You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*
Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?
*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?
“Listen here. It is so quiet … absolutely no noise.” My words carry over to my friend & travel companion Björn from Iceland, whose face immediately breaks into a knowing smile. Noticing the absolute absence of noise has us world citizens & urban dwellers almost shriek with delight. Even the sea cradles the coast in a peaceful embrace here today, at the western-most point of Iceland, right by the foot of the mighty glacial massif of the Snæfellajökoll. Quietly lapping. As if gently tapping … at the giant volcano’s feet, not wanting to wake the very mountain spirit that still inhabits this long extinct volcano. Or the Elven family that lives in its foothills. It might all very well be, as I have recently found out studying at the Icelandic Elf School in Reykjavik.! Magic is definitely in the air here in Iceland, even if this air is likely to hit you in the face first of all during this cold winter climate. Thankfully, no Iceland experience is complete without a visit to the country’s hot pools. “Even the great historian Snorri Sturluson has already taken a bath here in Reykholt during the 12th century”, Björn smiles and points towards a hot tub that is surprisingly well-kept and inviting for its age. No hot tub as you might like to imagine, but a hot tub nonetheless …!
But let us move on to the very essence of this story.
15 pictures of today’s pleasure moments. 15 reasons for your next road trip to Western Iceland. And countless Thank you’s, dear Björn, for taking me on such a great trip with you!
Starting our day trip out of Reykjavik: It definitely helps to know where you are going. Despite the Icelandic people being totally relaxed and utterly helpful if you do happen to get lost on the country’s few main roads, it pays to check the directions – but considering names like these, you might end up lost anyway ..!
Some 20 kilometres past the small town of Reykholt, Björn is proud to show me the lava waterfalls of Hraunfossar, one of Western Iceland’s many natural wonders …
… the colours here by the river get me completely hooked as a landscape photographer: I am even tempted not to think about the -9°C surrounding us in this very moment.
Slowly but surely, the sun creeps up its way and over the horizon here in Reykholt. It is early November and just before 11.00 in the morning … six weeks to go until winter solstice that leaves Icelanders with only about six hours of daylight & twilight.
Thank God there is a silver lining on the horizon to all of this – or rather on the ground, that is! Welcome to one of the oldest stone pools in Iceland that have already been used by the likes of the great historian Snorri Sturluson, filled with hot water of the nearby Skrifla hot water springs.
Just how hot it is, is an idea we get from the intense steam around the source waters that boil up out of the ground at almost 100°C! The entire town of Reykholt is thus heated, as well as Björn’s uncle’s greenhouse right beside it, where he grows vegetables such as tomatoes or bell peppers. Geothermal energy accounts for almost everything here in Iceland!
Energy for Road Trip Foodies like us: Burger stop at one of Björn’s favourite roadside restaurants in Borgarnes. “Dear me, are you seriously taking pictures of our lunch menu?”, he asks me acting appalled but of course laughing at my constant habit of taking pictures of the food we eat. Quite right, dear Björn: Sometimes, you just have to laugh at yourself don’t you!
Off we go further on our journey heading West: What a landscape, don’t you think? Pointing out the landmark church, Björn simply replies that “the church (as everywhere) owns much of the land, its priests also farmers looking after the land.” Of course – right here in the Icelandic Outback!
“Birds of a feather flock together”: Even the (few) houses out here seem to huddle against each other to protect themselves from the cold.
Petrol stop in Iceland!
I have met my dear travel companion and local friend Björn some four years ago on a trip to Peru. Today, we meet again in his home town of Reykjavik: Thank you so much, dear Björn, for this wonderful road trip enriched by so many details of your family life and personal stories connected to the land of Iceland!
View upon the Western shores of Iceland, peaceful in the distance …
… before heading back around 3.00 p.m., with the light already subsiding back into twilight and leaving us with this unique caption of a snowy mountain range near the Western Iceland road …
… now I am hoping that you enjoyed this trip as much as I did. See you soon in Iceland: This country will definitely see me again. 😀
Haven’t had enough yet? I haven’t either … Iceland really is too good to be true. Many more breathtaking photographs (yes, this time truly “breathtaking”!) are to be seen here:
Ready for learning even more about creative travel?
Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it