Iceland: the land of fire and ice

Rachel Makinson reminisces on her time in Iceland. From the phenomenal views of the mountains and glaciers to the vibrant double rainbows.

Rachel Makinson
8th June 2020
Image Credits: Atão Moreira from
The first thing we saw through the plane window was an expanse of jet black beaches, dusted with white. Only the odd miniature car wound along the roads. 

From Keflavik airport, we drove to Eyrarbakki, a small fishing village on the south coast of the country. The roads took us through a plethora of snow crowned mountains, wisps of steam venting up from the ground.

Image Credit: Tyrateit on commons.wikimedia

Even the houses were beautiful — a lot of them are made out of brightly coloured corrugated iron, but somehow they seem like a natural part of the landscape. You can’t quite picture it any other way. There were horses almost everywhere, running across expanses of grassland and galloping in the snow — like something you’d see on a postcard or calendar.

We stayed right by the sea. From the house, you only had to cross the road and then you’d find yourself standing on the jet sand. There were lots of rock pools, and most mornings, bubble-bath like foam bobbed on the waves. 

One day we went hiking. We walked for almost three hours to the top of a mountain, where people were swimming in the hot springs. The view was phenomenal  — miles upon miles of emptiness, and calmness. Mountains, snow and glaciers, glinting in luminous sunshine.  

Image Credit: MoneyforCoffee (

We saw waterfalls too, surrounded by ice stalactites, some almost two meters long. We climbed up a rock face into a cave where a woman had supposedly hidden with her lover hundreds of years before. We even saw crisp double rainbows and water the colour of forget-me-nots. 

I think most people feel sad when it's time to leave Iceland, and most people probably can’t wait to go back again someday. 

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