I think Iceland is tucked away in a corner of the world to remind us how the earth came to be. Every bend is something startling and new. It’s exactly what you asked for. And nothing you’d thought it would be. It’s the perfect place to go if you are ready to contemplate everything you’ve done, up until being in Iceland. It's that good.
Even the people born here don’t take it for granted. And they are most interested in your take and patiently sit through the exalted diatribes and descriptions of day hikes. They file it all away. You can see it in their eyes.
The capitol is wrapped up in a parka, smokes a cigarette a minute and only smiles when asked. But I asked. And at night it’s a happy, smiling adventure. People are open books as long as you go beyond the first chapters.
When you push out of the only city, you are the blue Opel rental car in an absurd landscape. You go from Mars to the Grand Canyon in a single morning. Without trees. More sheep and horses than cars or people. Lone houses dart the landscape every so often. But not often. Desolation or tranquility? Confidence or naivety? Who knows. But Jim Reeves is on the radio and we are in a movie that you can't script.
I'm grateful because I know why I'm here after I didn't want to be here. With a camera you get a free pass into people's lives. And sometimes a simple gas fill up turns into a two hour lunch with a new friend whose stories of ghosts, allergies and retiring early seem perfectly logical, while eating a cheeseburger, in Iceland.