Iceland Is For You
Hating people is easy. All you have to do is ride the bus, sit in traffic, wait in a line-up or turn on the news and watch them kill each other. Getting the fuck away from them is the hard part. You won't even find salvation on a remote Pacific island, because every corner of this globe is infested with them. To really get away from people, you might need to take a trip to Iceland.

Nowhere else in the world is there a country so peaceful that you can drive a car for hours and not see another pass by. After travelling to Europe, I came to the conclusion that some of the world's most fascinating sights have been ruined by the very creatures that built them. You can't take a single walk anywhere in Rome, Paris or Dubrovnik without someone being inches away from crawling up your ass. The only place you'll find true peace is on an icy, volcanic island just east of Greenland.

Iceland gives you the luxuries of civilization with the solitude of being on a desolate alien landscape, where you can gather your thoughts and imagine a world without people. If you need a snack or a conversation, small villages scatter across Iceland's map. Those villages are connected by a 1,300 kilometre ring road that also takes you through Reykjavik, the country's tiny capital city. Due to Iceland's low population, there is no train network. Renting a car and driving will be your only way to see the whole country, but it's worth it.

Reykjavik means "smoky inlet" or "smoky bay" and it's Iceland's biggest major city with a population of only 120,000. It's the first settlement you'll see after leaving the country's airport in Keflavik. Even with a recent surge in tourism, Iceland offers endless kilometres of open space outside Reykjavik. While in Reykjavik, you'll find coffee shops, restaurants, boutique stores and tourist shops, but none of them will leave you wanting to strangle a stranger out of rage. You can enjoy a coffee or a meal without much of a wait or nuisance. Before you leave Reykjavik to explore the country's unEarthly landscapes, you can even stop by the penis museum to see a giant whale dick.

Outside Reykjavik you'll find some of the most stunning and mind blowing landscapes you've ever seen. For what the country lacks in foliage it makes up for with sheer beauty. You'll see jagged cliffs rising up into low hanging clouds and miles of rolling green tundra. The ring road will take you to remote waterfalls and bathing springs. You'll see craters, volcanic mounds, mossy rocks and an endless sea of open space.

Iceland also has several black sand beaches that will blow your mind. Before going, you can book an ATV adventure that will take you on a fast, fun tour across some of them. Unlike other countries, even Iceland's heavy traffic tourist sites are easy to enjoy due to the amount of space the country offers. Most of the country's best black sand beaches are remote and can only be accessed by land owners offering tours, so you'll find most of the beaches completely deserted when you get there. The most populated and popular black sand beach is in a town called Vik. There you'll find a church resting on a hilltop and rock formations on the coast that look like things from sci-fi fantasies.

One of my favourite towns in Iceland is called Grundarfjörður. Good luck trying to pronounce it. Luckily, you won't need to pronounce most Icelandic words because 90% of Icelanders speak English and are fully aware of how crazy their own language is. Most of them are gracious, sympathetic and curious towards tourists. In Grundarfjörður, you'll find an ocean view and some of those cliffs that rise up into low clouds. The town is sparsely populated and looks like this:

Iceland isn't a warm place, even in the summer. You'll want to bring warm, waterproof clothes and good hiking shoes. Some of Iceland's hiking spots are where you'll find the most mind blowing scenery. The southern part of the country is the greenest, warmest and most scenic.

The northern most part of the country is the coldest and the most remote. Along the way you'll find sheep crossing the road and even fewer people than in the rest of the country.

One of the best, and arguably most popular attractions in Iceland, is the glacier and the Glacier Lagoon. The glacier lagoon is home to seals that bob in and out of the icy water while tourists take pictures and point at them. Sometimes killer whales make it into the lagoon to chew on the seals. You'll find more people there, but the entire lagoon itself is vast enough to make 100 people feel like 10. If you go at a later hour or early in the morning, you won't find anyone at the lagoon. In Spring, Iceland has up to 23 full hours of sunlight called "The Midnight Sun", making it easier to see sights at the latest hours.

If you've been to Europe, Asia and the Pacific islands without finding the solitude and peace you were looking for, give Iceland a try. The country offers the best of both worlds.

Obviously, Iceland isn't for everyone. Some will find it boring, weird, cold or unfulfilling, but if you're a misanthrope who has been waiting for a meteor to put humanity out of its misery, Iceland will give you the rejuvenation you need to take on the world again. But be warned: if you're going with someone pretentious who is used to sipping lattes, sleeping in cushy hotels and eating expensive steaks, their incessant whining might ruin the entire experience. When going to Iceland, choose your travel partner(s) wisely.
      June 2016 | Augustus

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