Speak of Iceland and your minds eye is immediately drawn to images of ethereal landscapes, smouldering and searing water vapour and gasses from the earths very core into the atmosphere, like a sleeping Dragon. Thirty-four crews are set to tackle this beast over the next few days, but for now the Dragon remains in slumber as the rally cars of the Icelandic Saga wait to pen their own tale in the streets of the Islands capital, Reykjavic. Although the mountains do loom upon the horizon, here we are very much integrated amongst the architecture and people, but thoughts of adventures to come will not have been very far from the minds of the competitors as the cars went through scrutineering.
At dawn we gather at the Presidents house, ready to tackle 1223 miles (1968 km) of stupendous roads, backed by even more staggering scenery. Of course, as enticing as the blacktop will be, all involved will do well not to fall foul of the countries strict traffic laws, a fact reinforced during the drivers briefing, those wishing to pedal will need to wait for the various tests scattered throughout the days of competition.
No, Iceland is a country best enjoyed at a more sedate pace, not least for one’s own safety, as the spiteful winds can whip snow and ice onto what was a clear road in seconds, but also to take in just what a wonderful environment surrounds you. Even the urban sprawl of the capitol has its attractive highlights and in a land of old sagas it is somewhat fitting that in pride of place amongst all of the steel and concrete is the Harpa, Reykjavic’s luminescent opera house. The composition of our own saga begins at 9am, as we head for the wilderness, the story it will tell and how it will end are unknowns, for now, but rest assured there will be heroes, villains, jeopardy and jubilation, all played out on one of the greatest natural sets the world has to offer. Stay tuned to see how our story will unfold.
Photos by Blue Passion Photo