An introduction to Iceland, where fire and ice become strange bedfellows.
Joanne: Talk about holidays on ice. These icebergs all around me here recently broke off a glacier and are slowly drifting out to sea. I'm Joanne Colan and we're exploring Iceland.
Iceland is a geological soap opera where the Earth itself is young, raw and restless. Take other worldly landscape, add arctic forces, Gulf Stream warmth and a rich culture of myth, lore, and sea faring and you got one of the most unique countries in the world. Where else can you stay up late in the midnight sun, revel in Scandinavian design, encounter welcoming nightlife, the recuperate in thermal baths before searching for geysers, glaciers, and Viking history.
The power of nature in Iceland is palpable. You can experience it even if you only got a few days. Drive a couple of hours from Reykjavik and you find yourself in an area so packed with sites it’s called the Golden Circle.
The first impression you get while road tripping through Iceland is the extreme landscape. It’s like you're in a different planet every five miles. There's an unfinished beauty to the land. One result of the unfinished quality are the many geyser fields throughout the countryside. And they really have to be seen to be believed. The earth is like an organism with all this energy right below the surface.
Amazing. You really can't come to Iceland without witnessing one of those, a geyser. Tell me a little about this one in particular.
Sigmar: The name of this one is Strockul and it means bettejun.
Joanne: Okay, bettejun. Right.
Sigmar: Its 90 feet deep.
Sigmar: But under here is lot of fire, 3000 feet down. So it’s a very volcanic active area. So the water is under pressure. So it boils rapidly, very quick and explode.
Joanne: This one seems to glow quite regularly. It’s that typical of geysers in Iceland?
Sigmar: No, they are all different. They are like human beings, they are their own characters.
Joanne: This one has a hot temperament.
Sigmar: Really so. It’s angry.
Joanne: This is Gufo, Iceland’s best known waterfall. It’s also the place where rainbows come to breed. Of course I'm kidding, but if you like rainbows, you should definitely pay a visit here because they are in abundance.
Sigmar, where does all this water came from?
Sigmar: It came from the glacier over there. And water is melting there and runs down to the river and all the way to the North Atlantic Ocean.
Joanne: A waterfall this size is kind of like an anti-depressant. I'm not kidding. Waterfalls breaking surf and passing rainstorms charge the air with negative ions which theoretically improves mood. The sound, the sheer volume of water falling over the falls is humbling. There's a meditative quality to it. You get a real sense of size here. It’s amazing that this much water come flow off one glacier.
With all these adventure you need a warm and rejuvenating home base. Hotel Nautica in Reykjavik let's you revel in the capital city while having access to some day trips in the Golden Circle. Come in from the great outdoors to the spa and fitness center. First rate fitness and stretching equipment, various steam rooms, hot tubs, and a log cabin sauna are right at your disposal.
Iceland has a lot to offer. Nightlife, geysers, incredible natural beauty. It’s a place where fire and ice becomes strange bed fellows. But there's something else, maybe it’s the light, the almost twilight of the midnight sun. Colors are different, time fields both ancient and new. It’s a great time to just sit still.
In my capacity as the UK Director of Operations for One World Tours Limited, one of my jobs is to ensure every client is well informed about the destinations that they have chosen to visit, so here are my top 5 places to make sure you include in any Holiday in Iceland......
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Officially known as the Republic of Iceland, is situated in northwestern Europe. It comprises of the island of Iceland and its outlying small islands in the northern Atlantic Ocean between Greenland, Norway, Scotland, Ireland, in addition to the Faroe Islands...
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