Friday, July 16, 2010

Icelandic Wild Life: Part 2

(It's getting too hard to fix the pic locations so forgive the messed up look of all this.)

We only met about five other groups of Americans on our trip. Iceland logs a lot more Europeans all of whom are packing mega cameras with foot-long zoom lenses. Regardless of the language barrier, BoyChild and GirlChild wormed their way into a soccer/football match to show off their skillz....*snort*....ok, well, the German family was REALLY nice and tolerant. Here they are having fun at about 10:30 pm. 24 hours of daylight is pretty damned cool, unless you're trying to sleep.


Sadly, Alice didn't bring a watch on the trip. A typical night's sleep with the sun streaming around the blackout curtains went like this:

Alice: What time is it?
Babycakes: Huh? Urgh....2:12.
Alice: Babycakes...what time is it?
Babycakes: *snore* Hunh? 4:25.
Alice: Wake up...what time is it?
Babycakes: Gnnnahhh...huh...5:05.
Alice: Oh.

We had a goal to get north of the Arctic Circle and had to fly a little 8-seater plane to get to the greater metropolitan area/island of Grimsey. It was hard to find our way through the maze-like concourses of their airport, but after stepping around the chainlink fence we made it to our tour guide, Katla.

We chose the driving option around the island since the wind could best be described as hurricane. And so Katla drove us around the tiny island pointing out the puffins, kittiwakes and terns and letting us tourist pose by the pole marking out the Arctic Circle.

The island is so tiny that Katla had a few problems turning us around on the single lane 'road' and Babycakes had to put his shoulder into freeing us from a depression. Go Babycakes! But don't push so hard that we back up over that cliff and become puffin fodder. And so we left Grimsey, saying goodbye to the 64 people who call it home and took off in our tiny plane taking out a few arctic terns with our propellor on take off. Whoops.


GirlChild: What was that?
Alice: Natural selection.

We headed south to visit the Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon soon after. Who wants to be lounging by pool while sipping Mojitos when you could be decked out like a sherpa? How do you like that hat? You better like that hat. I paid enough for it.

The lagoon was pretty spectacular, even with the crazy wind having blown all the icebergs to one side. That iceberg was so blue it looked fake.

At one point, our guide Helga (her real name) who was decked out in a way that surpassed any lame high schooler trying to North Face their way to popularity, stood holding a chunk of 1000 year old ice in her bare hands for a good 10 minutes. I don't think I heard a word she said as I pondered how long I could hold a chunk of ice in frigid weather without dropping it which I would estimate to be 30 seconds. I'd be no good as a Jokulsarlon tour guide.

Part 3 to follow...


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