I have always been in awe of the beauty of horses. So upon my first visit to Iceland, I was obviously very keen on riding Icelandic horses, one of the purest equine breeds, across Icelandic lava fields. Icelandic horses are incredibly playful and cute, but they’re also sturdy and strong. Their unique gait, the tolt, is a mix between a trot and a canter, and allows them to smoothly navigate the rough stones of Iceland’s lava fields. Dressed head to toe in my warmest clothing, I rode with one American girl and our Danish guide. We were given one break midway through to explore a lava cave. Though I took an intermediate tour as an experienced rider, interacting with these sweet creatures is an experience I recommend to all going to Iceland.
Somewhere amidst the chunks of moss-covered lava rock is, supposedly, the homes of the huldufolk, or mythical elves. Travellers are advised to never kick lava rocks in case it’s an elf stone and you get cursed. Elves only make themselves visible to the people who they want to see them, and I can’t say I’ve ever seen any elves, but there is a certain quality of mythology present in the formation of these landscapes themselves. On land and from above, the landscape is otherworldly, like it came from a fairy tale or an alien planet. And this place even casts a spell on the visitor, since my thoughts have been filled with nothing but Iceland ever since I returned.