Maybe it is a simple get-away for some much-needed R&R in the sun to sip margaritas on an exotic beach. Possibly a yearning to explore the historic sites of the mysterious pyramids of Egypt or to stand in the Colosseum in Rome imagining the roar of the crowd at the ancient gladiator games or to wander around Machu Picchu high up in the mountains of Peru. Often, we are drawn to a location made famous in scene or setting of a major movie or popular TV series – the need to see something or a place with your own eyes.
Imagine you are Rocky running up the 68 steps leading to the Philadelphia Museum of Art with the tune “Gonna Fly Now” ringing loud in your head. How about taking a “Day Off” to pose thoughtfully while gazing at paintings in the Art Institute of Chicago as Ferris Bueller did with Sloane and Cameron. Stop for lunch at Katz’s Deli in New York to say, “I’ll have what she’s having” over a deep conversation like Harry and Sally. How about a hike through Hanapepe Valley in Kauai Hawaii envisioning Spielberg’s Jurassic Park genetically reproduced dinosaurs thundering amongst the trees?
I recently returned from an amazing week vacation in one of my favorite countries, The Land of Fire and Ice. Iceland is like nowhere else on the planet, one simple photograph can be viewed as a NASA photo of Mars or the Moon, yet another photo will give the appearance of pure paradise. Whatever way you look at it, the sheer science of this island is fascinating from the geothermal activity of the many active and dormant volcanic landscapes, glaciers, ice caves and lava tunnels to many magnificent waterfalls, dramatic black sand beaches and natural mineral rich geothermal spas. Not to mention, this is one of the only places in the world where the tectonic plates are above sea level and you are able to stand one foot in Europe and the other in North America AT THE SAME TIME!
You simply can’t visit Iceland only once unless you plan a very long extended stay. Every season offers something different. The landscape is extraordinary in the summer the long days of nearly 24 hours of sunlight on a mesmerising green moss-covered lava field terrain provides plenty of time to meander through your day’s itinerary. In the winter during the shorter days of 4 to 6 hours of sunlight you will be awed by the beauty of mostly black and white scenery then astonished with the possibility of experiencing the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights – a natural phenomenon lightshow that dances across the dark skies in bright pinks, greens, yellows and purples. During my recent stay, I was very lucky to have 4 chances to witness this and YES! Absolutely, every show was different and quite hypnotic.
We all have a “Bucket List”. I also have a “Do This Again Bucket List” – Iceland is on both!!
I was captivated with Iceland and am intent on returning, regretting that my first visit was way too short!! This is such a unique country and one of the most compelling places on Earth.