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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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我的旅行,多半是一個人,而且向來都非常即興,必須瞬間搞懂

今年三月,我選擇來到冰島首都雷克雅維克,氣溫看似有零上1~3度,其實風很大,體感只有零下5~7度。

一早五點多抵達機場,在寒風中摸黑搭車前往市區的Airbnb住宿。市區的房子幾乎是上了各色油漆的鐵皮屋,這感覺蠻妙的,像是冰島人盡可能修飾粗糙無趣的鐵皮,最大化鐵皮所能展現的美麗。

因著飛行的疲累,倒頭睡到下午兩點。起床到市中心吃午餐,一邊才開始研究如何玩冰島。我都是不怎麼先做功課,到了再說,總覺得這樣比較刺激、能激出更多腦力!於是一邊吃飯,也真的一邊搞懂了冰島的玩法和必去之景點,規劃好3天的行程。

之後先在市區散散步認識環境。市區很小很樸實,沒有絢麗的大樓與精品,反倒是被七彩鐵皮平房和特色小店,創造出一種平實真切的舒適感。約2小時逛完,接著去買所有行程的票,把握時間,當晚八點開始第一站,冰島必泡:藍湖溫泉

晚上氣溫真的降到零下,而從更衣室到溫泉必需走約5秒鐘的路,我穿著bikini、包了一條圍巾,靠著意志力撐過這難熬的5秒,直衝40度的地熱溫泉。寒風仍繼續強烈的打在臉上,我不得不用雙手摀住耳朵減輕疼痛,而頸上的冰冷與頸下的40度泉水形成強烈對比!但有趣的是,身體似乎在這冷熱之間、在這仙境般的池裡,得到一種微妙的釋放!

回到市區,已是午夜,買了冰島必吃的熱狗。半夜在冷清的市區、冷風的吹襲下,站在路邊吃完它。然後邊看地圖+憑著印象找到回住處的路。回到房間終於能把警覺心關上、意志力卸下,讓泡完温泉的身心徹底放鬆。那晚,不到一秒鐘即刻睡著⋯

第二天,一早來到不可思議的五千年火山隧道,光是想到它已存在五千年,心底便湧現一股讚嘆!!隧道裡佈滿冰柱,漂亮中帶點詭異,地上又是雪又是冰,每人必須撑著拐仗,腳底必須套上止滑鐵鍊。隧道又深又冷,說真的我都搞不清楚我到底怎麼撐下去的。

下午前往冰島必看:史托克間歇泉。在奧秘的大自然中,真的沒有所謂不可能。靜靜看著地上的泥濘、滾燙的泉水,心中期待著大自然蓄積能量後的噴發!幸運地看到了兩次,雖然每次只短短兩三秒,但能親眼所見也已心滿意足。之後前往辛格韋德利國家公園古佛斯冰河瀑布,手機因承受不了被既強烈又寒冷的冰風吹襲,電池馬上就沒電⋯⋯可惜無法留下照片。壯觀盛大的冰河瀑布,很美、很深奧、很震撼!不管冷風怎樣吹,我堅持專注地看著它,直到非得上車那一刻。大自然不斷使我驚豔,大自然不斷使我跳脫,地球太深奧,我們不過只是在努力扮演好我們的角色,試著為地球添加一點點顏色。

第三天,就不太幸運了。下午乘船去賞鯨,但不見任何鯨魚跳躍至海面。晚上再乘船到更北的海域等著看極光,但⋯又再次敗興而歸,只見天空出現一點點白霧,但並沒有極光出現。我想很多事都不是理所當然,總需要些運氣與緣份。一連搭了兩趟船,身體禁不起過多的搖晃,竟開始頭暈,不過這也讓我知道身體所能承受的極限。

短短冰島三天,開了更多的眼界,心裡留下無限震憾,感嘆造物主的大能,感激大自然的貢獻!雖然在寒冷中觀光,也是種特別的體驗,但說實話其實很累,身體必需多花很多能量與之對抗。下次我還要去,在夏天的時候去,我要在溫暖陽光下,舒舒服服的探索更多冰河所帶來的的驚喜!真心推薦大家,一定要去這個如此特別的國家,感受冰島獨有的地理奇觀!

  

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