December 4, 2018 By Amanda Wu

Solo Traveler: Iceland

With regard to most of my explorations in this world, there are three features: independent, impromptu, and require immediate adaptation.

In March of this year, I chose to pay a visit to the Icelandic capital Reykjavik. Despite the figure showed 1~3 degrees, the perceived temperature was actually minus 5~7 degrees due to the piercing wind.

5 o’clock in the morning I hit the airport. With dimming lights and freezing wind, I headed downtown and checked in the Airbnb. On my way, I was intrigued to see sheet metal houses painted in miscellaneous colors. It feels like the Icelanders were trying their best to maximize the beauty of steel and to bring “colors” to their plain life.

Not until two in the afternoon had I woken up from the fatigue of jet lag. After refreshing myself, I went to the city center to enjoy my lunch and began planning my three-day-trip. To be frank, I do this all the time, brainstorming the trip and planning all the Must-GOs upon arrival. I seldom plan ahead because I adore the excitements of improvisation.

By strolling in the streets, one could felt that the pure simplicity was in the air and generated into a sense of true comfort. The downtown of Reykjavik was small but delicate. As far as the eyes could reach, there were no extravagant skyscrapers or dazzling boutiques but colorful steel houses and unique local shops. I spent 2 hours indulging in the area’s purity and went purchasing all the tickets I need for the rest of the days afterward. In order to seize the day, 8 o’clock that night, I immediately headed to my first stop in Iceland: The well-known Blue Lagoon.

The temperature dropped drastically at night. At the locker room, I put on my bikini a and wrapped myself in a towel. In order to enjoy soaking in this splendid 40-degree-geothermal-spa, I had to make through a five-second-path with this sub-zero temperatures. The biting wind hit my unprotected face mightily, I had no choice but covered my ears with my hands to relieve the pain. However, despite different stories told above and below my neck, interestingly, in this fairyland-like pool, my body seemed to obtain a subtle release from the contrastive switch of hot and cold.

It was middle of the night when I returned to the downtown. With quiet and chilly surroundings, I grabbed a Must-eat hotdog standing beside the road and finished it. By recalling my memories and having the assistance of the map, I was able to find the way back to my accommodation. As soon as I closed the door, I finally let my guards down and relaxed both physically and mentally. That night, I just went out like a light...

Next day morning, I paid a visit to the spectacular volcanic tunnel. Just by thinking that it has last for more than five thousands years, I couldn’t help but amazed by it from the bottom of my heart. How oddly beautiful it was for icicles covering up the tunnel, and icy-snow carpeting the ground! Yet we all had to move with a walking stick and snow grips. In this deep and freezing tunnel, I had no idea how I made through all of this.

In the afternoon, I went to the Strokkur Geyser which no one should miss when in Iceland. This breathtaking site taught me that anything could happen in the mysterious nature. Looking at the muddy-hot-spring on the ground, I patiently waited for its eruption after the accumulation of energy. Luckily, I witnessed the fleeting moment twice. Although it only lasted for two to three seconds each time, I was still grateful to be there in person. Afterward, I went to the Thingvellir National Park and the Gullfoss Glacier Waterfall. No pictures were taken there because my phone failed to withstand the perishing wind. What a pity! Still, I stood against the chilly wind, staring at this stunning waterfall with full attention. Its profound beauty deeply pounded my soul. Not until it was time to leave, I could not bear to part with the remarkable scenery.Nature continues to surprise and elevate me in miscellaneous ways. The secrets of the earth are way too sacred for us human to get a whole picture. What we could do is just fulfilling our duties and trying to add more colors to the earth.

Nevertheless, my fortune did not make it to the last day. In the afternoon, I didn’t see any whales jumping out of the ocean on my whale-watching cruise. Not even my aurora-chasing trip surprised me when I sailed northward at night. I was only welcomed by foggy mist in the sky. After all of this, I understood that we couldn’t always take things for granted, and sometimes we just needed a little fortune and luck. Moreover, after two consecutive cruises, I suffered motion sickness due to too much swaying on the ocean; but it also made me realize the limits that my body could bear.

Though I just stayed in Iceland for three days, my horizons were still broadened and my heart was stolen by the magnificent nature. I lamented the power of the Creator and thanked the nature for its contribution! It was a special but exhausting experience to sightseeing in wintertime, and it literally took a lot of energy to travel in such a cold season. Therefore, next time I will go in the summertime to explore and embrace the incredible glaciers under a shining sun. Iceland, a unique country with marvelous geographical wonders, is definitely a place that you should visit in your lifetime.













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