Day 14/365 - On bittersweet endings

Day 14

Our last day in Iceland was bittersweet. We managed to drive through a blizzard on semi-icy roads to see our last point of interest: the Golden Circle. Driving through some points felt like we were surrounded by a thick white blanket of snow and fog in the distance. 

First we stopped by Thingvellir National Park valley, and were forced to pay a parking fee for running out to take a quick look for a few minutes. We then braved the unfavorable weather conditions on car and by foot, almost being blown away by heavy winds at the peak of the Gulfoss waterfall mountains. Lastly, we descended to the Strokkur Geyser (which erupts sporadically and often, every few minutes) and hot springs (which are between 80-100C even in the dead of winter).

Looking back at our short visit, there are many things I will remember. We learned that Iceland has many known and hidden beauties all along its coast and inland. We saw the moon rise out majestically out of clouds each night after sunset, with a pink hue surrounding its large face and gradually getting smaller in the night sky. During our stay the moon was full and semi-full, so we got to enjoy the lunar mystic energy each night. On a less positive note, we also learned that it’s a luxury and a privilege to be able to afford daily expenses here, ranging from basic needs of food and clothing to commodities like gas and alcohol.

The Icelandic people like to dress nicely, build practical homes, and enjoy the weekends by relaxing and partying. They are friendly and less aware of keeping personal space than New Yorkers. Their radio stations have a lot of music playing (pop, country American and Icelandic) with little commercials, but occasional larger talk-show intermissions. 

I will remember this trip for a long time. The quote that stood out to me from the Geyser today said, “Nature does not care for your money.” That is my takeaway from this experience.