7/31/2012

Iceland Landscapes

It isn't a journey unless you get dislocated somehow. Flying all night, or flying and skipping a night, is dislocating. I told Theo the last time I stayed up all night was when he was born. I remember the sunrise that morning, too - dawn chasing over Lake Superior around 5:30 in the morning. This time I watched the sunrise on the north side of the IcelandAir plane somewhere over Greeland. The amazing part was, it was never night. Our plane flew almost exactly on the line between night and day. To the north was day, and the south was night. And then the sun rose, brilliant.



So we landed at Keflavik (the airport isn't really in Reykjavik, but is about thirty miles away.) We got picked up, got our rental car, and headed toward Reykjavik. I didn't know exactly where we were staying - meaning I didn't have it marked on a map and we couldn't figure out the phone numbering on our iPhones - but when we passed the Smariland Mall I knew we were close by. We stopped at a gas station, found someone who could speak a tiny bit of English, and found our rooms. We stayed at the Peace House. We had a couple of bedrooms and use of a house shared by a bunch of other people. It was all outfitted by Ikea. It took Theo awhile to sort out the toilets - I do not think we saw one single toilet that flushes like American ones. It was about 50 degrees outside so the windows were all open and it never got dark. Ever.



We napped a bit, found an outrageously expensive Pizza Hut to eat at, and then set out to try to find the Skogra Geyser. This was the first of our wandering around lost adventures. Kelly knew we should find Skogra and not Geysir Geyser, since Geysir quit working years ago. We headed out with a map and a vague idea. Theo immediately passed out but the rest of us got to see the amazing countryside. Here is a view from the west of Lake Pingvallavatn.


Here is the National Park Center we stopped at. Well, there was a building, but I was struck by the sight of a phone booth and picnic table in front of that vista. You can drive for miles and not see any sign of human life - not even telephone wires. Well, the highway. We stopped to ask for directions. We were told about a completely different place than we were looking for (that happened more than once on this trip...), a ruins or something instead of a geyser, so we got back in the car and headed east anyway.




This doesn't really capture it. The immensity of everything we looked at was stunning. I'd like to go back to Iceland. I'll get a better map next time.

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