At regular intervals I came upon Iceland's spectacles: huge waterfalls, glaciers oozing down between mountains like rivers of blue putty, and J¿kuls¿rl¿n, a lake filled with masses of ice. On one occasion, I battled bad roads and unmarked paths to cross a lava field in a storm to get to Dettifoss, the largest waterfall in Europe. Long before I could see it, I could hear it, rumbling like a Sensurround earthquake. When it finally appeared, an enormous, hypnotic mountainside of water thundering into a natural churn, I couldn't help but reflect that in other parts of the world grandeur always seems to be cordoned off, staked out with viewing platforms, somehow captured, at the cost of its excitement and mystery. In Iceland everything still seems fresh and real.