I Wished I Was ... in Iceland

Birthdays are usually celebrated with a day off work, perhaps a trip to a garden centre, or just a lazy afternoon with a good book. However, as the milestone 60 loomed it was decided for me that I was going to have a week's vacation and go somewhere exciting. Somewhere that really had that "Wish you were here" effect. Trouble is, most of it turned out to be "I wish I was a..."

For example, this day I wished I was a surfer:

Dyrholaey beach and cliffs

And this day I wished I was a mountain climber:

Solheimajokulsvegur glacier

On this day, I wished I was a rally driver:

Near Gulfoss on Road 30

And on this day I wished I was a geologist:

Dyrholaey caves

And, of course, on this day I wished I was an astronomer:


The Northern Lights seen from near Hella

But at least, on this day, I could just relax and soak up the steam and sulphur fumes:


The Blue Lagoon, Grindavik

Iceland is a really amazing place. Especially as, since I'm still suffering from the after-effects of a spine injury that makes long trips and walks difficult, it's only two and a half hours by plane from a small local airport and I had a rental car waiting. And driving there is easy, although it's on the wrong side of the road - until you decide to explore a little. Driving on solid-packed ice, or gravel tracks with 1 in 3 inclines, is fun. Thankfully the car was 4-wheel drive with studded tyres!

Iceland is also an ideal destination for those that have a fetish for waterfalls. This is the famous one:


But we managed to find plenty more:


Seljalandsfoss and Merkifoss


So, yes, we did the usual tourist things. Bathing in the Blue Lagoon hot springs (where they have to keep adding cold water to keep it below boiling point). Listening to the waves echoing round the caves at Dyrholaey and marvelling at the incredible rock formations. Driving miles over rocky unmade roads to see a glacier (the bits that break off do, in fact, look rather like a Fox's Glacier Mint that been loose in your pocket for a few weeks). Driving the "Golden Circle" tour to see the lakes, Gullfoss falls, the geysers and hot springs at Geysir:

Some geezers looking at a geyser at Geysir

And looking across the Mid Atlantic Ridge where two tectonic plates are gradually tearing Iceland apart (but there's a pretty church to look at):

Tectonic plate boundary in Pingvellir National Park

 More Pingvellir National Park

Iceland also has the most amazing sunrises and sunsets in wintertime:

Sunset near Hella, South West Iceland

And it's nice to know that the people have a sense of humour as well: