images: 1-4 & 6: Reykjavik. I was charmed by the corrugated metal houses!; 5: rocks on Vik beach with me reflected in each one; 7 & 9: Jokulsarlon glacial lake; 8: Skogafoss (I think!); 10: greenery ; 11: Vik beach; 12: ice cave, Solheimajokull glacier
[The first of a few posts I'll have on the trip to Iceland.]
This country has the most astonishing landscape I've ever seen. The overpowering sublimity of the best spots of the American South West is perhaps similar, but in Iceland the human intervention in the landscape is so small and reserved that the experience is vastly different. The place has a vaguely mystical, other-worldly aura. My senses were changed somehow, at least while I was there.
The colors of everyday life hummed in what appeared to be quite a narrow scale–at first. But once you're attuned to Iceland's particular range, the depth and intensity are stunning: rich matte black, lunar greys, mossy green-greys, slate grey-blues, silvery sage green, icy blue-white, crisp bright sky blues, eerily luminous aqua, lush intense greens... The streetscape is dotted with houses painted in a few saturated colors, including one lipstick-dense magenta red that I never thought I'd see on a building (unfortunately I don't have a photo of that).
The light is different. It's suffused through low clouds, or mist for much of the time– then the sun breaks through and under the suddenly cloudless skies the greens and blues crackle. I can't begin to imagine what stars would look like over that landscape. (to be continued)
since you asked:
My favorite bar/cafe, the Prikid, on the main shopping street Laugevegar (sp?)