We landed in Iceland at one in the morning on Friday. It was pitch black. No midnight sun like I expected.
I believed to the very last moment that the guide had been playing tricks on us and instead of midnight tent building we would be bussed to a warm and cozy hotel overlooking the ocean. I believed it until we were bussed to a huge meadow and the guide said, "Have a good night."
Crap. How did people survive before headlamps??? I thought of my Father in Law, Bill, a lot, as he is the master of midnight tent building and regretted all the times I mocked him when I should have been asking him for tips. It turns out midnight tent building is the same as normal tent building except you cant find anything until you slip on it or it hits you. In short, there seems to be much more swearing.
After four glorious hours of sleep it was time to pack up again. I admit it took me a while to come to terms with that. But oh my…we were camped right on the beach under two lighthouses which, in the exhaustion of it all, we did not notice the night before.
The coast was stunningly beautiful and so quiet and peaceful. Honey, I wanted you to be there so bad. Don’t worry though, I took pics.
The first stop of our Icelandic adventure was a short walk through a geothermal area with mud springs and hot pots–Yellowstone in miniature. We also got to see and pet a herd of Icelandic horses which are one of the oldest breeds in the world as it has been forbidden to import horses to the island since the tenth century. They look small kinda like ponies but they are very hardy, intelligent, and mellow. They are also capable of five not four types of gait. Apparently this special step they know is genetic to them and is very comfortable for the rider despite the rough terrain.
Fish drying racks.
Not sure how to introduce the Blue Lagoon. Think Shangri La. Think Ben and Jerry’s on sale. Think shirtless Brad Pitt.
Think a luxurious heated outdoor pool by geothermal water that is rich in minerals and is extremely good for the skin and general physical well-being. The accumulated white mud is smeared on the face and you emerge looking 21. It has to be pitch black but take my word for it I really do.
Anyhow, a little bit of nerdiness: The water which comes out at 200c (392F) is used to power the turbines of a nearby plant. The high temperature is due to the high pressure the water is under at hundreds of feet below ground. Once cooled to 42C (108F) it is channeled to the lagoon where you float in this giant hot bath surrounded by a lava field chatting and drinking (and getting younger) while it is freezing cold outside. Again. Think Shangri La. Think Ben and Jerry’s on sale. Think shirtless Brad Pitt.
Reykjavik is really just a big, quaint village.
The city cathedral. Note it has four clocks on its tower but none are correct because the strong winds move the hands at will.
Hofdi House. Where Gorbachev and Reagan met to try to bring the cold war to a close.
Tonight we are camping in the middle of Reykjavik. Everyone in this town is in hiking pants and carries a backpack. Reykjavik, the world’s most northern capital, is granola central. Stopped shaving legs to fit in. (I like this place.)