Share a story about the furthest you’ve ever traveled from home.
65.6833° N, 18.1000° W
This is the further I have travelled away from home. A heavy metal band shares the same name. I travelled thirty hours in an aircraft and then another six hours in a car to get there. An other-worldly place that means “The Black Castle” or ” Dark Fortress”, reputed to be where the infamous Jule Lads ( mischevious Icelandic Santa elves) live. Covered, as it was this day, in snow and ethereal light, the place looks magical and menacing at the same time. Was that because I was told black magic rituals are sometimes carried out in the lava caves and formations?
Not far from the Arctic circle, and at a more northerly latitude than the southern areas of Greenland, visiting Akureyri and Dimmiborgir was a rare privilege for someone from “Down Under”. A snowstorm threatened to prevent our travel to this place and for a while, I was terrified out of my wits that I would end up frozen by the side of the road in a stalled car. I had already seen at least one car upturned at the side of the road, and the snowploughs were working overtime just to keep the road for disappearing in a “white out”. I have nothing but awe for the Icelanders who drive in these conditions. But made it, we did, and the skies lifted to let us in.
Iceland is a place where the people appear to survive on the very extremes of possible human habitation. Amongst the gobsmackingly special arctic scenery, the stillness and quiet of small, often isolated communities, is the obvious resilience of the population, despite incredible natural and physical adversity that spans many generations.
This post is dedicated to my good friend, Guðriður. Someone and something I will always ponder about. A unique experience so so far from home.