April 9, 2016

My Icelandic Immersion Ends

In my last post from Iceland, and before I return back to more traditional gardening posts, here are some of the various images from both the two cities of Reykjavik and Akureyi in the north.

The snow melted quickly in Reykjavik, on most days, the temperatures hovered around freezing. Iceland was very similar in climate to New England, at least in March and April.

It's just a couple of weeks after Easter Sunday here in Iceland, and many of the stores and homes are still decorated.

There is still plenty of snow cover in the north, where one is closer to the polar regions, but even in Reykjavik, which is in the souther eastern portion of the country, there was some snow. It was snowing when our flight  arrived and snowing back in Boston, as well.

There are only a handful of geysers in the world, and some of the best happen to be in Iceland. 

Reykjavic lays just south of many mountain ranges, and the rest of the country - extending many miles and hours north, is relatively barren with a few farms in between. From across the fjord here, you can see raw nature just miles away.

We visited Iceland's version of Home Depot, and were impressed with the color selection for home colors in their paint department. Coral-red, mustard, sage and light blues - clearly, the colors were limited but I can't help but imagine that this palette helps make the island nation look even nicer.

Driving north, Jess and I stopped to climb a few ridges to appreciate the amazing views, often with any sign of man in sight. No roads, street lights, jet trails but occasionally electrical wires on pylons. With so much geothermal energy,  electricity production is big business in Iceland.
Can you see the rainbow? This remote lake was frozen, and with only the site and sound of migrating birds. In a few weeks. when the ice thaws, these lakes will host one of the Planet's most diverse and rich populations of nesting waterfowl and waders.

It was encouraging to see that in some of the very remote areas, these pylons are forbidden. This sign was seen driving north on the western coast, where one could see for at least 30 miles and not see even a pylon.

Once in the north, only a few miles from the Arctic Circle, the temperatures were significant'y colder, and it snowed most every day.

In the northernmost city of Akureyi, the second largest city in Iceland, a  fearless use of color tints many homes. Homes here appear to made either of concrete, or sided in corrugated metal. Probably due more to the cost and shortage of wood than the cold.

Google helped us find our favorite coffee shop, although, once we found it, we discovered that it very 'Wes Anderson'-like.

The Icelandic Winter Games was one reason why we went to Iceland. The idea of skiing under the Northern Lights intrigued us, but that never happened. There was clearly a 'small town' feel about this event, which we really liked.  Snowboard pipelines, and a snow mobile rally made the night exciting, high above the small city and ocean beyond.

It was snowing hard, but the steep snowy slopes were no match for the many 4X4's that made their way up the hill.
No trees, and a very arctic looking ocean to ski down to, made the experience very special and unique. You could ski with your eyes closed, because there were so few people here.

Super premium all natural fish snacks - - - for dogs. It's what Icelandic dogs eat.

One of the first things I do, when visiting another country, is to peruse the supermarket aisles. This looked interesting.

Our AirBNB was so pretty, the host is clearly an artist, with her paintings on most every wall, and lots of Scandinavian influenced color and patterns. Jess, as  a designer herself,  really liked it.

Jess posed on one of the many colorful sofas in our AirBNB.

On the way back 'home' to Reykjavic, the setting sun enhanced the views.

This country had such amazing vista's and nature, that even though there were few interesting plants, especially in winter, I am certain that I will return again.


  1. So glad you had a chance to see so much of that lovely country. It is one of my favorite places. Thanks for all the photos. Its great to see a place through another's eyes.

  2. Thank you for the sharing your views of Iceland. Never been there and won't be, but I do enjoy learning about other places. Seeing it through your eyes and notes was a pleasure.
    British Columbia, Canada.

  3. What beauty with the mountains and the water! I've always wanted to go to Iceland. One of these days. I enjoyed seeing the pictures!

  4. I think I would find it oddly liberating to travel without being distracted by plants, and to see what everyone else gets to see. Thank you for sharing this series of posts; I've always been fascinated by Iceland.


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