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Ice and fireICELAND


Ice and fire

Article published in Superwheels magazine in 2000.

Journey to Iceland, where nature reigns supreme and still makes it possible to savor that taste of adventure that has almost disappeared in the rest of Europe.

Read the story published in the magazine.

We often plan trips, holidays for years, without ever being able to put them into practice, only to decide when one least expects it. I don't know if this has ever happened to you.

After the Scandinavian experience, I had finally decided to make a project that has been in the pipeline for some time operational: ICELAND!

Talking about it with friends, Mario and Anna, they showed me an undisguised interest in the idea.

Ok, let's talk about it. Thus begins the programming made up of ferry connections, motorway transfers, documentation on places to visit.

At the end of spring, I realize that the two friends are not joking at all, indeed they are probably even more determined than me; then ferry booking and departure at the end of July.

Once arrived, I immediately realize that compared to other countries in Northern Europe, the music here has completely changed: we are in high season, and the ferry is fantastically half full. Very few people on motorcycles and some off-road vehicles.

The Danish islands welcome us with a real crap of weather: very low clouds, rain, and a decent cold. Let's get off to a good start !!

We settle in the hostel in Tjornuvik, and spend the 2 days of forced rest visiting the island.

Anyway after 5 days, we finally arrive. The weather is not very bad, but this is a characteristic of the island: in fact, although not of significant size, it has very different climatic conditions from one area to another. All this is due to the proximity to the Arctic Circle, and to the extensive presence of glacial masses, which determine a relatively better weather in the northeastern part. And this is precisely the first part of our visit, since we are not cyclists, we can travel it counterclockwise, without worrying about the winds, which, especially in the southern part of the island, always blow constantly, often violently, sometimes even worse, from east to west.

It soon becomes clear that we have arrived in a very particular place: even the Ring Road, the only real road that runs around the island, is often unpaved.

Nature reigns supreme: spaces, colors, incredible natural phenomena for a country, which only politically belongs to Europe, but with which it has nothing to share, geographically speaking.

Many claim that Iceland is the last territory in Europe, where man must fight with nature for survival.

This impression of inhospitality soon vanishes, thanks also to the extraordinary beauty of the sceneries that are jealously protected and protected by its few inhabitants.

There remains only a vague sense of respect also dictated by a spirit of conservation constantly alerted even by small details: the very low population density; the presence along the 1 the ring road, of small prefabricated shacks for climatic emergencies, of orange color, of the studios with 2 beds, provided for a couple of days and a radio transceiver where to take refuge in case of sudden deterioration of the weather, possible at any time of the year; the lack of electricity poles, which does not happen even in Africa or South America.

As for the places of interest, in an actual couple of weeks on the island, time permitting, three would be better to see almost everything.

Absolutely not to be missed is the Askja caldera, one of the most incredible places I have ever seen: imagine a dirt road of 100 kilometers to arrive in a valley where there is a camp for the night, with a small refuge, often full, alone 8 beds; from there starts a ten-kilometer track, literally dug in a lava flow of gigantic proportions, to arrive in front of a glacier, 45 minutes of walking in the snow to arrive in the presence of 3 lakes of volcanic origin, one of which with warm waters , of geothermal origin, where you can immerse yourself and take advantage of the mud deposited on the bottom of the same. Absolutely not to be missed!

Then Landmannalugar, and the famous 5 foss, the waterfalls which, unlike the first 2 places, are easily accessible, as they are always not far from the Ring Road.

In Husavik, in the north of the island, with a short boat trip it is possible to go hunting, photographic of course, of whales. If you love this kind of thing, consider that they have the highest sighting rate in the world.

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