Welcome back, let me take advantage of this new post to refresh/re-inaugurate this category of the blog: Travel Stories.
Within this category, I will try to tell some of the stories, present, past, and future that have marked my travels around the world and that have marked me personally. In the hope of transmitting a message or simply entertaining you for a few minutes.
I start by telling you about my first night of the #NordicSummer project, my first night in Iceland.
The first night on the Island of Ice and Fire ?
Fagradalsfjall? Iceland ??
Date: Night between 12/08/2021 and 13/08/2021
I arrived at 20:30 at Keflavik airport, time to do a quick check-in at the hostel, get something to eat before everything closes (why do they close ALL the kitchens in Reykyavik at 10 pm? Damn them.) and Alessandro calls me. Until 3 months ago I didn’t even know who Alessandro was, but one spring afternoon while I was looking for a new roommate to share a flat with in Fuerteventura I was told “there’s another coordinator (from WeRoad n.d.r.) looking for an apartment” my response was “ah great, we have a new roommate!”. A stranger, but just the fact that we belonged to the same community made him in a matter of seconds a friend with whom to share a house and new adventures. From there, after a week in Fuerte, we meet again one night in Iceland. Ready, set, and go we go climbing a Volcano at night to “try to see the eruption at night”.
It’s half an hour past midnight, and after an hour or so of walking in total darkness, we reach the top of Fagradalsfjall (a volcano that has started erupting again after 800 years of inactivity, yes 800!) and…nothing! The volcano is blissfully sleeping and doesn’t want to wake up. With some regret and sadness from the useless effort, we head back to the airport to drop off some guys who were supposed to leave early the next day. On the way to the airport, while I was blissfully sleeping in the back seat, a boy started shouting AURORA AURORA and in a split second the car froze in the middle of the road, we all rushed to the windows and there it was: my first Aurora Borealis. A small green patch in the black sky. All in all, a good enough reward for this unfortunate evening. 3:00 am. When we arrived at the airport and left the travelers, someone didn’t want to go back home, so “I’ll check the webcam of the Volcano, just in case”. And BOOM! The news arrives: “Guys, the volcano has started erupting again!”. What do we do? Does it make sense to go back up?
Yes! Do you want to put an epic experience against a few hours of lost sleep? So off we go, driving fast and furious towards the volcano.
Once at the car park, on the wings of enthusiasm I think that not even the good Jacobs would have been able to keep up with us on the path towards the crater. Suddenly, as we went around the hill that covered the crater, an intense orange glow lit up the whole surrounding area. As we got closer to the crater (within reason, mind you!), the glow got stronger and stronger.
At one point, I looked down for about 10 minutes to fiddle with my rucksack and try to change lenses in the dark and when I looked up again I started to see another orange glow behind the volcano, the sun was starting to rise. The result? The spectacle you see in this photo!
We enter a totally deserted and still sleepy Reykjavik. I’m still asleep in the back seat of the car, answering a question every 3-4 minutes, but now the mood is totally different from before. Now we are all exhausted, but our enthusiasm is sky-high. Alessandro takes me back to my hostel, I have to hurry up and get ready. I have to hurry up and get ready. A 10-day road trip around this wonderful island called Iceland awaits me. Which has just welcomed me in a spectacular way. But not only that, I have just “wasted” my last night in a comfortable bed. The next 9 nights will all be spent in a tent. But what a waste and what a first night!