Iceland, The Land Of Contrast.

Some say that Icelanders suffer from inferiority complex. We are a nation of 318.452 inhabits (January 1st, 2011) but still we feel as big as America, China or even Italy.

People say we have inferiority complex because we always need to be the best in that ever we do – smarter than other nations, funnier, better, richer and so on. Whatever we do it needs to be BIG and something to remember. Even when our banks collapsed, it was one of the biggest bank collapses in the world. When it comes to owning a computer 96% of Icelandic homes have at least one. We had the first female president and we also had the first lesbian Prime minister. Oh yeah, let’s not forget about the Volcano in Eyjafjallajökull. Not only did we have volcanic eruptions, but of course we just had to let the world know about it so we decided to have the ashes blown all over the Atlantic and stop all flights throughout Europe – just as a reminder. We may be small – but we are powerful!  Just to keep things on the fun-side the eruption happened to be on Eyjafjallajökull which is hard for everyone outside of Iceland to pronounce. We had a big laugh every time a news caster tried to pronounce the name.

Beside all that we also need to be a little bit more crazy then our neighbors in Europe. We, of course, need to have the biggest jeeps driving on the main roads.

I was so lucky to be a co-driver on a 3 days trip across Iceland’s high-lands last weekend. There is nothing like sitting in a 38” Musso jeep driving on what seems to be endless space of glacier, with the sun sparkling on the pure, white snow.

Iceland sure is the land of contrasts. We have Ice and Fire – Glaciers and Volcano’s. We also have Nissan Micra, Toyota Yaris and Ford 350 on 54” tires. When you see that kind of a car the only word that comes up in your mind is; MONSTER. Yes. It is a monster that drives on the streets in Reykjavik, the capital – but mainly it is used as a hobby vehicle, mountain jeep that can drive in any condition, any weather and through almost everything.

(me standing next to a super jeep aka MONSTER)

We started our trip driving up to Hrauneyjar-Hotel which is situated upon the entrance into the Highlands of Iceland. It was the perfect stay-at before our big trip up on Sprengisandur. On the parking-lot were 84 giant Jeeps during the night. Eigthy Four. That is really a sight to see.

At the crack of dawn the first jeeps started heading their way up to Sprengisandur (green route) – heading to the other side of Iceland; Akureyri and then we would spend two nights there – and drive back to the Capital on Sunday morning, taking the “pink” route back home.

After about one hour of driving in deep snow, focusing on staying on track and pulling each other out of deep holes we caught up with the monsters of the trip. The 54“ jeeps. A 7ton Hummer had an overheated transmission and needed to be pulled back to Hrauneyjar. But how do you pull a 7ton Hummer though the snow? Well… You put a 6 wheel 46“ Ford in the front – rope to the next jeep which needs to be a 44“ Toyota and then a rope onto a 46“ Ford 350 – finally you put the rope on the Hummer and off you go – sure that you have enough horse power to pull 7 tons!

We had all sorts of adventures on the highlands. Broken jeep that needed to be fixed on the spot (thank god my partner knows cars!), derimming of a 38“ tire, a big rock that almost wrecked the stanchion on a Nissan Navara and so on and so on. But that is what makes it all worth it – all the trouble that make good stories. All the trouble that teaches you not to go further down in air pressure in the tires then two pounds, not to drive to fast or you might hit a rock sticking out in the middle of the snow.

(A 38“ Toyota Hilux being pulled out of the snow)

When the „boys“ got to busy playing with their cars – i jumped on my ski‘s and enjoyed the silence of the Highlands. Not even a bird singing as far as my ears could hear. Untill I heard the roaring sound of the jeeps getting closer and closer. Thank god my partner picked me up. It would have been a long ski trip back home .
I love living in Iceland. I love all the adventures you can enjoy – all the beautiful scenary and all the opportunites our country has to offer.

(My highland group of jeeps )

Where will you travel in 2011?
Iceland welcomes you!