To the remote wonder ground, where you can hear the heartbeat of the earth
The name of a country sometimes reflects the image of the country itself. Iceland, an island nation that floats to the far north of Europe, is a great example of this. Covered in ice, it has a cold and harsh environment all year round. However, the place we visited was like out of a fairy tale, where clouds were fluttering in the clear sky, and the mountain range and cityscape blend warmly. Here you can find countless volcanoes, the largest glaciers in Europe, and a sky and land that change with the seasons. All these sights allow you to feel the throbbing life of our planet. In Iceland, you’ll find a magnificent views that will show you unseen parts of the earth.
An invitation to magnificent scenery
In early summer, while the snow still remains on the peaks, flowers sprout in the grass and everyone is full of expectations for the summer to begin. Imagine the great sight of the “white nights”, days when the sun never sets. When winter approaches, the mysterious northern lights start to flutter in the sky. There is an anecdote that the Vikings who migrated to Iceland around the 9th century decided to call it “Iceland” in order to protect this island rich in natural resources from invaders. It’s an anecdote, but the stories of the country’s nature have a literary feeling to them, and in fact when you see such beautiful sights it’s not easy to find words to describe them.
The Althing – world heritage site and pride of the people
About a two-hour drive from Reykjavik you can find the Thingvellir National Park, the giants geysers, and the Gullfoss Waterfall, Iceland’s biggest waterfall. These three places together are known as the Golden Circle. At the Strokkur geyser, you can see the surface of the water rise and fall, just as if the earth was breathing. Water spouts from it every four to eight minutes with a big roar. You can see how the water surface rises and blows up all at once, making a buzzing sound from inside the hole. Gullfoss Waterfall is a magnificent waterfall with an average of 140 tons of water per second flowing down in two steps over the lava, raising white smoke. You can feel that you have become one with the living earth.
Thingvellir National Park is a very unusual place where the seabed mountains are exposed above the ground. It seems that the Eurasian and North American plates meet at the boundary called “gjá”, and due to their movement, the country is expanding by several centimeters a year. It is in this setting that the world’s oldest democratic conference, the “Althing”, has been held since 930 AD. It is exciting to imagine how the islanders gathered in this great nature, enacted the Icelandic constitution and declared independence.
Natural energy that is close to people’s lives
There is another way you can experience the power of the earth you saw in the Golden Circle. The blue lagoon, the world’s largest open-air bath with about 5,000 square meters, suddenly appears in the middle of nowhere. It is an artificial hot spring that reuses the hot water pumped from the basement of an adjacent geothermal power plant. Wrapped in rising water vapor and soaked in milky white water, you can feel as if you are in a huge bath called the earth! Geothermal energy is an important energy source in volcanic Iceland. Approximately 70% of domestic electricity is generated through hydroelectric power, making use of the volume of water in glaciers and waterfalls, with the remaining 30% being produced through geothermal power generation, a clean energy powerhouse.
A city surrounded by nature
After enjoying the unique nature, take a walk in Reykjavik, the northernmost capital of the world. The city has a population of about 120,000 people and is compact enough to walk around. First of all, let’s go to the city’s landmark Hallgrimskirkja Church. This church was designed with the image of magma that had cooled from the erupting volcano and solidified. It’s futuristic, yet blends into the city of Reykjavik in harmony with nature. Climb to the observatory and you’ll see a scene like a colorful toy box. Colorfoul houses will warm your heart in this northern land.
You will come across many other mysterious and unique buildings when you walk around the city. Their designs are inspired by the mountains, the earth and the brilliance of light. In Iceland, the city and even the people seem a part of nature and the earth. Iceland is a small island country in the north, but at the same time is a big country where you can meet many wonders. As we depart, the Imagine Peace Tower, a tower of light that stretches pale toward the night sky, sees us off. I gently pray in my heart to be able to come back again.