I think I've been to the moon and back.
Upon landing, I was met with acres and acres of sprawling desolate land. It was cragged, fractured - but solid in it's base. It looked to the naked eye like it had won a long, hard fought duel with nature's unpredictability. The rocks' dark grey colouring spoke of defiant triumph - but the covering, creeping mosses challenged the space. Half flat and spreading out like a concluded historic battle scene between the elements, I wondered where it would end.
And that's where Iceland's beauty began for me. Barely blasted by human hands, I could see from the outset that the country worked with nature - not against it. The endless rocks grew from the ground like blossoming geraniums. Like craters on the moon, it was inhospitable terrain but insistently voiced itself as some kind of beautiful, dark matter. With three hundred thousand people only playing a minute role in its growth.
The Icelandic people look like calm, ready, friendly-faced fighters.
I stayed in an Airbnb, during the month of September, in Reykjavík, and I'd do so again. Only the next time around I'd pick my half more wisely. In one half of the city the smell of Sulfur (like dining at a rotten egg buffet) rises from the water - but in the opposing half the wafting stench ceases to exist. It's nature's trickery. I'd also think twice about taking out a small bank loan - or relying more heavily on my lotto chances. Everything is expensive.
The Icelandic diet consists of a lot of meat, seafood... and Skyr.
Like the stoic standing of my native Scotland, you're very aware of nature's chopping and changing mindset in Iceland. It's as though all of the elements - from sunshine and rain to wind - are fighting, pushing, for their prime time in the spotlight in the space of 24 hours. And then, as a finale, the night sky above you spouts and spreads shades of Northern light in rich, jewel tones.
And they don't call it The Golden Circle tour for nothing. Everywhere I turned there it was: A volcano at every stop-and-stare checkpoint. With its light rumbles, spits, and feathered steam, its stationary position was in opposition to its purpose. Geothermal power plays a vital role in producing the country's electricity. The people and the power plants work together to protect our planet. Up another hill, or around another bend and you'll come face-to-face with another geyser - or two. Demanding the crowd's attention the geyser stays silent, gently bubbling over, ...then hurls water neck-crane high into the atmosphere. Keep looping, and you'll hear the boisterous boom of water trying to retreat to the ocean. In direct sight, the waterfall's power is continuous, and ferocious in its determination and scale. Hence why Iceland relies on its hydropower capabilities.
But if there was ever a moment when I thought it would be possible to walk on water and the moon, the Blue Lagoon handed it to me. When you push its puffs of white smoke aside, its icy blue composition opens up. Looking past a sea of clay-masked humans, the surrounding undulating mountains reflect off the tranquil turquoise pool like a mirage, a miracle.
The Kardashians may have dipped in the Blue Lagoon before me, but I think, therefore I must have been to the moon and back.