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ICELAND: SIX DAYS IS NOT ENOUGH (Part 2 of 2)

Retracing our drive after sleeping in sadcar, luck brings a sunny day, where the tops of mountains and snow-covered volcanos revive our senses. We ride through the golden circle which reveals hot spots and the Great Geysir, the original geyser from which all others get their name.

Gullfoss

The main attraction, though, hides a few miles away down a canyon hidden by the landscape. The double-cascade waterfalls of Gullfoss greats us with a rainbow.

Moss covered lava rock

We sleep in a hostel this night, as the coastal winds make conditions too hostile to pitch a tent. Another clear day in the morning gives us views of moss-covered lava beds that resemble a crowd of dancing elves in the distance.

Sea shore

Fjords divide the North Atlantic’s shores with craggy tips.

Lunch

After lunch, we drive a dirt road in search of what Anthony Bourdain calls, “the worse tasting food of my life.” At the small Bjarnarhofn farmstead, the scent of ammonia surrounds a small museum dedicated to the Greenland Shark. Icelanders cut the meat of this toxic mammal, store it in an uncovered wooden box, and allow it to ferment in its own juices for about 4 winter months.

Fermented shark

Then, the meat is hung and air-dried for a few more months. Voila – Hakarl, a delicacy for special occasions, ready to eat. The bittersweet of transforming toxic into edible. Most folks cannot get past the smell of rotting flesh and the aftertaste, but Mare and I actually like it. Go figure.

Camping Iceland

Eventually, we pitch tent in the town of Stykkisholmur, next to a golf course that boasts a midnight tee-time. We eat Icelandic hot dogs, drink beer, and stare at mountains from our picnic table. Oh yeah, Babe, that’s what I’m talking about.

Basalt

Before leaving the next day, we take a 3-hour boat tour around basalt islands, which ends with dragging a chain net on the bottom to retrieve scallops and sea urchins. They treat us to the freshest possible sushi, cut live from the shell.

Sushi

One last tent camp back on the grounds of Reykjavik City Hostel, where I donate a signed copy of my novel, Broken Collar, to their library. We enjoy another splurge meal, this time of blue mussels and minke whale filet, which resembles a grisly T-bone steak.

Whale

Let’s stop at the Blue Lagoon on the way to the airport.

Blue Lagoon

From a distance, the Blue Lagoon looks and smells like the Coke Plant in a steel mill, minus any dirt in the air. Strap on an electronic bracelet, shower with busloads of naked Europeans, and then wade into clouded heaven.

Blue Lagoon

Walk in warm/hot milky white water tinted in blue. Step on lava rock smoothed with silicon mud. Not heaven, probably Purgatory, since bodies wade around wearing skimpy bathing suits…go up to the bar for a drink and pay with your bracelet. Yeah baby, give me Purgatory!

Mare in Blue Lagoon

Mud up the face for a deep cleansing, relax and then relax more. What a perfect way to prepare for a midnight flight to St. Petersburg. No doubt, six days is not enough! Takk fyrir Abundant Universe! Ron Mitchell

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20 Comments Post a comment
  1. Amazing, amazing scenery… looking forward to hearing about the next leg of your journey!

    June 9, 2013
    • Got that song from the Rolling Stones, “Sympathy for the Devil, ever since landing in St. Petersburg.

      June 9, 2013
  2. Ma & Pa #

    The photos are absolutely beautiful!!!!

    June 9, 2013
    • It was so touching to see and talk to you and dad and Jack…on Skype, from St. Petersburg. For free to boot! Amazing.

      June 9, 2013
  3. Mary Anne Legarski #

    Soak it all in!

    June 9, 2013
  4. Bev Wagner Budash #

    Keep writing Ronnie, keep going to these exotic places i’ll never get to go to, you make it very “real” to this reader!

    June 9, 2013
    • Thank you for the words of encouragement, Bev. I love to travel, and write, and such positive types of feedback is delectable dessert!

      June 9, 2013
  5. Maureen Barsnack Napier #

    Absolutely beautiful!!!! What a blessing to enjoy! Thanks so much for sharing!

    June 9, 2013
    • Maureen, yes this is truly a blessing. Also an honor to share. Thanks for your kind words. Ron

      June 9, 2013
  6. martiwrites #

    Totally enjoying the Iceland blogs. Gotta say … there’s a Where’s Waldo element to the Blue Lagoon group pic. 🙂

    June 9, 2013
  7. I love your words “looks like dancing elves,” is that perhaps inspired not only by the image but how the vibe in Iceland? Wanna go.

    June 11, 2013
  8. Vicky Jackson Barr #

    What an adventure! I can only imagine how fulfilled your life must be! Thanks for sharing your adventurers to those of us who seldom leave Mingo. Of course, Mingo is becoming an adventure in itself these day. lol

    June 12, 2013
    • Vicky, yes, this is quite an adventure, and we’re really just getting started. Will see how long we can hold up. Mingo was the best training I could ever have had.

      June 12, 2013
  9. Iceland, what a wonderful country. 6 days is definitively not enough, but at least it gave you a nice taste 🙂 (oh well… maybe I shouldn’t have used that word :D).

    April 9, 2015
    • Ha, taste is perfect. Would love to see Iceland in the dark of winter for some strange reason.

      April 9, 2015
      • We did as well. It’s a strange atmosphere 🙂 If you really want to explore the winter darkness, Swedish Lapland is also perfect 🙂

        April 11, 2015

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