An unreliable memoir

The Golden Circle

The Golden Circle
During the Cold War in the 1960’s, the Americans, trying to court the Icelanders and limit Russian influence in such a strategic territory, granted Icelandair permission to operate the first low cost transatlantic flights. There were just two problems. European national carriers were pissed off and successfully lobbied their governments to refuse Icelandair permission to land. Luxembourg didn’t have a national airline, so that’s where they finished up. (I’ll be honest, I didn’t know Luxembourg had an international airport.) The other problem was that the American airlines were equally pissed off and successfully demanded that all passengers must break their trip in Iceland and spend at least 24 hours on the ground before finishing the Atlantic crossing. Good for the bars and restaurants in Reykjavík, but then people got bored. So the Icelanders invented The Golden Circle, seven hours of Iceland’s Greatest Hits – Now That’s What I Call Vulcanism 69.

This was the only day we had “bad” weather. But it wasn’t really bad – it was good. I’m so glad I saw Iceland like this, not in the summer and rammed with tourists. At Thingvellir it was still dark and snowing – but so atmospheric, and so beautiful. At Geysir and Gullfoss there was driving snow, but by the time we reached Selfoss, it had stopped.

And then, on the way back, something magical happened. An hour of the most perfect light. Iceland at its very best. Unforgettable.

More Golden Circle

Sony DSC-HX20V ƒ4 9mm 1/15 ISO 400

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