Recently, I spent sometime abroad in the nordic region of Iceland. The conquering Vikings named it "Iceland" so that other traveling tribes would over look its agricultural resources and set sail for the baron landscape of "Greenland" where nothing green grows. Those tricksy Vikings with their swords, horned helms and fancy boats with dragon mounted sterns.
Oh and of course let's not forget the Icelandic goddess Bjork. I think she was the main motivation for my visit. I needed to know where the phantasmic songstress got her inspirations for her melodic chimerical creations. I figured maybe some of it would rub off on me.
The trip started off to a surprisingly intriguing start when I arrived at my air bnb. I had the privilege of staying in a guest room at Greenhouse Studios one of Iceland's most prestigious recording studios. A studio where Bjork herself cut some tunes, and The XX wrote much of their upcoming album I See You that is set to be released later this year. A huge thank you to studio founder and air bnb host Valgeir for giving me the lay of the land. I definitely plan to return to have a recording session.
Whilst in Reykjavik I learned all sorts of interesting random factoids about the region. For example, Iceland is the only place in the world where mosquitos do not inhabit. I despise those vexatious little vampires! If I could ask the creator one question it would be, why create those disease carrying bloodsuckers? Name one good thing about a mosquito with exception to its name? One other factoid I learned was through a wonderful experience in the shower. You see, when you live on an island, with active volcanoes, you tend to have hotter water than usual, that smells of rotten eggs, which is the pleasant odor of the polyatomic nonmetal known as Sulphur or brimstone if you're feeling medieval. As the sword smithy man would say, "Light the fires with fire and brimstone!" Speaking of medieval fantasy, it came to my attention while chatting with some friends at Kex hostel in Reykjavik that everyones favorite HBO show Game of Thrones based off of George R.R Martins, A Song of Ice and Fire, shot some quite memorable moments on the volcanic Island.
Iceland has the freshest air and cleanest water on the earth, and the downtown area of its capital city Reykjavik also absolutely breathed art and fresh culture. From its coffee shoppes like vinyl, or it's records stores like Lucky Records . I felt as if I was in heaven.
Walking through the city, what stood out the most to me were the absolutely stunning architecture of the churches on the island.
One moment in Kópavogur, I spied a church fit for any acolyte of the stormtrooper faith. Next I observe Hallgrìmskirkja the 73 meter tall tower cathedral that could be the lair or Marvels' next super villain. And let's not forget the Tipi shaped house of God that I spied while walking to Mjódd, the neighborhood shopping centre and bus depot.
If you plan to visit Iceland, there are three outdoorsy activities you must do:
- A relaxing dip in the hot springs at the blue lagoon
- Observe the geysers, waterfalls, and all the natural splendor of the golden circle
- Simply, look up on a clear night and observe the Aurora Borealis aka the Northern Lights
Here are few shots during my tour of the golden circle.
Though it rained every single day of my adventure, there was an optimistic charm to every one of the people that I encountered in Iceland, making it easily one of my favorite places that I've have had the pleasure of visiting.