Notes from the Land of Fire and Ice

The sun glows a burnt, moody orange as it weaves across the sky, dipping low towards the horizon before floating upwards again like a bee harvesting nectar from a wildflower. I sit on one of Reynisfjara's famous basalt columns and look out over the dark crescent of the beach.

To me, Iceland under the midnight sun is a surreal painting come to life. Crystalline chunks of ice refract the dying light as they're carried along hidden ocean currents. Cloud shadows slide over lichen-draped mountainsides. Tides stained with deep purples and pinks swallow black volcanic beaches only to spit them up again hours later. The wild, strange beauty of this land has me feeling more like an astronaut than a traveler.

This time lapse video of Iceland by SCIENTIFANTASTIC, filmed during the summer months when the sun never fully sets, calls up those feelings as I watch it now—a vivid reminder of why Iceland has officially been dubbed "the Land of Fire and Ice."