Iceland is a Place of Great Extremes

Words and photos by Claudia Bordeleau, a  Canadian French photographer.

Iceland Travel

The climate, for instance, can change drastically every 10 minutes. It makes Iceland a country of extremes.

You never know when it's gonna be sunny!
You never know when it’s gonna be sunny!

The weather can be so sweet and so harsh at the same time, it’s difficult to keep track of the time. Every minute is different from the other. The violence of the elements can be overwhelming, but after the sun comes out, all is forgotten. Beings of gigantic proportions reappear in all their majesty, having been hidden by the fog or the storm. The immortal mountains look at us from above, they silently witness the passage of time and yet, they are ever changing.

Kirkjufell mountain in Iceland.
Kirkjufell mountain in Iceland.

As we drive, the landscape makes transitions through many different scenery. Sometimes subtly, sometimes drastically, lava field succeeds volcanoes and glacier.
Colors and shapes follow each other with a common element: they have been formed by water and fire. You can’t help but wonder, what terrible things happen, when looking at some of the views; the violence must have been particularly brutal in order for those shapes to appear.

Icelandic mountains.
Icelandic mountains.

On clear days, color blooms in every direction. The moss on the rocks looks saturated with life and the sky can be the purest and deepest blue, but this is just temporary. Soon the sky will be dark, eating away the light and the colors, rendering the landscape almost monochromatic . This is particularly true of the beaches. You’d expect beach to be fun and light, the sand to be pale and warm. Not in Iceland. The sand is black, cold,  thin and volatile, created by the actions of fire on the earth and the waves of the sea.

Icelandic horses in winter.
Icelandic horses in winter.

On a windy day, it floats around you like a swarm of mosquitoes. I was prepared to feel shaken by the wind, the rain and the beauty of Iceland. I wasn’t
prepared to feel shaken by the immensity of it, nor by the feeling of infinity that Iceland project. The waterfalls look like they’ve been there forever, and that the water will always flow. That the waves come and go and they will never get tired.

Icelandic vista.
Icelandic vista.

Have you ever had the sensation that your body was too small, that your soul, your spirit was trapped in your own body? In Iceland, it’s impossible to feel that way. It’s like a microcosm, everything is present and infinite and so are we. The vast open spaces can seem empty at first glance, but they are full of violence, of
movement, of life. No wonder there are so many stories and legends about Iceland, so many historians, skáld and writers.
Iceland is truly a place to discover.

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Iceland is a Place of Great Extremes

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