It’s early October and the long summer days are no more. The chance of spotting the northern lights increases while the temperature decreases. The days are getting shorter and the blue skies are fighting to be seen.
Iceland is like nowhere else we have been. It is “out of this world” without sounding too cliché.
Our romance with Iceland was ignited when we were welcomed with nature’s light show on the evening of our arrival. We couldn’t believe our luck when the day we flew into Reykjavik there was not a single cloud in the sky. It was only the night before we arrived, the auroras were so fierce and strong that the mayor switched off the lights in the city for the phenomenon to be experienced by all, not just the over-zealous aurora-hunters.
Our number one travel wish list item was finally ticked off.
We know we are very fortunate to have witnessed the aurora borealis in all of her dancing glory. The following 7 nights, Aurora became shy and only appeared briefly or poked out occasionally behind dense clouds.
How do we begin to describe the sheer beauty of this country?
Jam-packed in its modest 103,000 km2 are massive glaciers and mountains sprawled across the horizon; waterfalls gushing loudly and proudly; thermal activity performing on cue. Even the knowledge of the volcanoes impatiently rumbling nearby with the earthquakes increasing in frequency and strength didn’t hamper our spirits. This country was truly something special and in a league of its own.
Every time we stopped to get that little bit closer to nature, we were greeted with harsh winds wanting to leave our cheeks numb and our teeth chattering. It didn’t matter though, we were easily distracted by what we saw.
Maybe we’ll just show you a little bit of what we saw.
Aside from the beauty of the country, the people are welcoming, friendly and frank. The food is also great but we might leave that for another post. And well, the language and pronunciations had us equally fascinated!
Our experience in Iceland was unforgettable, although we do wish the prices were forgettable. Ha! Thus is travel… One of these days we will be back for those long summer days, expensive or not!
Have you been to Iceland? What is your opinion?
Feel free to leave us any comments here.
The moment we drove up the highway and laid eyes on it… we were speechless! Water so blue, on a day where the sky was brilliantly blue. Sweeping mountainous backdrops. Yep…. no words can describe the sheer beauty.
And so, we won’t even try to use words… We do hope however our favourite photos of Lake Tekapo can do it some justice.
Lake Tekapo during the day:
Lake Tekapo at dusk:
Where have you been that has left you speechless?
We want to hear about a place you have been to where you were so overwhelmed with its beauty. Tell us here.
There are always plenty of things to love when travelling as well as things to like, things to be apathetic about and things to hate.
For example, living in Australia EVERY time we travel overseas, it usually involves a relatively long-flight. We HATE that…. The closest we can get to being in another country from Sydney is 3-hours away to New Zealand. But in the scheme of things it really is nothing.
New Zealand is teeming with so much goodness when it comes to travel, we don’t know why we haven’t been more often and sooner. Back in 2011, we did pay a flying visit to the North Island – what we saw was just a snippet. What we saw this time has definitely opened up our desire to go back.
The food so amazingly fresh, like this salmon dish we had right on a salmon farm. And to stay in a National Park and have this as our backyard (literally right outside our window). Is it too much to say, “we LOVE New Zealand”? But before we get to that, let’s talk about the things we hated…
What we hated
Actually, we didn’t hate much.
We hated only the sandflies. Everywhere we stopped, we felt like they would swarm towards us. They could smell our fresh “Aussie” meat.
Getting back into the car was a carefully planned operation in itself. Waving our arms around our bodies, while spinning around to ward them off before stealthy throwing opening the doors and sliding in… in the hope that we had lost them.
Nope… we failed miserably many times. Our ankles were mauled by these little pests. The bites would blister and itch like you can only imagine. We WERE going to show you pictures of our wounds but felt it was unfair to subject you to such images.
Score: Sand Flies 500 Le and David 0
What we loved
We could quite easily sum this up into ONE thing. New Zealand is beautiful… really beautiful!
We loved the scenery. It was ever changing. It was nature. It was pictereque. The fact, we could turn the corner and be graced with a gorgeous lake, mountain, valley.
We probably don’t need to give any more reasons, but here a couple more.
We also loved the open roads. As you may have gathered, we love road trips… and we love trips where the destination is exciting but also where the journey itself with the pretty scenery flying by our windows. Open roads give such a sense of freedom! We loved that we could go bushwalking and not fear facing deadly snakes (or any other deadly animal for that matter) along the way. Instead, we were able to do plenty of
And most of all, we love that New Zealand is so close to us and that we can just hop on a flight and be there within 3 hours.
Have you been to New Zealand?
Tell us about your thoughts and experiences here.
So it is all over! Now that we have completed the Camino, we can share the final instalment to our photo essays. If you have not seen the other 2 parts, part 1 covers St Jean Pied de Port to Belorado and part 2 covers Belorado to Astorga.
This final series is from Astorga to Santiago de Compostela.
Hope you enjoy the photos.
And as we are now not focusing on walking the Camino, we are back in full swing in the blogosphere once more 🙂
Enjoy your week ahead!
As always, we welcome your comments.