Iceland is a volatile beauty. The evidence is in the volcanoes, fissures, geysers and earthquakes. She is a land surrounded by treacherous seas and bone chilling wind. The weather can be unpredictable, warm (50ºF) one day, and then days like the ones before I had arrived on May 15th.
The southern peninsula was engulfed in a violent storm. Many people, up to 300 locals and tourists alike were trapped due to the road closures and had to be re-routed to the village of Vik until roads were cleared for passage. According to Iceland Magazine, "The IRCA and Icelandic Meteorological Office warn that individual wind gusts in South East Iceland can easily reach hurricane force in the afternoon, 45 m/s (100 mph). Wind speeds of 15-25 m/s (33-56 mph) in other parts of Iceland. Gusts of this magnitude can blow cars off the road, or cause motorists to lose control of their vehicles. Storms in this region also blow up sand, gravel and stones. Sand storms are quite common in South Iceland during violent winds like the ones we are seeing today. These storms can strip the paint off cars and destroy windshields." Also, according to ICE SAR safetravel.is website, "Very bad driving conditions in all Iceland due to very strong winds (gusts exceeding 35m/s), snow and limited visibility on mountain roads! Travel not recommended!"
For days before my trip, I would religiously monitor the weather. I'd ask Mother Nature to be kind while I ventured in a tin can, across the ocean, during what seemed to be the craziest springtime storms I've ever seen in a while. I asked Mother Nature to be kind and not have any volcanoes erupt or earthquakes rumble while I was arriving, exploring and departing this amazing country. Mother Nature heard my prayers and I thank her!
Along with an elemental harsh coldness that is Iceland, it's people, however, are warm and friendly. They love to have a good time. The Icelandic people love their heritage and culture, and why wouldn't they? Look at their island and what it takes to live there. They are decedents of Vikings, strong and proud.
I love this country. I only cracked the surface of the natural wonders I wanted to photograph. I have more adventures and explorations. I believe in my heart-of-hearts that I will return, regardless of the weather or the elements. I will return. It's all because I'm a born Wanderlust Enthusiast...Skál!
Thanks and Good Karma to you!