Iceland Impressions 1

May 6, 2013

“Life is but earth translated into force. . . . We are only earth transposed into force, just as coal is formed into flame and heat by the transmutation process applied to it.”
— from The Notebooks of David Ignatow, edited by Ralph J. Mills, Jr.

The landscape around Keflavik, Iceland

The landscape around Keflavik, Iceland

Lava rock

Lava rock

In Iceland, you can’t escape noticing the violent volcanic forces that shaped, and continue to shape, the landscape.  Coming from the Pacific Northwest, I was especially aware of the almost total absence of trees.  During my two-day stopover, I limited my explorations to the area near the Keflavik airport — I did not even make the hour bus ride to Reykjavik — and this rocky, moss-covered lava landscape was what I saw in all directions.

The Blue Lagoon (notice the people in the foreground soaking in the thermal waters)

The Blue Lagoon (notice the people in the foreground soaking in the thermal waters)

Stones and waters in the Blue Lagoon

Stones and waters in the Blue Lagoon

Of course, no trip to Iceland is complete without a soak in the thermal-heated waters of the Blue Lagoon, this country’s number one tourist attraction.  While Iceland does have plenty of natural thermal pools, the Blue Lagoon is actually artificial, created from the overflow from the adjacent thermal power station.  I enjoyed a relaxing soak and my skin felt revitalized from silicone mud available in tubs around the pools.

Iceland’s stark and alien landscape feels not forbidding, but rather remote and barren.  The wide open skies give a feeling of clarity and expansiveness.  I felt that my impressions were best captured by some of my camera’s photographic effects like the following:

Lava rock with tunnel effect

Lava rock with tunnel effect

Blue Lagoon with kaleidoscope effect

Blue Lagoon with kaleidoscope effect

Mossy growth on lava rocks with tunnel effect

Mossy growth on lava rocks with tunnel effect

And these photos taken on a short hike over the lava rock:

IMAGE_ECF2DAC8-3B61-47A2-BE2F-BE5965BA1A0FIMAGE_CA3E6C9D-2A85-40B1-B3FC-3B7A8BC21AA6IMAGE_43908B94-7843-4257-B0BC-ED7B7246E269IMAGE_9CC59725-5FCE-46F0-9FDF-4069F07F996D

3 Responses to “Iceland Impressions 1”

  1. Karin Says:

    I never felt so near to earth like in Iceland. End of March I visited my son there for one week and took many pictures. Maybe you like to look at them on my blog fadenspielundfingerwerk.blogspot.de
    Ok, I wrote in German, so the label for my posts is Island, not Iceland, but the pics talk their own language 😀
    Greetings from Germany, Karin

  2. Rosemary Says:

    Karin, I am so impressed with your photos of Iceland, and they make me even more determined to return someday. Reykjavik is so colorful, I’m sorry now I didn’t go there. I recognised the window quotes in the airport. Thank you for commenting and providing the link to your blog.

  3. shoreacres Says:

    I know so little of Iceland. There was a legal dispute in the news somewhat recently about a girl there who wished to have a name not in the register. I don’t know if she received permission to use the name or not. It’s so hard to think of a country with a list of approved names!

    Other than that – I think of the volcano that erupted in 2010, and fjords. That’s it. I’m looking forward to your other photos for a bit of education.

    I love the kaleidoscope effect. Combined with the colors, the photos make me think of William Morris prints.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: