In the amazing Netflix series The OA there is a scene where the main character Prairie Johnson (Britt Marling) experiences her second near-death experience and is taken to a dreamlike exotic location.  Where on the planet would you find the landscape and location that could convey a place, interpreting the dimension between life and death?  The scene is most definitely in Iceland. It is in a landscape with moss that covers lava and has a typical walking path to a tiny cabin.

This is though probably the first time the landscape describes the dimension between life and death.

When driving in Iceland on vacation between natural wonders like waterfalls, basalt column cliffs, hot spring geothermal pools and glacier lagoons, you will most likely notice animals in the countryside. Especially if you are driving past farms and farmlands.  You will see a lot of sheep and cows, not to mention all the birds, small birds and large birds like geese and Whooper swans. Friendly wonderful animals, and in Iceland you don't have to worry about dangerous wild animals since they are almost non-existing in Iceland.

Overall most of the animals in Iceland are a significant addition to the landscape.

Throughout the centuries Icelanders have been very efficient and almost pedantic in giving names to every small piece of item in the landscape throughout the whole country.  Wherever you go, everything from a high and mighty mountain to a low hill seems to have a name.  Every creek and every river have a name.  Every waterfall in our extensive variety of small and large falls has a name.  And believe me, we have hundreds of waterfalls.  Every cliff, lava field, every lake, every cave, every hot spring and basically every place in the country has a name. 

The river Kaldaklofskvísl (Cold crotch distributary) and Klámbrekka is between the hill in the background and the mountain Stóra Grænafjall.

We have often discussed the highland of Iceland.  It is by any measure a very exciting and fascinating place.

The Highland in Iceland is soon covered with snow

To be on your own placed in a large landscape with no sound other than the waves on the beach and the songs of birds looking for food in the sand or beneath the surface of the sea is an experience of a lifetime. A sanctuary from all the noises you recognize so well from constantly living in a large city with its traffic, disturbances, threats, intimidation and unclean air.   You are surrounded by beauty and stillness at the same time overpowered by the magnitude of the landscape.

You are surrounded by beauty and stillness at the same time overpowered by the magnitude of the landscape.

The Icelandic Highland is a huge uninhabited area of Iceland basically covering the center and sometimes stretching to places near the shore.  The whole area is loaded with natural wonders, hiking trails, places to visit, fascinating geology, mountains, geothermal pools, waterfalls and much more. It is characterized and defined by altitude as the term Highland implies. It is mostly above 900 meters and thus usually rather cold and seldom specifically warm.  In any sense of the word, it is extremely sensitive. The soil, the lava, the vegetation, the roads, the hiking trails. 

Most of the time the whole area is under snow.  Almost nine months of the year.  Only in the summer does the Highland reveal itself and starts blooming and exposing its vegetation, crystal clear creeks and beautiful mountains with thousands of colors.  In large areas, it consists of vast black sands, dark lava, suspiciously looking rocks, powerful rivers flooding from under glaciers and long horizons. If there is one message or one thing an Icelander would tell you about the Highland it would be to understand the sensitivity of this harsh landscape.

Like many Icelanders, it looks harsh and tough but under the surface is a very sensitive soul.  It is a place where people need to drive carefully on a good 4X4 vehicle with good preparation on marked tracks only.  Anyone trying to drive the Highland in a vehicle not fit for the task is both irresponsible and possibly compromising a wonderful experience.  If you decide to travel in the Icelandic Highland, please take care and understand the sensitivity of the whole are. And remember that most of the Highland is only open from the beginning of July until the end of September.