A country like no other. Visiting Iceland is to experience a land that is still being forged by the forces of nature. Even if there are no volcanic eruptions at the time, no flowing lava to be seen, the evidence of it is everywhere, from the miles of lava fields to the black beach at Vik, the southernmost point.
And then there's the smell, which I grew to love, almost as much as I fell in love with the country itself – the heady waft of sulphur at random points as you travel the country, and even when you simply turn the hot water tap on: a pungent reminder that this is hot water direct from the boiling depths of the Earth.
One week was way too short a time to see enough of such an astounding landscape, and far too little to appreciate the people and their rich history. For me this was one of the most awe-inspiring environments I have ever been in. I wanted to go back there the moment I had left.
And I did – one year later; this time travelling from Reykjavik to the north, staying in Akureyri. The remoteness of these northern towns, and the stunning bleakness of the wild landscape, was everything I was hoping for, convincing me (not that I really needed convincing) that this is one of the most fascinating countries on the planet.