iceland: land of fire and ice

I recently visited Iceland, the land of fire and ice, and this spectacular destination has made its way into my heart and onto my list of favourite places in the world. Nature’s bounty abounds here: volcanoes, glaciers, mountains, geothermal waters and the Northern Lights make it one of the world’s most breathtaking countries. A short five-hour flight on Icelandair from Toronto to Keflavik and I was transported to a truly magical place. Here’s a glimpse at some of the highlights:

The Blue Lagoon is a must for all visitors to Iceland. The blue waters are fed into the lagoon from a nearby geothermal power plant. Stop here on your way to or from Keflavik Airport for a rejuvenating swim in this geothermal seawater that will revive your mind, body and spirit. The waters are known to have a positive effect on your skin. And it’s just so cool!

The 50-kilometre drive from Keflavik Airport into Reykjavik is breathtaking. The scenery is rugged and quaint structures like this one can be seen along the way.

These stone figures stand guard along the coast.

Making our way to the Mýrdalsjökull glacier, my boyfriend Johnny Jet and I got (temporarily) stranded on the glacier. The wheels of our massive jeep got stuck in the ice and snow, but as you can see from the photo, we weren’t too concerned. And besides, the sun didn’t set til around midnight so we weren’t concerned about it getting dark too quickly up there!

We made it! Snowmobiling atop Mýrdalsjökull glacier was an experience I’ll never forget. High in the mountains, it’s like being on top of the world and just a stone’s throw from Heaven. Tour company Arcanum gives you everything you’ll need to prepare for your extreme winter adventure: snowmobile, insulated coverall, helmet and facemask. And … we’re off!

Lamb is one of the most popular meat choices in Iceland but it’s hard to eat once you’ve made friends with one of these little guys! Along the side of the road, on our way to Eyjafjallajokull volcano (better known as E15 for its impossible-to-pronounce name), we met this furry friend. He ran straight towards me and, well, we bonded.

Horse meat can also be found in many Icelandic menus. This beautiful horse and many more stopped to say hello as we passed by.

Seen from the restaurant at the four-star Hotel Ranga, a secluded and exclusive hotel situated about 100 kilometres east of Reyjkavik, this Icelandic moon lit up the sky. While I was visiting, the sun didn’t set til close to midnight. It was a sight to behold.

If Iceland isn’t on your list of places to visit, I urge you to add it now. The scenery will take your breath away at every turn and you’ll never forget your experience here, in the land of fire and ice.

{photography via Johnny Jet}

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