This was the last country on our long trip, but certainly not the least. When we were planning out our trip, Iceland wasn't a thought. It only came through as an option when we were looking at prices for flights to Canada from Europe. We found that passing through Iceland was much more economical. We thought, "Why don't we stay in Iceland for a night to take advantage of the stop?" Once we started looking into things to see in Iceland, it became clear that we couldn't simply spend just 1 night there. So, 5 days and 4 nights with a round (literally) trip around the entire island quickly became the plan. I didn't regret it! Our visit to Iceland was, and remained the most satisfying and rewarding trip I've been on since Thailand. The landscape has no equal. Please click through to enjoy some of the photos taken during this trip, and to witness a little piece of history between Sejin and I.
For our visit to Iceland, we rented a four wheel drive vehicle to take us around the whole country. Sebastien was so excited and drove the jeep everywhere even on roads that our GPS claimed to be a 'road' but we couldn't even see anything. We drove for miles and miles, dawn to dusk. We couldn't stop honking at the sheep while driving. Why? Because if one sheep runs away the whole herd start to run! It was hilarious!
And it was stick-shift! Ahh, I want to go back right now just to keep driving that thing around.
The geysir is like a whale blowing out the water from his back.
While we were traveling, we heard that when European people were moving out to find new land, people who have been to Iceland named the place 'Ice'land and told people there is another place called 'Green'land. Which one sounds warmer? Of course, Green land! Although it's latitude is higher and it's so much colder than 'Ice'land. Why do people want this place to be so secluded from people? I'm curious.
Some people said the landscape of the Iceland is like Mars. When Sebastien and I started to drive from the airport, we saw the ground that we've never seen before. From far away, the land looks like a herd of sheep but they don't move anywhere. It must be the way for plants to survive after the explosion of the volcano.
If I had never seen a jewel, I would believe this ice that floats on the river is a jewel.
Some travelers don't bother walking and they often hitchhike. With Sebastien and I, we had only 5 days in Iceland and we wanted to see every nook and cranny of it. But we welcomed hitchhikers. One of the ladies who hitchhiked was from Germany. She was very quiet and pleasant, later on we discovered she makes cards. It just fits her character and I loved the one she gave us as a present. When we drove her to the Guest House in the middle of nowhere, we happened to see a guy in front of a barn, welding something. I took a close look from the jeep and I could not believe my eyes! I came out from the jeep and asked him if it's okay to take some pictures of him burning sheep's heads. He had 5 or 6 sheep heads laying on the ground as raw, and then on the table, he was cooking 4 of them. Wow! I've never thought I would see this!
This is the moment that Sebastien made the best choice in his life. Yes, he was nervous like a schoolboy.
I most certainly was nervous... I actually ended up putting the ring on the wrong hand. Haha. As a bit of a back story, it had been months since I bought the ring from a little Korean jeweller in Ulsan. I decided back then, while she was away on a trip to visit her family, that she was the girl I was to marry. But, being a silly little boy, I wanted to surprise her. As such, any time the talk of marriage or future ever came up I quickly shot down the discussion and moved on to something else, you know, so she wouldn't guess something was up. Turns out that might have been a bad idea. I had her so well fooled that when I actually *did* propose to her, she didn't believe me at all and thought I was joking. Joke was on me! So, it took me a bit of time to make sure she understood that I was in fact actually proposing to her for real, and that the ring wasn't a fake. I chose Iceland as a location for the proposal for a few reasons. It's beautiful, it's not Canada nor Korea (unbiased), and it was the last part of our trip. If we could make it 30+ days of travelling together through the world, surely we could make it through a marriage, right?
As you can see, there was a camera pointing at us during the proposal. I had set up the D300s to videotape the act, and had a Zoom HD recorder between us to record our discussion. I was so embarassed by the whole thing (her thinking I was joking, and putting the ring on the wrong hand, among other things) that I couldn't bring myself to watch or listen to the recordings until much much later. Maybe some day I'll bring myself to edit it and share it with you guys :) ... Or maybe not.
Since then we got married (twice) and had our first anniversary just a week ago (May 7th.) Our cake toppers for the wedding were a pair of cute little sheep that symbolized the field I proposed to her in. You can see the picture of the cake, as we enjoyed it on our anniversary night, here.
Love doesn't need a language.
After he proposed to me, we drove back to our hotel but we decide to take a detour. Suddenly, we climbed up a mountain while our 'GPS' kept saying it was a road. We drove our jeep higher and higher. On the top of the mountain, we found a tongue of glacier ice and we spent our night gazing at it with our naked eyes.
Please stay tuned for the second set of pictures from days 3, 4 and 5. There are a lot more to see!
As always, if you would like to see the other photos from this trip, please see the album posted on Facebook. Take care for now!Sub