
More waterfalls in Gulfoss and Seljalandsfoss.
Craters and hot springs in Geysir. The underground hot springs throughout the country provide Icelanders with almost all their energy (thermal). Also, volcanic eruptions!
Glacier hikes are popular. We put on crampons and “walked” (carefully) on the Solheimajokull Glacier, whose volcanic debris made the surface less than pristine. Here is my color photo in black and white sans Photoshop. I kid you not.
Before returning to Reykjavik we drove past farmland definitely showing signs of spring.
A last look at Reykjavik from atop its striking Lutheran church.