This is Iceland

Iceland has always been near the top of my list of places to visit, I might say my interest in the island at the same time as my interest in photography. But back then, I was a young kid with other things in mind and a rather low budget.

Six years later, I’d become an adult with a few more resources; even so, all my ideas about travelling were still wandering around my head and yet to put into order. I had a clear goal to discover the outside world…and to capture all those beautiful locations and moments not just in my memory but also on a camera’s film.

One year ago, a new determination blossomed inside my mind, to do just that: visit all those breathtaking places and bring them back home.

One year ago, a new determination blossomed inside my mind, to do just that: visit all those breathtaking places and bring them back home. Six months after that day, a work colleague who is a frequent traveler himself, came to me with a similar wish. We booked the flights the very next day, so a new adventure just began, arrangements and more arrangements, an abundant collection of cameras, films and many photo projects.

Finally, June 1st of the current year arrived, and our new adventure started. The idea itself was appealing enough; we ended up with a party of four people travelling together. Four people with a 2489km road trip ahead, and loads and loads of excitement.

We all arrived to Iceland at 02:40am with an emotion inside us difficult to explain. I was awake myself since the day before at 07:00am thanks to all the nerves about the trip. I was the first one to take the wheel of our rental car and drove 400km. Over the distance, I experienced again the so-called Stendhal syndrome.

We stopped often, off and out of the car with a childish excitement, overwhelmed by the amazing scenery. By the time we took our first shots, the sun started to rise, filling the nearby mountain with a golden light, something almost divine. We were so eager we managed to stay over 36 hours awake. 

We experienced plenty of adventures; a road completely blocked by snow, not knowing where to turn next; running out of petrol in the middle of that white road – then luckily finding a petrol station right in the middle of nowhere.

We continued along the Ring Road, stopping only to admire the loneliness of my partners in crime and also my own loneliness, produced by the vastness of the landscape I’d only seen in dreams. Right then is when I realized something important, this trip was not meant to be made alone, but with someone to share all these new experiences.

We discovered views more appropriate to the scenery of some other planet than ours, and a secret lagoon where we all would relax after a long driving day.

Sadly, our adventure came to an end with a sum total of 25 film rolls, 40 polaroids and 9 days of my own existence left somewhere along the road. But once at home and with the films developed, I was able to relive all those special moments. I felt just the same sensation as being there, it may sound trite, but it still gives me goose bumps and brings a special shine to my eyes. I will go back to Iceland one day, to stay longer and just to keep loving that beauty with a beloved one right next to me.

Story and images by Amir Kuckovic