8.17.2009

Unpacking from Iceland

















I had such a good time visiting my old roommate Gylfi in Iceland. 

As I told him as my visit neared an end, I had run out of superlatives to describe how impressed I was with the country.  I also didn't have time to make any more posts.  So, here are a few photos, several of which reflect our shift into the interior of the island.  I'll do my best to update with captions when I return to NOLA tonight.

***ADDED:

In the photo above, Gylfi stands at the Lögberg.




















That spot, the "Law Rock," was the focal point of Þingvellir, the "Assembly Fields," a great meadow sited along the mid-Atlantic tectonic rift. In that spot, the Icelandic parliament, or Alþingi, met from 930 A.D. until 1799.














This shot depicts the dramatic rift behind the Logberg where the Eurasian and North American plates are pulling apart.




















Iceland has a great deal of geothermal activity, including "Geysir," the geyser from which the general term derives. The one shown here, which likes to pulsate and shake the ground a bit before erupting, is Strokkur.
















The house in the photo sits along the shore of Reykjavik's harbor. It was the site of the momentous 1986 meeting between Reagan and Gorbachev, "the beginning of the end."



















Reykjavik does not have a Starbucks, but it does have a handful of great coffee houses, including this one, which I refer to simply as H & V. It's decorated like an Icelandic grandma's living room, and it was the perfect setting for a concert with the roving duo, Mysterious Marta and Ivar.













Sunset near Langjökull, Iceland's second largest glacier.


















The grand double waterfall of Gullfoss took my breath away. The two of us reached it just after sunset and largely had the place to ourselves. No touristy kitsch within miles. Raw nature.













Reykjavik from the Perlan, with Mt. Esja off in the distance.

















Icelandic horses roaming out on the way to Laugarvatn.
















A surprise visit to the Southern coast. We trekked up a lush, remote valley below one of the glaciers for a swim in an uncrowded pool heated by water cascading naturally from little waterfalls above.




















Steingrímur, or "Steiny" - one of the fun people I met in Iceland, waits in line outside one of the packed clubs in downtown Reykjavik.




















Steiny and the whale. The whale we ate for dinner. Quite delicious. Great with parsley.
















A lighthouse off Reykjavik and the brooding, iconic Mt. Keilir, a volcano some distance from the city.

















Thar she blows!



















Midnight Sun.