Iceland, in geological terms, is a very young country. So young in fact, it's technically still a work in progress, and so its landscape is very savage. There are lavafields, geothermal spots, big jagged rock outcrops that have been sliced and scarred by glaciers, and haven't had the time for natural forces to erode them smooth. A large proportion of Iceland is classed as desert because it is so barren.
Yet, at the same time, especially in the Summer, Iceland has it's share of verdant green meadows and summer flowers. It's signature flower is a purple lupin (an Alaskan import) which grows wild and in vast numbers which can't even be guessed throughout the island.
And, having been wilting in 30 degree temperatures here in the UK, it was so refreshing and energising to actually feel cool - even if it was just for a week! temperatures ranged from 9 degrees to 13 degrees while we were there.
We had the opportunity to meet up with a lovely Icelandic lady called Audur who I met at Heathrow three years ago on the way to JIB, and we spent a nice couple of evenings with her. It helps to see a country from an entirely new perspective when you talk about it with a local!
So, now we're home, and reflecting on another great week in the Land of Ice and Fire. I'm sure it won't be our last!
Big Iceland picspam below ...
Acres of purple lupins, as far as the eye can see ...
Aspects of Reykjavik ...
A regular visitor to Reykjavik harbour
Mal og Mennig - our favourite little bolt hole. Cappuccino surrounded by thousands of books ... what's not to like?
Schmoozing with the locals
Evening sun from our apartment window
Angry skies over Reykjavik
Midnight sun from our apartment window
Harpa - concert hall
The Governor's House on Reykjavik harbour, famous because this is where, in 1986, Regan and Gorbachev sat down and opened dialogue between the USA and the USSR.
This understated little house in a quiet corner of a harbour on a chilly rock in the middle of the North Atlantic was the first domino in the tumbling chain of events that ended the cold war.
Reykjavik's main shopping street, Laugavegur in one direction...
... then the other!
Hallgrimskirkja in low evening light
Glacial spray from Gulfoss
A bit breezy at Gulfoss!
With our Icelandic friend Audur at Blue Lagoon hot springs
The Blue Lagoon lava field with Audur
Mr D at Seljalandsfoss (underneath the waterfall)
Seltun geothermal region. Basically, walking around on top of an underground volcano!
Summer meadows and waterfalls
Waiting for the Geysir
Mr D admiring the geysir
Hot springs around the Blue Lagoon
Thingvellir National Park. This is the edge of the American continental plate
Cottages marking the site of Iceland's first parliament which was formed at Thingvellir in the 10th century. It is the world's oldest parliament in the true democratic sense of the word.
The rift between the American and European continental plates
If you like seafood, you've died and gone to heaven
Mr D wants to take it home ...
Iceland has a very active and open LGBTQ scene. This is the 'very understsated' back wall of their Reykjavik LGBTQ centre headquarters.
Who couldn't love a country that has one of these?
World cup fever has no limits apparently!