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Glacial Hiking with Hidden Iceland

Glacial Hiking with Hidden Iceland

My alarm blared, indicating 5am had finally come. It had been a long and restless night, waking up every half an hour and barely getting back to sleep. I struggled with my suitcase, urging it up the stairs and into my boot with tired muscles. I blasted the heaters and swept snow from my car, warming my hands on a cup of tea as I set off on the four hour drive. In the darkness of night, it was easy to see how ominous and surreal this landscape could be. Paling white clouds of steam or fog oozed up from the ground, as if a mass of spirits had ascended from beneath the earth. I didn’t see another vehicle for about an hour and enjoyed the solitude as I made my way across the south coast. Snowploughs started to emerge and I saw the heavy cloud covering the horizon. Before long, I was enveloped by the snow once again, and watched powder whirl up in my rearview mirror as I carved out some fresh tracks. 

Nearing the coastal town of Vík, the wind gusts got up to 80mph, snowdrifts and blizzard mixing together and pummelling the side of my car. It was unrelenting for another hour and a half, and I sighed in relief as I got away from the storm. The sun had risen fully by now, the sky unbelievably different, bright and blue as I reached my destination. I ate some Skyr and started to layer up with my snow gear and before long, Ryan and the group had arrived. I was thrilled when I heard back from Hidden Iceland as I knew they were not only passionate about the landscape, but about preserving it too. They hold a number of small and private hire trips, showing off some of the most remarkable and breathtaking places around Iceland, whilst informing us about how quickly things are changing too. Ryan’s passion really shined through with the sheer wealth of knowledge he held, his energy and enthusiasm contagious. He’s recently written a piece about the effects of climate change on glaciers, you can read the full article here.

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The Land of Awe

The Land of Awe

I always felt out of place growing up, and to an extent, still do. Seeming to view and feel the world in a different way to those around me; living with an appreciation for nature and life that I hope will one day be a harmonious give and take. When I step outside into the wilderness on cold and blustery days, I hear more in the wind than the bitter cold that reddens my cheeks and tangles my hair. I see more than just light when the sun starts to shine, instead looking at smaller details like leaves with that beautifully warm colour, almost like they’ve been drenched in golden honey; or to the mountains, watching the shadows shift under cloud. I feel I belong in isolated places where time can pass freely; it makes me feel connected to the earth and, therefore, at peace. 

This winter in Northern England has been grey and dreary, an almost constant monotone with sun on so few occasions that I could count them on one hand. There is however, one aspect of winter that reaches into my child-like soul, filling me with an incomprehensible giddiness that overflows: snow. Unsurprisingly, I found a lot of snow on my recent trip to Iceland, along with horizontal hailstorms and over 50mph blizzards. I had never felt so alive, or perhaps it was the constant flow of delicious strawberry cheesecake Skyr that kept me going whilst I travelled. 

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