We board our flight in the warm darkness of a New York night. As we kick ourselves loose from the earth, the lights of the city blur togther until we are flying over a blanket of darkness interspersed with patches of light. We pull plane shades down when even those patches disappear. We are speeding towards the next day’s sunrise, eager for the light.
We descend through cloud and mist to the hunched landscape of Iceland.
We depart the plane, squeeze into our rental car and hit the road. Soon enough we are on Route 1, some 1300km of paved road affectionately known as the Ring Road for the fact it encircles the country. We trundle along the sometimes bumpy, sometimes rolling road and find ourselves at Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss, two of Iceland’s more iconic waterfalls.
They spew and froth and, amazingly, sit right along the highway. It appears that the Icelandic people aren’t shy of their sights. And sights they are. Water falls hundreds of feet to pool and flow below. We feel the spray on our travel weary faces and hope for the rain clouds that have been following us to carry on their way.
In the meantime, we do the same. We find ourselves at the southern most city, Vik, and wander along the black sand beach, catching sight of rock formations jutting from the frigid sea.
But eastern glaciers call and our journey has more miles to eat before it’s full.
Those glaciers are found in Skatafell National Park. But, before we tread foot by careful foot on the ever ancient and evolving ice, we find a spot for our tent and close our eyes in sleep to the never dark night.
(Photos by Katie Riley)
(I apologize for the lack of proper accent marks at this time)