Erica Concepcion-Reyes Journeys To The Majestic North Cape
It’s 12 midnight in Reykjavik and the sun still hasn’t set. Our family clan composed of 47 travellers, is gathering in Iceland’s capital, as we are about to embark on a 17-day journey to the majestic North Cape.
With a journey beginning in Reykjavik, passing through Norway, and ending in Copenhagen, we are eager to visit the glaciers and geothermal wonders of Iceland, to travel in the path of Vikings as we explore the majestic beauty of Norway’s fjords.
While Iceland might be relatively small, what it lacks in size it makes up for with stunning scenery—from crystal blue glacier lagoons to picturesque waterfalls, and black desert landscapes. Many of the must-see attractions are easily accessible from the Ring Road—Iceland’s main road—while others will take you o the beaten path into remote areas
Drawing you in with its magnificent and tranquil beauty, Jökulsárlón is considered one of Iceland’s natural wonders with icebergs dotting its still, blue waters. It has slowly formed throughout six decades as the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier started receding from the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, leaving the lagoon in its path. As the glacier melts and breaks into pieces, these icebergs oat until they reach the ocean and melt.
Located along the Golden Circle route, the UNESCO World Heritage Site Thingvellir National Park is both the historical site of Iceland’s Viking parliament and a geological wonder in its own right. When Viking settlers arrived in the 10th century it was the site they chose as the meeting place of Althingi, the world’s oldest parliament. The unique geology created a natural amphitheatre perfect for public speaking including the high rock wall of Logberg. Here the laws of the land would be recited from memory.
Another main landmark on the Golden Circle route is stunning Gullfoss. Impressive and spellbinding, it is one of the biggest and most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland.
We are eager to visit the glaciers and geothermal wonders of Iceland, to travel in the path of Vikings as we explore the majestic beauty of Norway's fjords.
— Abelardo "Abe" Licaros
After four days of exploring the wonders of Iceland, off we went across the Norwegian sea and to the fjords of Norway. The UNESCO-protected Geirangerfjord is surrounded by captivating snow-covered mountain peaks, wild waterfalls and lush, green vegetation. Cruising the fjords aboard a catamaran, you hear the thunderous, almost deafening sound of the powerful waterfalls cascading down the sides of the mountain. The MS/Geirangerfjord gets us up and close with the “Seven Sisters,” the most famous waterfall in the Geiranger Fjords. Mother Nature in all its glory. Truly a sight to behold.
We make our way along the Sognefjord until we reach Bergen, the second largest city in Norway. We are greeted by the iconic colourful facade of Bryggen upon our arrival. Sitting along the harbour are Medieval Hanseatic buildings dating back to the 14th century. The picturesque wooden structures, rebuilt following a fire in 1702, later became recognised as a vital part of Bergen’s cultural heritage, and also the world’s, as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
A Norwegian girl plays the violin on a sidestreet and the sound of music wafts softly in the air while we stroll along the wharf, visiting a small museum, some speciality shops, and restaurants.
Because of the country’s extensive coastline, traditional sea industries have been extremely important to Norway’s economy and cultural life throughout the centuries. With the busiest seaport in the country, it is only natural that Bergen is the go-to place for fish and seafood. A must is the outdoor Fish Market in the middle of the city centre and experience one of Norway’s most-visited outdoor attractions.
Majestic waterfalls, geysers, mountains, hot springs, glaciers, and fjords make up our sojourn to the Northern Cape. Breathing in the clean air and feeling the crisp wind engulf you, the only thoughts left in your possession are of admiration, appreciation, and gratitude for life’s wonders. The soul is refreshed, restored, and renewed. And the adage rings true, “To walk in nature is to witness a thousand miracles.”
This article was originally published in Philippine Tatler Traveller Volume 16
- Words Erica Concepcion-Reyes
- Images JAVI LEBRON, PAOLO MONASTERIO, TJ YOUNG, AND ENZO SANTOS