Iceland - The South West, Land of Fire and Ice - Part 1

- By Shounak Mondal   .   May 20, 2018   .   

March 22, 2018 - Iceland

The long flight from Hong Kong to Helsinki in Finland and then to Iceland was almost about to conclude. As we approached Iceland, the terrain immediately but unsurprisingly turned snow laden and white. After all this was Iceland.


The large smoke vents on the left clearly showing first signs of tectonic activity and the Blue Lagoon - . the most popular geothermal spa in Iceland can be seen on the right of the image.


Our plane was nearly about to land and the landscape changed to barren and volcanic soil with the Ring road clearly seen from the top. This is the road we would be driving on for about 3000 kms all around the country.


Back on land in Reykjavik - this is a very interesting 3D map of Iceland built on top of a massive table. Its very detailed and an accurate representation of the entire country. We would truly appreciate the map at the end of our trip going around the table, identifying the cities and places where we stayed, the glaciers and the roads we drove on.


The unique terrain at Pingvellir. The ridge on the right is the European tectonic plate and the the one on the left is the American plate ! We were actually walking right in between two continents. The line where these two plates meet passes right through Iceland. In fact, this is the reason why the country exists. The constant friction between the plates caused thousands of volcanic erruptions over the years which led to the formation of Iceland ! For the more adventurous ones, here is an experience taking it one step further to an unforgettable dive between the two continents at the clear waters of the Sifra Rift.



Next stop was Kerid Crater. Its was a stunning view from the top on the edge of the "caldera" or the rim of the crater. In March/April, the lake is frozen. In summer, the color of the lake is bright acquamarine blue. Most of the egde from the top to bottom is steep except one side which has a gentle slope and once can easily descend all the way to the bottom.


The caldera is about 55 m deep but the lake itself is shallow at about 7 m depth. It was a pity that it started snowing heaviliy and I could not get to fly my drone to get a top view of the crater but Kerid was defintely worth visiting.


We kept driving on the ring road and arrived at our first waterfall in Iceland - Gullfoss. This is a mightly waterfall - one of the most powerful in Iceland. During winter, some of the paths closer to the waterfall is closed, but its still a magnificant view with two mighty cascades thundering down below.


This is the Strokkur Geysir. It vents out hot water and steam to a height of about 15-20 meters on an average every 7-10 minutes. The area has numerous other smaller vents and smells of sulphur. 

And with Þingvellir, the Geysers and Gullfoss - we completed the Golden circle tour which is what most tourists end up doing in case they come over for a short visit to Iceland.



Our total road trip of about 3000 Kms



Note : Island is one of the if not THE most expensive countries in the world. Don't buy water from departmental stores. The water is pure and drinkable..

Written By Shounak Mondal

Lives in Hong Kong. Avid traveler ( 30+ countries and counting ), amateur photographer and writer Discovers purpose and meaning in life through travel.


Your email address will not be published. Required field are marked *

Shounak Mondal

Lives in Hong Kong. Avid traveler ( 30+ countries and counting ), amateur photographer and writer Discovers purpose and meaning in life through travel.


Iceland -The North, Land of Fire & Ice, Part 4

Iceland - March 2018 Our journey continued to the absolutely breathtaking northern Iceland. We would drive about 270 kms from Eglistadir to Ak...

- May 27, 2018

Iceland - The East, Land of Fire and Ice - Part 3

Iceland - March 2018 We started the next day by continuing to drive east where we would be driving past Iceland's largest Icecap - Vatnaj&...

- May 26, 2018

Iceland - The South, Land of Fire and Ice - Part 2

March 2018 -- Iceland  Iceland is simply the best experience I have had so far in my travels to 30+ countries. This country is unique in terms...

- May 17, 2018

Po Toi - The stunning southern most tip of Hong Kong

Hong Kong - March 2018 One of the fascinating things about Hong Kong is that you will never run out of islands to explore. One such island is Po To...

- May 13, 2018

The little known paradise : Pulau Macan, Indonesia

  Bali is what comes to everyones mind when it comes to tourism in Indonesia. Well , a well kept secret is Pulau Macan, in thousand islands ne...

- April 26, 2018

An encounter with the Ring of Fire : Southern Taiwan

  Southern Taiwan - This is an escapade to a beautiful land full of natural wonders. Amongst the beautiful scenes of Taiwan there lurks nature...

- April 26, 2018

Cameron Highlands - A dash of Britain in Malaysia

Cameron Highlands is a weekend getaway from Kuala Lumpur Beautiful tea plantations of Cameron Highlands, which is about 3 hours drive from ...

- April 26, 2018

At peace in a marine world: Cebu, Philippines

The mention of Philippines  makes me visualize isolated green mysterious tropical islands and a world full of unexplored natural beauties and mar...

- April 26, 2018

Cradle of humankind : Halong Bay Vietnam

  On a cloudy and misty morning we board the Huong Hai sealife which will take us through the night to stay on the waters of the Ha Long bay&n...

- April 26, 2018

A road trip through the South Indian coastline

  Incredible India indeed even for someone born and brought up in India. There is so much to explore that one wonders where to start in India....

- April 26, 2018

The Lost World : Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

 The Lost World - Escapade to the land of the Khmers Overlooking the Mekong river on route to Siem Reap in Cambodia. The Mekong runs&...

- April 26, 2018

Sunny Stormy : Phuket, Phi Phi Island , Thailand

Thailand is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Asia. It offers a unique cocktail of relaxation and adventure, Sunny stormy is the story o...

- April 26, 2018

Maldives - Heaven on earth

  If there is a heaven on earth , this is it. The island nation offers one of the best beaches and resorts in the world. On south Male ...

- April 26, 2018

Taipei - Contemporary Yet Traditional

Taipei is a mix of a modern metropolis with traditional night  markets along with a subtle reminder of nature's hidden power.&...

- April 26, 2018

Mystical Beauty, Alishan Taiwan

High above in the mountains, Alishan is a hill station shrouded in mist, preserving an ancient past.  From Kaoshiung we boarded...

- April 26, 2018

The Jewel in the Emirati Crown - Dubai

From a barren desert to a grand megacity Dubai is perhaps the biggest testimony on how humans can sometimes completely transform nature a...

- April 26, 2018

Island of Gods - Bali Culture

Every Balinese house has a temple ! The temple is in a beautiful courtyard with several mini pagodas. The temple is often the same size as t...

- April 26, 2018

Island of Peace - Bali Landscapes

"Hello, good morning... we have a reservation in your hotel" - I say twice before the man wakes up from his sleep. It was two a.m and w...

- April 26, 2018