Why Iceland made me believe in magic?

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Itchee Feet’s regular guest blogger, Inga Batur writes about a recent trip to Iceland. Inga, who lives in Slovenia, can be found at Cool Kidz Cool Tripz.

 

Iceland is magical. I’m not talking about mystical creatures, even though Icelandic folklore is full of these. I’m referring to the landscape, the amazing scenery and the pace with which it changes. The whole place could very well be make-believe as it is so different from what I have seen in all my prior travels. Here are the Top 5 things that made me once again believe in magic:

The weather

I have to start with the weather, because it’s just so unpredictable, no matter what time of year. But rather than ruin your travel there, the ever-changing weather adds that final touch of enchantment. And it’s really strange how a really rainy almost black day on a beach famous for its black pebbles (Reynisfjara Beach near Vik) can convey so many emotions no sunshine could ever do.

The animals

You can drive for hours in Iceland and only see horses and sheep grazing the vast green fields. There is some mystery to those lovely horses standing still in the wind, finding shelter in each other. Each animal simply belonged there. I was also lucky to catch a glimpse of the seals sunbathing on rocks in the bay and was surprised by a wandering whale in the distance.

The water

Water, water everywhere. From raw and untamed waterfalls, to the wild sea, there is something for everyone. Even the drinking water is said to be the best in the world. My all-time favorite would have to be the hot water springs (famous geysers Geysir and Strokkur. Also famous are the Blue Lagoon or Myvatin nature bath. And nothing really comes close to the feeling of walking on glaciers such as Vatnajökull, the largest Icelandic glacier and one of the largest in Europe, or riding a boat down the Jökulsárlón, the glacial lagoon, and navigating your way through the floating blue icebergs.

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The history

Who doesn’t think Vikings are awesome. But Icelandic history is so much more than Vikings and the incredible sagas. Did you know that Iceland has one of the oldest parliaments in the world? It’s located at the national park Þingvellir, which is still a very important place for the Icelanders, historically, culturally and geologically, being the site of a rift valley that marks the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Still today, the Icelanders endure harsh weather and unyielding land but they carry on without complaining. They have every right to be proud of their heritage and their accomplishments.

Northern lights

The sight of these lights in the night sky is such pure rush almost nothing comes close to it. Nothing more needs to be said. It simply needs to be witnessed. This is definitely magic.