Guys, after a lot of careful thought, I’ve decided it’s time for me to migrate. To a new blog. Because I’m graduating and everything. At the moment I’m uploading my travel diary from the month I spent travelling around Iceland, Norway, and Copenhagen. Here’s an extract, and if you like it you can check it out here!
AFTER a bit of a mix up what with waiting for the bus in the wrong place, we’re on our way around the Golden Circle, and the sandwiches are surprisingly okay. It’s clear the tour guide absolutely loves her job as she tells us about the places she’s camped at around the island, the mountains, the animals, and the steam outlets in the hills that sometimes end up shooting out of people’s houses after an earthquake. It seems that an ever changing landscape with shifting rock formations, rivers, and geysirs is a normal part of life here, a concept which I find mildly terrifying. However the forests are fortunately the opposite of intimidating – “What do you do if you get lost in a forest in Iceland? Stand up.”
|‘Royal blue rivers, pale grass, and clusters of dwarf trees’|
WE stop at Thingvellir National Park, where Iceland declared its independence. After admiring the flag standing in honour, we take a walk around the visible meeting point of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. I feel very small.
Idyllic is the word that comes to mind as we meander across royal blue rivers, pale grass, and clusters of dwarf trees.
BACK on the bus, I stare at the lochs appearing in the landscape, from tiny glittering sapphires to vast bright blue masses flooding the valleys, themselves peppered with islands. One such island has another lake on it, making that lake a lake on an island in a lake on an island (that last island being the island of Iceland). As we pass the vast lilac carpets of Alaskan lupus, brought here to cultivate the land, our guide tells us of a range of mountains in front of us that look like a woman. Two german teenagers behind us are in fits of giggles, and even I’m tempted to ask if we’ll be seeing the boob mountains up close.
|‘Gullfoss is one of those places that make you feel you’re very near some kind of god’|
There’s so much open space and desert here, but people have so much love for the country that I feel no fear when looking across the empty black soil and grassland. It’s unexpectedly liberating to be so aware yet so separated from a phobia.
|‘I spend an indefinite amount of time just watching the water’|
GULLFOSS (Golden Waterfall) is one of those places that make you feel you’re very near some kind of god. Every misty drop as the water hits the rocks is your baptism. I spend an indefinite amount of time just watching the water – where it swells or runs rapids, where it slides blue or froths white, where the rocks jut up or are easily submerged. Paganism is still followed by many here and it’s no small wonder. I can barely imagine what it would feel like to be part of a faith that shows itself to you in all its raw power and beauty like this. What religion rewards you, demonstrates itself to you, so readily or so evocatively?
THE geysirs are just really fun. Everyone screams whenever a jet erupts out of the turquoise pools and soaks all of us. Kids keep running into the spray. It’s great. We do some food shopping after I’d had an open-mouthed and attractive nap in the coach, and return to the hostel to sort out my locker fiasco – never use a 20-year old padlock, it will get stuck. As I’m writing this a rather marvellous guy on reception is seeing if they have anything to saw it open with. Will update after dinner – I’m starving. Ellie’s started cooking despite being stressed about the election and our early start tomorrow (5:45am for real). I can’t believe any of this is happening.
|‘The geysirs are just really fun’|
It’s open! He sawed through it with a bone saw! I never thought I’d break into anything, but it’s kind of lame that it had to be my own.