Friday, 12 August 2022

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Adventures in Iceland

This summer I had an amazing opportunity to visit Iceland. It’s a stunning country with so much natural beauty, that photos cannot do it justice. While there, we had about twenty hours of daylight, which allowed for long days of exploration.

We started our journey in Reykjavik, the capitol and largest city in the country, and spent several days exploring the city. We then ventured out to circumvent this island nation. The vast majority of the population is located in the coastal areas since the interior region is less accessible and covered in snow much of the year, along with a number of glaciers.

One of our first of many surprises was that Iceland is much greener and warmer than expected. When we commented on this to several locals, they joked that Iceland should have been named Greenland and Greenland should have been named Iceland.

claudio buttler iQhRYATGEmM unsplashI’m not sure how much time would be enough, but in the eight days we spent in Iceland we were able to explore a half-dozen towns and villages and enjoy the vast natural resources. Outside of Reykjavik, we visited the magnificent Gullfoss Falls, a thermal area with steaming pools and a frequently erupting geyser, and stood in the gap between two diverging tectonic plates.

Each part of the country was amazing and held its own special treasures, but one of our favorite areas was the northern coast. The town of Akureyri provide a convenient jumping off point to visit the stunning Goðafoss Falls and the interesting and well preserved Laufas Turf Houses. The town itself was a little gem. It had a pedestrian street lined with quaint shops, a stunning church, expansive botanical gardens, and great views of the fjord, not to mention pleasant temperatures in the mid-seventies. Many of the locals were wearing shorts, but I hadn’t thought to pack any for a trip to Iceland.

We feel very fortunate to have been able to take this trip during such an uncertain time for travel. In an effort to provide a little helpful information with each column, I can only suggest patience, flexibility, and lots of research. Conditions and requirements to get into Iceland and back into the United States seem to change daily. So, if you plan to visit another country, find official websites specific to that country and check the site often or sign up for updates, It’s also a good idea to download the app for whichever airline you plan to fly. Mostly, it is important to be honest with yourself about what you are and are not willing to do for the opportunity to travel. As a guest in Iceland and a patron of a number of private business, I had no issue following their safety protocols, because it was ultimately my decision whether to abide by my host’s rules or to stay home.      

Iceland is a fascinating land of unparalleled beauty, created and shaped by volcanoes, glaciers, and the countless waterfalls that occur as a result of winter snow and glacial melt. I’ve always dreamed of visiting the land of fire and ice, and even though travel was a little more challenging than usual, the country exceeded my expectations and it was worth the additional effort.

Columnist: Kim McMahill

Picture Kim McMahill grew up in Wyoming which is where she developed her sense of adventure and love of the outdoors. She started out writing non-fiction, but her passion for exotic world travel, outrageous adventures, stories of survival, and happily-ever-after endings soon drew her into a world of romantic suspense and adventure fiction. After living in eight different states and enjoying a rewarding career with the National Park Service, she has returned home to Wyoming to focus on her writing and spend more time with family. She has published ten novels, over eighty travel and human-interest articles, and contributed to a travel story anthology. Find out more about Kim by visiting her blog and connecting with her on Facebook and Twitter @kimmcmahill

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