First things first, over the last couple of weeks I have been getting words of encouragement either from comments online or via retweets on Twitter or emails or verbally from people reading this blog to all of you a big thank you and so I will continue.
I had originally planned to try to write something everyday when I started this blog and to post a picture a day but somehow things don’t always go to plan for whatever reason. (Me getting to grips with wordpress) While it might be a couple of weeks since the trip I hope part three will be as interesting for the reader(s) as it was for us at the time.
After a reasonable kind of a sleep, I say this because we stayed in ‘sleeping bag’ accommodation which actually was pretty decent except I didn’t have a sleeping bag. Essentially the bedrooms just hold 3 or 4 beds and that’s it. I used my bag as a pillow and a found blanket.
We all managed to get up at 0700 as agreed the night before and I handed driving duties over to another artist, Ingeun. When we’d hired the car the inclusion of a card entitling you to four free cups of coffee seemed great in principal. Armed with our ‘4 Cups 4 Free’ we set off the nearest petrol station. Even though the coffee came from a vending machine it was horrendous. The view at the back of the petrol/gas station was pretty spectacular though.
View from the back of the N1 Petrol Station, Akureyri.
I convinced the others that it would be in the best interest of our stomachs to go back to Akureyri to the bakery to get some breakfast. We were the first customers of the day and gratefully ate our assorted rolls and pastries before getting back into the car. We crossed the bridge from the centre and turned left after 10 minutes low and behold we passed the The Icelandic Folk and Outsider Art Museum however it wasn’t open yet but we know where it is now!
Now speaking of strange things said to people or about people in Iceland, the same little boys who had decided that I worked for the mafia had decided that Ingeun had been in ‘The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift’. For a while there I think we’d started to believe he might have actually been in the film as we overshot the first place that we wanted to visit and had to go back on ourselves!
The first stop was Goðafoss which translates as waterfall of the Gods. The story behind the name goes as follows that when Iceland became officially Christian in 999 or 1000, the decision was made by Þorgeir Þorkelsson Ljósvetningagoði himself a pagan priest and chieftain. He threw the idols of his gods into the waterfall. If I have got that abbreviated account wrong then please correct me as I did use Wikipedia as a quick reference source. The weather had turned glorious since our early start, bright, sunny and warm. A preview of our day was to come as while we stopped and admired and were amazed by Goðafoss, a couple of coaches arrived with seemingly endless tourists.
The figures in the picture serve to give a sense of scale as well and I could look up the technical data and list it but there’s still a lot more to be written about and shown, so on we go.
The area is known for Lake Mývatn which translates as ‘Midge Lake’ and it lived up to its name as the swarms of tiny black flies follow you around when you walk outside and even get in the car with you. I did see two people with mesh over their faces but we didn’t go that far although flies up your nose is not fun.
Me with new friends…(If you zoom in on the picture you’ll see how many midges wre about…)
Both pictures above by Ingeun Kim.
These views are possibly from Kálfaströnd although there now seems to be some uncertainity from myself and the others who went but as you can see we were incredibly lucky with the weather.
From there it was onto Dimmuborgir which I unfortunately renamed ‘Jimmy Borg’ in my head and now keep on forgetting the real name. Here is a selection of impressive lava formations. It would be very easy to spend a couple of hours wandering around the marked paths but with a schedule not quite as strict as the tourists who did up shortly after we arrived we stayed for almost an hour I guess. The tourists on the coach were like an army with a very strict time frame, there was no faffing around on their they took their path with no hesitation.
Why did it take so long you might be asking?
1) The coach was there.
2) Then these ‘goons’ (from L to R, Ingeun, Joseph & Rogerio) turned up:
As you can see the weather was now warm enough to go short sleeved! I have a feeling that the more time you spend looking at the rocks the more you’ll start to see things…I know I was.
Couple about to kiss?
The day is still not done but I am also aware of my readers and rather than continue and lose your attention I’ll stop here and divide Part 3 into a sub part of (i) so Part 3 sub part (ii) concluding the trip will come later in the week.
Dramatically it might not be the most suspenseful, page turning, nerve shredding place to end but I hope you’ll tune in again.