In the first glimpses of a late Summer, fellow excited European travelers were packing their suitcases with bikinis and sun tan lotion while I packed mine with thermals and technical weather gear designed to protect me from wind, rain and freezing temperatures. I was merely flying three hours north-east from my hometown of Paris, over the United Kingdom towards a peculiar island, which after 10 days of driving around the entire country this past July, I can vouch, could not be more appropriately named; Iceland.
I’d once already visited this otherworldly country over a long weekend based out of Reykjavik back in 2009, but my curiosity was left unsatisfied. Sure, I’d seen some epic craters, volcanoes, geysirs and the dancing glow of the northern lights, but I still often wondered about the floating icebergs of Jökulsárlón what a fjord looked like and the coast with its black pebbled beaches and too-geometric-to-be-true rock formations in Skaftafell National Park.
Having undertaken some solid research, I designed a google map itinerary destined for a 10 day, 4WD self-drive tour road trip that would have us drive through the entire country via the ever practical ring road. Starting in Reykjavik and taking turns with my husband, we went forth in a clockwise direction covering approximately 1,400 kms while listening to the trippy sounds of Tame Impala and Unknown Mortal Orchestra, eating in organic cafes wherever possible and sleeping under a never darkening sky in a different hotel every night.
It is difficult to describe the feeling of a natural hot spring thawing your frozen limbs or the sour smell of sulphur escaping a crack in some broken earth or what it feels like to drive through a village population of 52 inhabitants, so other than wetting your appetite with a few stills of the sublime landscapes I managed to capture along the way, I will stop right here and allow you to consider discovering this majestic Island of ice, one day for yourself.