The sculpture by the water at dusk
Iceland has been painted using a different palette of colours to England. Glowing oranges, mellow umbers and wet greys stand out in the ethereal landscape. The plane descended through twenty minutes of clouds to delight even the most avid cloud spotter. Swirling, teasing clouds are definitely in charge here. These are the two things that have made the biggest impression on my first day in Iceland-the vast sky of eddying clouds and the unexpected richness of colour of the lava fields.
Clouds from the plane, shortly before landing
The journey from Keflavik Airport to Reykjavik takes one hour but I could have spent forever on that coach, just looking out of the window at the lava fields. My inner child jumped from one slippery mossy rock to another, eluding one deadly fissure after another. The fields glowed with age and autumn-deep green moss covers the lava, orange grass grows between the rocks and everywhere are red plants and little pink flowers, all vibrantly defying the greyness of the sky and the land. The sky was heavy and the scene should have been dull but it was not. There is a strange, otherwordly light here that I have never seen before. A luminosity is in the trees, the grass, the sky which is utterly bewitching.
At dusk the tenacious clouds parted fully and everything turned a beautiful cold blue colour. We walked down to the dark water and took some photos of the clouds which still lingered over the mountains and had reflected some of the sunset. Sadly, my camera simply couldn't capture the colours and textures of the scene. I have a feeling that Iceland's magic evades many cameras.
An attempt at the scene that couldn't be photographed
Now I'm sitting here in my hotel room, eating Skyr for the first time, and have the heating on (yes, it really is that cold here). The strange sea and mountains will be waiting for me in the distance come light again. I feel every single one of the 1200 miles between hotel room 307 and Kent.
Tomorrow, hatted, gloved and skyred, I will take Reykjavik.