Adventure

The Edge of the World: Hornstrandir, Iceland

I live for these moments, which in turn, are moments that make me realize I’m living. In our living room at home hangs a painting that reads “Be Humble and Wonder.” To live in wonder of the world around is the most amazing gift. It’s the true magicians who can see magic in every thing.

Photos and words by Tim Kressin and the Wondercamp Team

It was our last hurrah in Iceland. The twelve of us had traveled together around the ring road for the past two weeks in awe of the stark beauty this strange land presented us with. We left Seattle in search of adventure, but mainly, in search of a deeper friendship with each other. And after two weeks of spending 24/7 with each other, we found it. But in an effort to see something else, something a bit more off the beaten path, we traveled deep into the Westfjords for one last adventure.

Hornstrandir, Iceland: The Edge of the World

Our Cheap Jeep cars, which became lovingly referred to as The Basic Princess and Green Pea, drove for hours as we traced the line where sea met land. Finally we made it to our destination – the beautiful Isafjordur. We spent the night in our tents in the middle of the city and prayed for the clouds to pass.

Nope. We woke up early to clouds. However there was light on the sea’s horizon, out where we were headed. We walked to the dock and found our trusty boat captain – we were heading to Hornstrandir. A three hour boat ride away, Hornstandir is one of the most remote, if not the most remote, place in Iceland. At the most north-west point, this nature reserve has no roads and no people, just reckless cliffs, fjords, and the occasional arctic fox.

Hornstrandir, Iceland: The Edge of the World

After a few boat sick mishaps we arrived on the shore, miles from any sort of civilization. It was clear, the sun was out, and there was no wind. Our guide told us this was one of the most beautiful days of the year. Being September, the high season was over, and we found Hornstrandir completely empty. It was just us.

We had found ourselves at the edge of the world, completely alone. Directly north of us was nothing but the Arctic Circle and the North Pole. This cliffside ensured the feeling, rising more than one hundred stories, the cliff felt like it had been freshly ripped off by the pounding waves.

Be Humble and Wonder. Hornstrandir, Iceland.

The breathtaking views, the dramatic cliffs, the beautiful colors of the water, sky and grass left us in awe. We sat on the edge looking down into the water, feeling our smallness. Yet, it was the stillness that left us in such peace. Contrary to what some people think, those common tour destinations in Iceland aren’t deserted. They seem as packed as the Grand Canyon parking lot at sunset (they aren’t, but it can seem that way). So to be alone, in somewhere so beautiful and so vast, was unprecedented.

In the soft moss overlooking our view, we became absolutely silent.

I live for these moments, which in turn, are moments that make me realize I’m living. In our living room at home hangs a painting that reads “Be Humble and Wonder.” The older I’ve gotten the more I realize how miraculous life truly is if only we stop and take a look. To live in wonder of the world around is the most amazing gift. Often though, it takes a large cliffside against a pounding sea to shock us into wonder. It’s the true magicians who can see magic in everything.

Be Humble and Wonder. Hornstrandir, Iceland. white Hornstrandir, Iceland.

We left our cliff top experience and made our way across the Atlantic and went back to our jobs and normal lives. However I think we carry that feeling with us, that feeling of smallness, that sense of wonder, that life is best lived at the edge.

The Wondercamp Team in Hornstrandir, Iceland.


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