Why you must visit Iceland

Wow, what a country, island, dream destination! This country is so divers and has such great nature that I can fill pages and pages. So this will probably be extended, but for now you can find a few highlights below.

This is what the top of a glacier looks like, it is just so white! This is the Langjokull glacier, Icelands second largest glacier roughly 1000 km2 (sadly declining). I went up this glacier with the modified van you see behind me. It can easily in and deflate its tiers to get more traction on the snow. The tube you see next to the van is actually the entrance of a man-made cave system where you can get a guided tour. This cave system just looks breath-taking and is also being used as church and for events.

Another phenomenon that is related to this land of ice and fire are geysers. Hot water sources that blow meters high water and steam columns up in the air. The original geyser and name giver Geysir is just behind the water column, but this one actually does not erupt as often anymore. The one on the picture is Strokkur (sorry for the bit non-horizontal picture), active since an earthquake in 1789 and erupts every 4 – 8 minutes at the moment.

The activity is based on seismic activity in the region which influences the closeness of magma to the underground water mass. Here you see Strokkur at full seize with the wind already blowing some water damp away. This water is warm and full of minerals. So yes you do want to get close to the geyser, but do keep the wind in mind since you do not want to be covered by it! In the area are multiple geysers and warm water sources to see and smell. Because of the minerals the surrounding is also covered in nice flowers.

One of the many waterfalls of the island. I was there at the beginning of the summer, so all the waterfalls were lush with fresh melted ice water from the highlands. But you can also still see plenty of snow, that is Iceland for you. A marvelous difference in landscapes passes by if you drive around the island. And there are plenty of waterfalls just by the side of the road to marvel at!

Besides all the natural wonders Iceland has to offer, it also has some quirky architecture. May I present you the Hallgrimskirkja – yep a church. This most famous building of Reykjavik took 41 year to build and was finished in 1986. The big façade is really imposing and in sharp contrast with the serene simplicity of the inside of the church.

It is named after Hallgrim Petersun, a famous priest and hymn writer. When I entered the church, the local choir was performing a typical Icelandic hymn: Heyr himna smiður. Just like visiting this church, listening to this hymn is also a true recommendation.

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