As the chaos and death caused by the coronavirus pandemic is still disrupting travel, with many stories abounding of problems encountered by travellers, we hang on to home base, await better times, explore not too distant surroundings, and reminisce on past exotic trips. Like Iceland.

This was brought up by my screensaver the other time. I immediately recognised it as somewhere along the south coast of Iceland, where we had probably the most spectacular drive of our lives. Throughout the day, the end-of-October sun lying low above the southern horizon lit up in a golden glow the mountainous backdrop inland from the coast road. Typically, for Iceland, all around you can only see breathtaking views. You would want to stop to take pictures all the time, but this is impossible as otherwise you would never reach your destination. Besides, you can’t just stop in the middle of the not-very-wide road (imaginatively named: “1”) that goes all around this country’s perimeter. Here, I parked on the side, snapped a two quick shots, and drove on.

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I had no idea what it was. Maybe I should have stopped and joined the other tourists taking pictures on the shoreline. It’s only since a few days ago, several years later, that a rather long search on Google Maps, complete with street view, revealed this to be a lagoon named Holtsós. Just a few minutes along the road, inland, lies the Eyjafjallajökull volcano that in 2010 erupted, sending large amounts of dust into the atmosphere and grounding most flights in Europe for several days, ten years before a tiny virus would cause a much longer interruption in many other activities besides air travel. The volcano covered by a glacier and looks simply glorious.

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What a country. After two visits, to the southern and the western coast, I hope to achieve a third trip, this time to the northern coast. Blasted virus.