Initial contact with Iceland, Nov 15th.

After a 24h stop-over in Stockholm, I’m arriving in Keflavik.

The landing was smoother than expected, even if a little bit bumpy . I checked the weather forecast and we might be confronted with a heavy wind and snowstorm during the first two days. All signals are orange and people are advised not to drive south. I think I might have to adapt my travel plan…

After picking up the  key of my rental car (a faithful Golf) I’m leaving the terminal to get the car to drive to Reykjavik, where I’ll spend my first night and get some supply. Not that I’m aiming at living a full “into the wild” kind of adventure but there is basic stuff that you need to carry around in rough environment.

Anyway, while exiting from the terminal I notice two obvious things. First it’s almost dark (it’s only 4pm) and damn this wind is strong. So strong that I can barely open the car’s door. And as soon as I open it, it almost smashes the car parked next to it . Some’ tells me that the full coverage insurance will be worth the extra-charge…

Reykjavik is a rather small city that boasts a few nice-to-see, such as the Harpa Concert Hall. My hostel  is well located in the city centre, so it’s a good base to explore the vicinity. Nonetheless, it’s starting to snow quite fiercely and the wind makes it worse. So with the other guys/girls I’m sharing a room with, we decide to head to a small burger place to have dinner together. Two of them being American, the discussion revolves quickly around the newly elected president. But let’s skip this part and move forward to the day after.

I’m checking constantly the weather app to look for a clear window. The main quest of this trip is to spot Northern Lights, which require the combination of three elements (solar wind, dark night and no clouds). But because of the super moon (on Nov the 14th) I won’t probably see one until a few days. So I decide to head up north where the weather should be, according to the forecast, better.

So the journey will take me to Stykkishólmur, on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.

As I am driving out of Reykjavik, I am looking at the landscapes, which are beautiful of course, but at the same time are bringing a feeling of solitude (you meet almost nobody on the road) and roughness out. Everything has to strive to survive in Iceland. The plants, the animals. When you look at the birds, the sheep or the horses, they are covered with a thick layer of feathers or hairs. But still, they graze in the middle of the fields with no single shelter. And the threes, when you encounter one, look like dead species. Life is tough and so are the people living there.


I make a few stops on the way but every time, it is a struggle to even open the car’s door.

I keep driving north and the weather is still horrible. However, I pass the Hvalfjörður Tunnel (quite impressive) and a first mountain chain and suddenly, the sun starts to shine behind it. What a beauty, the entire landscape changes and the sun rays bring out all the subtlety of Mother Nature, its contrasts and its elegance. And all of a sudden I realize that there is something quite special about this land, nothing that I’ve encountered so far. Let’s this journey begin, but I have a good feeling about it…




Click on the thumbnail to enlarge the pictures and stay tuned for chapter 2…

In the meantime I’ll leave you with Møme to get in the mood.