Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Is That A Geyser In That Picture, Or Was He Just Happy To See Me?

Bah Dum Bum

Seriously though folks, I'll say right out of the gate that Iceland didn't manage to be nearly as spectacular as I thought it would be.  Which is not to say it wasn't spectacular.  Because it was.  Quite.  It just wasn't as spectacular as I expected it to be.

This is not Iceland's fault.  My expectations were ridiculously high.

It's possible that if I didn't live in, or hadn't traveled extensively around Western Norway, I would have thought Iceland was the fucking BOMB! 

But alas, I do.  And I have.  Been to Yellowstone a couple of times too...

Consequently Iceland, in all its anomalous geological glory, fell just short of knocking my socks off.

What Western Norway doesn't have though, is The Blue Lagoon.
Now this was bitchin'.  Totally so.  It's a natural hot spring that they've turned into a spa retreat, a quick 20-ish minute drive from the airport.  Temperatures range from tepid bathtub upwards of hotter than hot hottub.  And it comes by that color naturally, which, oddly, is the thing that managed to impress me most.

This was the first stop on our trip.  We were instructed to have swimming suits in our carry-ons, so we were good to go almost as soon as we landed.

Conversations while soaking in the Blue Lagoon tended to be hushed; movements tended to be slow, almost sloth-like. There was no rampant merriment or splashing about.  Even the few children I saw were subdued.  Not because there were any specific rules that I saw prohibiting loud mucking about, but just because anything less than dignified reverence in the midst of all that sulfury steam would have seemed gauche. 

It was, however, permissable to wander about this magnificent blue puddle with a cold beer in your hand.  Which we did.  Gauche be damned.

This lovely little spot is in Thingvellir--site of the world's first legislative assembly.  A strictly open air parliament, of course, because these were Vikings, after all, and buildings in those days were for pussies. 

Apparently, that little pool there in the foreground was a favorite spot--bless their ghoulish Viking hearts--to drown women who were found guilty of witchcraft and incest (because we all know how incest is usually the girl's fault). 
Also notable about Thingvellir is it sits on a massive rift valley, one of the few places where the Mid-Atlantic Ridge can be seen above water.  I got a little thrill when our guide said, "Right now we are standing on America.  Over there (points towards the mountains) is Europe."  Oh goodie, I thought.  By all means, let's stay here.

And here we are posing like dorks in front of Gullfoss.  I've never seen Niagra, so this gets to be the biggest damn waterfall I've ever seen.
It really was quite beautiful, and unbelievably powerful.  I hear Ms. Palin favors an initiative to slap a turbine or twelve on it, and sell the energy cheap to India...or was it Indiana, maybe?...I can't remember.

Anyway, I thought the rainbow over Mister's shoulder was a nice touch.  But, ya' know, that's what rainbows do in Iceland.  They follow you around everywhere, and pose prettily in pictures with you.

That's it.  I take it back. 

On second thought, Iceland really was just. that. spectacular.  I think I'll go back someday before all the glaciers melt--further explore interior of the country and maybe go whale watching if there's any left.


Queen LaTeacha said...

What a great travellogue! I should have known you'd pick up on all the geological tidbits. Great job!

skinny bitch's mom said...

WOW! I wanna go there, well right after I come to your house. Someday??? Love ya.

Trace said...

So incredibly cool! So glad you got away together - no matter where, it is always great to get away and breathe!

Hey - blog back...haven't heard from you in forever!

jillybaby said...

What you weren't telling us was that it was midnight when those pictures were taken!!!hahaha. Just make sure that when you return, you don't go in winter, won't do your SAD any good at all lovie :-D

Victoria said...

I know what you mean - after driving all over Western Norway I don't think I can be impressed by scenery ever again. Including more Norwegian scenery. :-)