Taking a short drive out of the city to enjoy nature

  • Thingvellir is a beautiful and sacred place for Icelanders
  • Thingvellir is a very suitable place for the Icelandic flag
  • A summer house at Thingvellir
  • A new summerhouse at Thingvellir Iceland
  • A grand view over the lake Thingvallavatn in Iceland
Feb 28 2015

In many cities around the world people rarely have the opportunity to experience the quality of stepping out of the city to enjoy nature.  For many this is very difficult and almost impossible. For anyone who has the opportunity it is nourishment for the soul.  It is a substance that can really enhance your life in a small way. Contact with nature is a quality people should seek.

I realized this when I met a woman in her fifties some years ago hiking in a wet storm deep in the highlands of Iceland.  When I met her she was exhausted after fighting bad weather for three days.  Rain and wind had bombarded her for days.  Everything was wet and she and her daughter who was travelling with her were both cold.  To make things worse the view was limited because of a constant fog and what little landscape that was visible, was black sand and black mountains.  When I approached her (in my vehicle) I thought se would scream at me and crush this godforsaken place.  To my surprise I have rarely met a happier person.  She reluctantly accepted my offer to drive them some 25 kilometers to the next mountain hut.

When I asked her why on earth she was so happy, given the almost severe circumstances, she told me how wonderful it was to be out in nature. Hiking in the remote area of Iceland a long way from everything and everyone was her dream come through.  The weather was irrelevant. In her own country Belgium she could never find a similar place.  Farmers owned most of the rural area and she was always in the city.  To find such a remote place anywhere near the city was difficult if not impossible. Even though she would like the sun to shine on the sand and mountains it was the sanctuary and wide-open space she was looking for.

It is a small privilege for us, the people who live in places where it is rather simple to step out of the city and enjoy nature.  Sometimes I take advantage of this situation, especially when the weather is nice and peaceful.  From Reykjavik there are many places where I can enjoy nature and find peace and quite.  Find the kind of sanctuary the woman from Belgium was talking about.

A few days ago we had a beautiful winter day here in the south west part of Iceland.  I decided to drive to Thingvellir, our secret place here in Iceland and take Brenna, my dog for a walk.   I also took the camera.  I walked six kilometers for two hours stopping many times along the way to breath the wonderful air and take some photos.  I looked at some of the beautiful summerhouses by the lake. 

Driving back to Reykjavik, I thought of the woman from Belgium and how right she was about the quality of stepping into nature as often as you can.