Every now and again the stars are aligned and a bucket list travel opportunity happens. This was the case when it was recommended that my husbands band head to Iceland this winter to do some recording at Sundlaugin; a recording studio built inside a converted swimming pool (just imagine the acoustics!). The inspiration was to mix things up and bring in new creative energies to their upcoming album. So being the thoughtful guy that he is, my husband insisted that our girls and I come for an extended family vacation.
Uh, OK let me think about it.. ha, the decision was a no brainer! I flew solo with our girls on an overnight flight traveling in Icelandic Air's newest plane the Hekkla Aurora. Who knew planes could possibly be so charming? Wondrous Icelandic poems adorned the pillows and blankets while a simulated Northern Light display on the cabin ceiling gently lulled us to sleep. Well kinda, unfortunately my Magnolia gets severely motion sick….I won’t say anymore…well only that my girl is a trooper.
Once in Iceland we embarked in the most exhilarating experience of our lives! Our initial reaction was that we had somehow landed on the moon. The extraordinary landscape is truly otherworldly. It seemed each time you turned your head the view changed dramatically and the weather to match. We felt a beckoning call leading us in the direction of new adventures. Oh, we were game!
First up was a visit to the renowned wonder of the world the Blue Lagoon. Driving up to the location we all started cheering and flapping when we caught a glimpse of the unbelievable blueness of the water. The lagoon is mother-natures own geothermal spa, a giant lake-sized hot tub if you will. Folks travel from around the globe to bathe outside in these healing waters soothing a variety of itchy, irritable skin conditions. Once submerged in the water we slathered mineral rich mud all over our faces and basked in the warmth of the sun with a tropical drink in our hands. Wait, did we just jump out of our story and into the caribbean ocean? Nope this is pure North. Horizontal hail pelted our heads the whole time.
Each time our family travels, we set our sights on horseback riding trails. Iceland was absolutely a one of a kind experience as they have only their very own breed of horse on the island. These look like horses from the Hobbit or Game of Thrones, well actually these are them. One of our hard working horses moonlights as a cast member of the latter popular TV show. The horse farm we visited is called Laxnes, run by a jovial Icelandic equivalent of Zach Galifianakis. Photos hang on the stable walls with the likes of John C. Reilly and Ben Stiller yukking it up with the owners letting you know you’re in for a really good time! We rode through the breathtaking mountains feeling like empowered Walter Mitty, Viking badasses.
My biggest hope for this trip was to see the Northern Lights. At the beginning of 2015 I was declaring this to be the year of ‘light and color’, I’ve been gradually bringing Chakra work into my massage therapy practice and have found increasing resonance with color. I could only image how awe inspiring it would be to see essentially the earths aura on full display. We were disappointed that a night at the lovely Northern Lights Inn did not render a glimpse. Instead though, one early morning in our Reykjavic air bnb apartment I was feeling lucky and yanked open the blinds at just the right moment to catch the lively colourful Aurora Borealis painting the sky. Pure magic! Mostly emerald green swirls, splotches and wisps pulsed across the sky. I fell back to sleep with a feeling of alignment with all that is and my Chakras fully cleansed…Om.
The Icelandic people are beautiful. Their features and their hearts radiate an enduringly kind yet mischievous, subtleness and elegance. These are brave souls. The harsh winters do not keep them from frolicking outside in the elements. Icelanders are regularly outdoors half-naked in swimsuits during the winter season. They delight in their homeland hot springs while many of us western snowbirds flee, as if insulted, to southern climates. The dramatic landscape is always warm and welcoming deep down at its core- this land is the energy centre of the world for goodness sake!
Volcanic activity and geothermal energy is a way of life here. Heat? They’re practically giving it away! Incredibly the magnificent heat producing volcanos on this tiny island may offer renewable energy solutions in further places such as England. Even just hiking around the lava fields is like being a flea on a tea kettle. If not careful you may literally be scalded by steam spraying from the mountain rocks!
There may also be an entirely different species living amongst the rocks and caves. According to the back of the seat in front of me on Iceland Air, fifty-four percent of the islanders believe in Elves and Trolls and at times go so far as to have land examined before construction begins. This coming from a majority of critical thinkers of which thirty-four percent of the population hold university degrees. I’m sorry to say though that we did not meet any Elves on this trip.
Iceland you are a treasure and my family thanks you for the awesome adventure.
My name is Susannah and I have been a Registered Massage Therapist for over twenty-seven years and I love what I do!