For a few months now I’ve been planning a trip to Iceland. You are probably thinking, “What? Really? Iceland?”. Or maybe I’m wrong, perhaps you’re thinking, “That sounds awesome, I wish I was travelling to Iceland.”, or maybe you’re reminiscing about when you went on holiday in Iceland. I somehow feel like the later is less likely because it seems as though Iceland isn’t on many people’s radar as a vacation destination. (Hey, feel free to tell me I’m wrong. I’d love to hear your opinion in the comments below.)
I love to travel. It’s like a mini obsession with me. I window shop trips online, scout out hotel rooms, and plan trips that I will in all likelihood never get to take. Sure, my husband’s work schedule means I can’t get away very often, but I have a list in my head of all the places I want to go, and I think about travel constantly. However, until pretty recently, Iceland wasn’t on that list.
I’m almost embarrassed to tell you guys what changed my mind, because it was watching a TV show that caused me to bump “visiting Iceland” right up to near the top of the list. Yep. Here’s my confession — ever since I watched the first season of Sense8 I’ve found myself daydreaming about visiting Iceland.
If you’re not familiar with the show, Sense8 is a Netflix Originals series, a sci-fi drama by J. Michael Straczynski and the Wachowskis, which features eight people around the globe connecting with each other by the power of their minds. Ok, that’s a lame description. You’ll just have to trust me, it’s more intense than it sounds. It’s a solid show, but I am willing to admit that this might not be everyone’s cup of tea (head’s up — there is quite a bit of nudity and sexuality, much of which is not heterosexual).
It’s not like Sense8 is even my all time favourite show. It’s a good show. I enjoyed it. However, if I’m being truthful, I’m probably more excited about say the next season of Daredevil than I am about Sense8. And yet… watching Daredevil has never left me with an urge to visit Hell’s Kitchen, while watching Sense8 definitely left me thinking about the various locations they visited, particularly Iceland.
Sense8 was shot on location in eight different countries around the globe. The show even won an award in recognition of its use of locations as an integral part of the story.
There are five major Sense8 spots I want to visit in Iceland:
- The Harpa music hall in Reykjavík. Seeing a performance of the Iceland Symphony would be the icing on the cake, but I would settle for standing outside and getting some photos of this gorgeous and iconic building.
- The bay near the Island of Engey. I would love to take a boat from the docks in Reykjavík, out into the bay near Engey, as Riley and Will did during the season one finale.
- Hallgrímskirkja Saurbæ or church of Hallgrímur. In Sense8 this beautiful white church is the spot where Riley’s family is buried. The landscape in this area looks stunning.
- The Reynisfjara shore. Famous for it’s black sand beach, this is the spot where Riley revisited the cave she had entered as a child (the Halsanefshellir Cavern).
- Nesjavallavegur, or Road No 435. I would love to take a road trip and spend a summer’s afternoon driving down Road No 435, seeing the striking landscapes that Will and Riley drove through at the end of season one.
Overall, I just want to see Iceland. I want to walk through the streets of Reykjavík, experience the place, see the buildings and the people. Eat local cuisine. Listen to people say all those crazy Icelandic place names that I fear I will never be able to pronounce.
I would probably check out the National Museum, because I am a sucker for a good museum. I would probably take one of the whale watching tours out of the Reykjavík harbour (which would check off number 2 on the list above).
I know people often visit Iceland specifically to see the Northern Lights, but since technically I can view those here in Canada it’s just not that big of a draw for me. Besides, I think I’d like to visit in the summertime, and since the Northern Lights are a wintertime phenomenon they’d be out of the picture.
The more I look into Iceland, the more I want to visit. For example, I’ve been reading up about snorkeling in the Silfra fissure at the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Thingvellir National Park. It’s rated as one of the best diving spots in the world, apparently the water is so crystal clear that you can see for over 300 feet! It’s one of several things on this list of the ten best tours in Iceland that I am dying to do.
While researching my dream trip to Iceland I happened upon this website called Fangirl Quest which is run by a daring girl duo. They did a write up of the trips they took to visit the Sense8 filming locations in Chicago and Iceland. They do these gorgeous photos where they place a still image from the show into the picture, matching the scene to the location. I don’t want to reproduce any photos without permission, so you’ll need to click through and take a peek if you want to see what I’m talking about. But it’s so cool. Apparently this is a thing, sceneframing. I’d never heard of it before, and I fell right down the rabbit hole, getting distracted reading up all about it, and dreaming about how I might incorporate it into my trips.
Ok, so, I’m wondering… Have any of you ever been to Iceland? Is Iceland in your travel bucket list? Have you ever travelled to a location because it’s where they filmed a movie or series you enjoyed?