Of all the beautiful things I saw on my February trip to Iceland, the rainbows are what has stuck with my the most the last five months as I count down the days till I go back. The sky was mostly a delicious rainy gray during our trip (I’m a rainy day connoisseur), but when the sun did shine through, the light was sharp and strong. I saw more rainbows in a day driving outside Reykjavik than I have in the last 5 years in Maryland. The best one happened the day we rented a car to drive the Golden Circle. I believe we were on our way from Þingvellir to Gullfoss. My father literally likes to get off the beaten path when traveling, so we ended up driving into the island on some random road for a half an hour or so in our tiny rental car. The sky was pretty much giving us this:
All of a sudden, the sky in front of us opened up to let in brilliant sunlight….
My dad said, “Look behind us. This is the perfect weather for a rainbow.” I looked back, and there was a huge, vibrant rainbow crossing the road.
Both ends were visible, but it was so long, I couldn’t get it all into one shot. I definitely understood at that moment why the Norsemen believed their gods commuted on a rainbow bridge.
We saw more rainbows later in the day too. One or two looked like colorful versions of the geothermal hot spots where a plume of steam would be billowing out of a hill or on the horion.
On our way to the airport on our last day, the sun would periodically pierce the thick cloud cover with rays of light so intense, you could see the outline clearly from the clouds to the patch of ground illuminated. I couldn’t capture the color or intensity of the light with my iphone. While not obviously rainbows, they had all the colors just barely visible. Pale rainbows coming from the sky at almost a right angle to the ground.
They were splendid.