Reyk­javic, Ice­land

Oth­er­worldly doesn’t be­gin to de­scribe a coun­try fa­mous for its stun­ning light dis­play and geo­ther­mal spas

Red Magazine - - Contents -

Sit­u­ated some­where be­tween the At­lantic and Arc­tic oceans, Ice­land, one would say, is aptly named. “I knew it was go­ing to be cold, but this weather was crazy. I had to buy ad­di­tional ther­mals to keep me warm,” says An­drea Martel. But don’t be put off by the bit­ing tem­per­a­ture. Andy de­scribes Ice­land’s beauty as ethe­real, oth­er­worldly—as if you were in an­other planet, she swears.

Trav­el­ing with friends in a rented 4x4, Andy soaked up her sur­round­ings, stop­ping over oc­ca­sion­ally to get a good view of nat­u­ral and man-made land­marks like the Hall­grím­skirkja Cathe­dral, an ar­chi­tec­tural won­der com­pa­ra­ble to the leg­endary Norse City As­gard. She also saw the Great Geysir, the Gull­foss wa­ter­fall, and the glaciers at Skálanes. “I thought Ice­land was go­ing to be all white,” she says, “but it’s ac­tu­ally very lush.”

Bláa Iónio, or the Blue La­goon, a geo­ther­mal spa, is one of her fa­vorites. The water was a per­fect 37°C, a re­fresh­ing out­take from the 2°C weather. Guests can rent a pri­vate la­goon and en­joy cock­tails at the pool bar.

The high­light of her trip: wit­ness­ing the Aurora Bo­re­alis, or North­ern Lights, from a rented villa by Gly­mur, Ice­land’s tallest wa­ter­fall. It was per­fect tim­ing for Andy who hap­pened to be in the coun­try in the year when the nat­u­ral phe­nom­e­non was said to ap­pear at its best be­cause of the way the stars are aligned.

“My friends and I went out to see the North­ern Lights three more times dur­ing the trip,” she says. “We’re hop­ing to go to Fin­land next, where we hope to see more of its glory.”

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