When our friends from the luxury adventure travel company Abercrombie & Kent said they were planning a “Land rover Driving on Ice” trip to Iceland and asked if we wanted to join, there was no reason to say anything else but a big “OFCOURSE”! From the moment we stepped into Iceland Air in London it was packed with excitement and anticipation. As we touched down Keflavik airport and got out of the terminal, our host from Land Rover was there to greet us. It was apparently a clear day as in one could see the cloudless clear blue sky above the Pearl white horizon. I have never experienced such pure clean air, such gorgeous natural beauty or such untouched virgin atmosphere. No pollution like we are all used to in big cities. The horizon was stunning with its varying shades of white. The mountains, the Fjords, the springs, the Glaciers – not to forget the people – quite simply the whole country is perhaps a gift to the world.
There is just one word for the place – Breathtaking. Nature and Purity at its best.
The wonderful people – so friendly and warm make up for the cold outside. I was told that Iceland has the lowest crime rate in the world and I could see why. People live in harmony and help each other and there was no reason for any friction. The crimes that did take place were mostly due to drunken brawls.
We had the most wonderful week in Iceland experiencing the cold, colder and coldest weathers. The first day was clear and blue and it quickly turned to lush thick white carpets having snowed the whole night. I thought I was in heaven when I woke up as from the ground to the horizon to the sky above – were all in the most stunning shades of white with faint beams of Sun light that managed to penetrate the thick white clouds.
The country is a Paradise in every way. Volcanoes, Glaciers, Geysers, Snow White Peaks & crystal blue waters – The ocean shining Resplendently bright – Anyone could become a Poet or writer here. There is no dearth of inspiration.
The first night We stayed at the quaint, boutique Hotel Borg – Austurvollur. Lovely place built in 1930, art deco style. The next day the adventure started. Circling around the Island’s coastline for 830 miles, driving along the southern route through plunging gorges, remote plains, lava beds and mountain passes.
We then arrive at the Hotel ION – a Nordic style hotel about an hour from Reykjavik in a secluded position at the foot of Mount Hengill. By this time, all we could see was just white. It had been snowing heavily from the afternoon and thick blankets of snow covered practically everything – The roads, the fields, the trees – I had never seen such pure white anything before.
The food is apparently a feast for people who love sea food as it can’t get fresher than Icelandic marine life. Unfortunately for a vegetarian like me, it was a bit of a stretch – but that didn’t take away from my excitement and thrill of the place in any way.
I remember leaving the airport on my way back to London with a small prayer. “ Oh heavens, please don’t let this place become like most of the rest of the world – Packed with People & Pollution, abused and over used … Let this gorgeous place retain its purity and freshness to remind us that the world indeed was a beautiful place when it was given to us before we ripped it so callously.