We were sitting at the boarding gate. Gate A45 to be exact. Our flight was boarding any moment now and I could not contain my excitement any further. I had anticipated this moment for nearly a year and my excitement was pushing the limits of its boundaries. I had that warm, gooey feeling that you get in your chest in an overwhelming exciting moment. This feeling had become my heart because all I was living and breathing was the excitement and joy that I had had for this moment.
Standing at the gate, there were nearly 300 other people, all of whom looked just as eager and thrilled as I did. From the place I was standing, I could clearly see the plane through the airport window. The plane was exquisitely gorgeous. There was a teal color with green outlining that shaped around the plane taking on the image of the northern lights, a darkly shaded version of cyan that took the appearance of the lit night sky and little spots of white made up the scattered stars that gave it the final touches. Underneath the beautifully painted night sky were white snow-capped mountains that were swarmed in the beautiful scenery painted throughout the planes body. It was definitely the most beautiful plane I had ever seen. On the tail were two yellow ribbons with the planes name, it read, “Hekla Aurora.”
After a thorough inspection of the planes magnificently painted exterior, the terminal intercom finally rang, “Non-stop flight from Denver to Reykjavík, Iceland now boarding Saga class and military status.” I jumped with overwhelming excitement and eagerness to board. I pulled my passport out of my pocket and held my boarding pass in the same hand. I pressed my way towards the front of the line and the kind airline representative scanned my ticket and passport. I sprinted down the boarding bridge, and upon coming to the planes entrance, I walked in and four flight attendants welcomed me aboard. I walked down the tall, wide isle. The plane was gargantuan on the inside seating six people in a row. After walking many rows back, I found my seat next to the window. I made my way into my seat and entertained myself with seat-back entertainment and the magazines until pushback. Finally we were moving. Take off was quick. The plane revved up its engines and thrusted itself into the air and finally, our trip to Iceland was on.
I situated myself comfortably looking out the window. As we took off I looked out the window at the vastly changing landscapes below. I could see the purple and white snow-capped Colorado Rockies passing behind us, and swiftly the fertile land of America turned into frigid Canadian landscapes filled with evergreens and snow. Before long I was overseeing the Hudson Bay and moments afterwards gazing at the beauties below of Nuuk, Greenland. As we began to make our way over the North Atlantic and into the Arctic, the glaciers and icebergs below began to peak out of the water. The icebergs were gorgeous under the vibrantly colored setting sun’s colors. The red and orange hazes of light passing over the water and icy surfaces made the world around me seem like a watercolor painting that did not use nearly enough water and plenty of creativity. The sky was lit with yellow and red and the dark blue, frosty waters below, made it all seem unreal.
After six extensive hours on the plane, I could see the Icelandic coast and plane began to descend onto the rocky island. As the plane lowered you could see the modest white houses below with different colored roof-tops. The houses stood out plainly as the earth around them was grey and rocky. There was little vegetation growing throughout the city from what I could see from the plane. Creeping low to the ground I could tell we were nearly landing, and after a moment of quiet anticipation, the planes wheels made heavy contact with the rigid concrete runway once again. While our plane was taxied to the gate, the flight attendant gave us a travel welcome in her thick Icelandic accent. “Welcome to Reykjavík…” as she started out, “We hope you have enjoyed you flight with Icelandair…” and continued with the general information, which was then followed by her repeating it all in Icelandic. We were deplaned and there was no boarding bridge at the airport like the one that we had used in Denver, so stairs were pulled over to the planes entrance to unload the immense crowd of people. I stepped off the stairwell and turned around to see the remarkable scenery painting on the aircraft and snapped a few good pictures. My passport was once again scanned and this time also stamped with the official Iceland permit stamp and I walked freely into the country.
Being pushed through the crowds of people trying to exit the airport, my family and I met together after hours of being broken up through the traveling. We walked outside together and felt the cool, fresh Icelandic breeze sweep over us. It was only six o’ clock in the morning so we had the whole day ahead of us. The sun was bright and high in the sky, which made it an extra astonishing feature as the sun never sets in the arctic. We boarded the bus and checked into the hotel. It was a cozy Hostel in the suburbs of Reykjavík and immediately after checking in, we were ready for the sights. Shuttling first over to the Blue Lagoon, a natural hot spring not far from the city, we found ourselves peacefully bathing in the warm baby-blue salt water.
I stepped off the shuttle and walked into the building to get into the lagoon. After purchasing the bands to get into the lagoon, I walked through the crowded locker rooms and to the pool. It was a beautiful baby blue color that glistened like a sea of crystals in the sun. Sulfur flooded my senses. The Sulfur created a thick cloud that covered the salty pool. When you stepped into the water, you could feel your toes and bare feet sink into the mushy, saturated white mud that was known by the population to be a miraculous skin healer. The pool was expansive, and had numerous clever bridges built over small passages of the water. At the far end of the lagoon was a rock formation steaming with sulfur and boiling hot water. This was naturally heated ground water arising to the surface creating the spectacular lagoon I was swimming in. I swam over to it, but after getting to close the water becomes way too hot to swim in. I covered my body in the white mud to sooth myself and found myself more relaxed than I had ever been in my life.
We exited the lagoon with eagerness to see what other wonders the island held on its rocky shores. Upon getting dresses again and boarding the shuttle we went to the islands only shopping mall and spent the rest of the day shopping and touring the endless streets of the capitol city. The city was filled with peculiarities that made everyone a bit curious, but also found things that made us laugh and giggle. Spending the entire day without ceasing to rest or stop, we visited the islands only cathedral and sat at the rocky ocean coast for a while. The blue ocean tides clattered onto the rough shore.
Out in the distance, you could see a white ice shelf lying out nearly twenty miles from the shore. I was told that is was the only actual ice in Iceland and the largest glacier in Europe. It surely was impressive. All my anticipation that I had built up inside me was now relieved with a sense of pleasure and peace. We decided to walk back to the Hotel, taking in the magnificent natural beauty of the landscapes around us, the oddly shaped white homes with red and blue roof-tops, the immensely sized boulders and even the volcanoes out in the distance, it had surpassed even my highest expectations. Reykjavík, Iceland is truly the place where I saw heaven touch earth.