Thursday, August 23, 2012

August 20th trip

August 20th Trip 

Early Monday morning Jeri and I drove through the fog to Akureyri, Iceland’s second largest town, which sits at the base of the Eyjafjorur fjord in the center of the North region, population 1,700. The big event of the day was the flight to Grimsey Island.

The flight itself was exhilarating and it afforded terrific views of the cockpit as well as the landscape.

Grimsey Island straddles the Arctic Circle and has:

A summer population of 90, 60 in the winter
One road, store, elementary school, church, pool and library
No police, no crime
No doctor
Three horses
No dogs, cats, mice
No trees, shrubs or bushes
Millions of birds
No rocks that aren’t covered in guano
A three hole golf course just north of the Arctic Circle line

I relocated the rock with salt crystal that Christine Nguyen made in the cairn at the 65 degree north line.

From the remote, cold, windy and desolate Grimsey we returned to Akureyri and had a stroll through their botanical gardens, established in 1912 by an industrious local woman.

Iceland is filled with small museums and a real gem is the Museum of Industry. Instead of importing, Icelanders made just about everything themselves including all types of paint and marine varnishes, manufacturing machines, clothing and food products. The displays were almost archival – this was a favorite and outdoes anything by Damien Hirst.

The following day we drove south and east to the Myvatn lake region. It is a bit touristy for Iceland and you can see why. I preferred the low endless lava fields to some of the more classically beautiful spots on the lake and relocated this smooth caramel like stone from the Greek Island Patmos.

There is crazy geothermal activity on the north west side of the lake. I find it impossible to recreate the color of the water in words or image but will throw out a few adjectives – milky blue green phosphorescence with a radioactive luminosity. It’s as if you took one of those light sticks you buy at CVS pharmacy during Halloween, crack it open and pour it into a bowl of skim milk.

Jeri described the day as going from the moon to Mars. Can’t do any better than that.

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