Parting Shots: Iceland With Hannes Pálsson

By @ 01/29/14 in Correspondent, Gay travel, Gay travel magazine, Gay travel magazine for iPad, Hannes Pálsson, Iceland, ManAboutWorld, Parting Shots, Reykjavik, Travel

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Our Global Correspondent and Iceland native Hannes Pálsson grew up in the absence of  TVs and computers during his childhood leading him to a live of exploration and real-world experiences. This sense of adventure has propelled him to visit over 30 countries thus far and join  Pink Iceland, the country’s only LGBT tour company. We spoke to him about his love of Iceland and his passion for travel, and we selected his journeys as this month’s Parting Shots in our magazine. Here’s the expanded story and more of his photos.

1. Why do you love to travel?

My favorite thing about traveling in Iceland as opposed to my usual city breaks is the feeling of constant awe. I love the fact that I am made to feel small, humbled, by Mother Nature, rather than human achievement. Never have I felt more connected to something greater than the sum of human achievement than when traveling around Iceland

2. How far in advance do you plan your trips?

I seldom plan more than a couple of months in advance and more often then not I get sent a good deal and end up panic booking hotels for the following week!

3. Who do you travel with?

I love traveling on my own but I tend to travel more with my partner or my friends these days. I also try to go on holiday with my extended family every two or three years. Read on for the rest of the interview and for some gorgeous photos of Iceland!

4. What has surprised you about travel?

I guess it’ll have to be how easy it is to forget you’re somewhere amazing. The more I travel the more I have to remind myself to wind down, take it all in and apply all my senses to every experience. I have been known to confiscate smartphones from friends and family, urging them to experience rather than document the best moments of their holidays.

5. What do you know now that you wish you knew before your first trip?

I used to go for quantity over quality when I was younger but now I’d rather save up and treat myself to good food and great accommodations when on holiday.

6. Favorite moment was…

Sitting in a natural pool in the highlands of Iceland at midnight on summer solstice 2008. The temperature hovered around zero but the water was a perfect 38 Celsius. The sun at its lowest position seemed to graze the glacier next to us before rising again, refusing to give us even a minute of darkness that night.

7. Best time to go is either middle of summer of middle of winter, preferably both! The summer gives you the incredible midnight sun and 24 hours of daylight as well as high-season prices; in winter you can experience the Northern Lights, snow, glaciers, and winter adventures at great low-season deals.

8. Gay Factor

Iceland is a progressive country where LGBT folks enjoy the same legal rights as their heterosexual counterparts. Perhaps more important than any law, the majority of Icelanders celebrate, rather than tolerate the queer community as is best illustrated by the fact that Iceland’s Pride Parade attracts up to 100,000 locals, or a third of the population!

Now onto Hannes’ beautiful Iceland photos:

11664945355_2f0f2520cd_z iceland 1With almost 24 hour daylight in the summer and thousands of waterfalls Iceland has more rainbows per capita than any other country. Or at least we’d like to believe that.

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Dóri is the Rainbow Reykjavik festival videographer and all around great guy!

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This cold lake is conveniently located next to the Fontana geothermal pools and steambaths – a great place to warm up after a cool dip!

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The Ring Road: Road #1 takes you around the country. We can’t remember where this was taken but it looks very typical for the views one might expect on the road!

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So many places and ways to relax.

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Laugarvatn Lake: Geothermal water rises through the ground and mixes in with the cold lake causing it to steam

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The lone traveler: Many visit Iceland for the opportunity to feel one with nature. The country is still mostly untouched and there are amazing places travellers can visit without feeling crowded.

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Natural pools: Iceland is full of hot water which, when it surfaces, often creates magnificent natural pools dotted all around the country.

 

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