Although I didn’t win the competition, I have recently been reminded of Iceland once again. It happens about once a year my life is infiltrated with signs or people that are somehow connected to this wonderful place. This time round I realized I never did share my amazing stories and one of my most memorable moments on my trip. A moment that solidified friendship and will never stop making me laugh…ooo and produced some of the best photos…
My Letter to Iceland Air
My trip to Iceland came spontaneously out of my first international music tour of the Netherlands. One of my best friends loves to look up cheap flights, and she found Iceland Air had the best prices from Toronto to Amsterdam. We looked further into the flights, and soon realized that I could stop over for any amount of time, to tour around Iceland.
My friend Irene is from Amsterdam and we discussed the possibility of doing a trip together with her boyfriend at the end of my music tour. Iceland was top on both of our lists, so we decided to do five days there on my return flight home.
We arrived separately and played a show at Loft Hostel in downtown Reykjavik in exchange for room for the three of us (me, Irene, and her boyfriend Jasper) for two nights. What a great way to start our trip and kick us into full gear.
I remember landing in Iceland and taking the bus from Keflavik airport to city centre and having a very visceral reaction to how alive the land felt. From the very first moment I was captivated by the charge of this land and the solid grip it had on my spirit. A good friend of mine, a very wise yogi, pointed out to me later in my trip that Iceland is directly connected to the centre of the Earth (quite literally) and all of the steaming energy from within. The volcanic nature just under the surface gives Iceland it’s gravitational pull, and transient ever-changing, ever reining life force.
We stayed in Reykjavik for two nights, charging up for our journey round the ring road. Since we only had a few days Irene had immaculately planned the whole thing top to bottom. We stayed in a darling little cabin 5 hours out of the city. We saw incredible waterfalls, sheep, sea stacks, basalt columns, and new landscapes every 5 kilometres. The second day we made our way to Jökulsárlón where we saw epic ice chunks on black sand! It was as if we had walked right into a Game of Thrones novel and magic was all around us.
We started our return drive to the city with a stop at Skaftafell and a hike up to the then, covered in mist, glacier. Since our arrival in Iceland we’d had nothing but rain and mist. One cloud after another sailed by. Now let me be clear, the weather in no way hindered our experience, in fact it made it feel much more magical…especially when The Mists of Avalon happened to by one of my favourite books growing up. On that fourth day driving back the same road we had come out on, the clouds parted and sun shone threw. All of a sudden we saw a whole other side of Iceland. Once again the landscape transformed before our eyes and new experiences where upon us.
We decided to take a stop on the side of the road. The suns rays were so inviting that we actually needed to de-layer a bit. As we did a thought flashed through my mind, and apparently Jasper’s at the very same moment. It didn’t take either of us long to realize we both had the same intentions…to run down the desolate road completely naked. Irene would stay back to take pictures and let us know if a car was coming. Seeing as we were on a flat stretch we figured we could always get back to the car if we saw another one coming.
So off came the clothes and out stretched the arms. I have never felt so free in my life or a higher sense of wholeness. What better way to spend the afternoon than running down the road in my birthday suit as the sun bore down. Let me tell you that this is not something I’ve done before or will necessarily do again, but the moment struck me and all I can say is I was bewitched by the land. I was so involved in my escape and freedom that I didn’t realize how far I’d actually gotten from the car. By the time I turned around to see Irene waving me down and the car approaching from behind her, it was too late. Not only was I never going to make it back to the car, but there wasn’t even a bush or a tree or a rock I could leap behind for cover. Left with no options I covered what I could with my hands and let the car pass by on the distant side of the slim road.
When I did finally get back to the car I don’t know if I’ve ever laughed harder in my life. We were all besides ourselves with giddy jubilation at who and what the others in the car passing by must have been thinking about a naked Canadian on the side of the road. Who they might tell and how they might laugh just as much as we had about the whole thing
There were many memories made in Iceland and I hope I get to return there soon. This day brought us much joy and this run gave us a shared experience we will never forget. I know it will always be with me and even as I write this I am laughing out loud. Good thing Irene stayed behind to take pictures, as now I am happily able to share them with you. It’s hard to take a bad picture in Iceland…you really have to try. Every single moment in this country felt like a little piece of magic served up on a silver platter, ready to be devoured, digested and made a part of me forever.