iceland, finally

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?)


Carmen said...

Awesome pictures, especially the last one!
Thanks for share.

Anonymous said...

Ditto. And what IS that last one?

Anonymous said...

Pardon me, but I surfed into the blog by chance and coincidentally enough, I just happen to be going to Iceland at the end of next month (May). I'm going with some friends who had the place recommended to them so, like what's the deal with Iceland? And Reykjavik, is there anything going on beside outrageous public drunkeness on weekends? Except for this recently acquired notion that they are the happiest people on the planet (the Geography of Bliss), I know virtually nothing about this curious country. Anything to recommend?

eon scott

angela said...

well "eon" either it moves you or it completely doesn't.

If you're open to the mystical barrenness, to the extremes of ice and steam, to the edge-of-the-world feeling––its amazing. If you're not on that wavelength then its likely to strike you as a slightly bleak and expensive party.

I recommend the Prikid-- a bar/cafe on the main drag. Great music and cool people.


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