Bubbling mud in North Iceland
I was on that smoldering and soggy isle for only two weeks, but my visit left me with some thoughts on why to go and why not to go to Iceland.
There were of course many aspects of Iceland that both surprised and delighted me.
Stay tuned as I send some posts your way over the next couple of weeks! Continue reading
Ashley Lamb’s Birds silhouetted against the sunset
I decided to stay one more night, at a spot I never intended to stay in the first place.
I’m tucked in a room at the Women’s School in Blönduós, a mid-century boarding school that taught handcrafts to women in the winter of their 18th year. I don’t know the full history but I do know it is a very sweet space. It houses an artist in residence program with a focus on textiles, Ashley Lamb, who created the birds pictured above, is one of the artists working out of this space.
I was lucky enough to be offered a spot for the night and after waking up exhausted, I thought maybe I’d stay just one more night. Trading some uncovered ground for some rest and coziness, a tough decision but a good one I think.
I still got out plenty today, though maybe not covering as many kilometers as yesterday but discovering some special spots and falling ever more in love with Iceland.
Let me share with you some of the loveliness of today. Continue reading
Today was a great mix of moss and lava.
Elves and Giants.
Rock Statue in Arnarstapi.
Where else…but the Anchorage Airport?
I had to park my wheelie cart here, next to the largest Kodiak bear ever shot, as an attempt to dwarf the size of my enormous luggage.
Yesterday I found myself actually packed and ready to go with time to spare. Unfortunately that only left me with more than enough time to obsess about how much STUFF I was bringing with me. Gone are the days of traveling lightly, at least not this trip.
In my defense, that gigantic duffel is full of camping gear…and car camping gear at that. I figured I might as well bring Heath’s uber thick sleeping pad, my full size pillow and an extra sleeping bag in case it’s cold. I mean I do want a good night sleep, even if I am in my tent.
But as far the other three bags I have no defense, try as I might I couldn’t bear to leave anything behind. Not my 4 books or 3 journals or computer or winter coat or rain pants or chocolate bar or meals and snacks for 2 days or knitting needles or gifts of yarn or headphones or maps…you get the picture.
It all seemed absolutely essential.
And now that I’ve got it all, I intend to use absolutely everything I have, and if I don’t hopefully I’ll remember for next time and smartly leave it at home.
One hour till we board, I’ve got a hot mug full of tea, and enough to entertain me for days. Unfortunately my flight is barely more than 7 hours!
See you tomorrow.
I still remember Christmas morning 1987, talking with my Aunt on the other end of phone wires that I envisioned stretching clear under the Atlantic Ocean. She was stationed in Iceland that winter and I mostly remembered the term “white out” being used while we passed the phone around exchanging holiday greetings. It conjured images of fitful snow as I imagined a place perfectly black in the darkness. Black gusting wind, white driven snow…and somehow it seemed absolutely magical.
That’s probably the first time I actually heard of Iceland, I was 8.
And tomorrow I’ll be aboard an IcelandAir flight bound from Anchorage to Reykjavik. It’s not that I’ve always dreamed of Iceland since I was a kid…but at some point in adulthood it firmly lodged itself as one of my most desired destinations.
Planning & Packing in Progress
I passed through the airport last fall on my way back from Shetland, so close but all I could do was poke around the single gift shop and the duty free, never stepping outside the airport.
But now it’s for real, I have 2 weeks, on my own, to explore. I’m not going just for vacation, though I imagine my itinerary will feel quite satisfying. Rather I’m going to do some groundwork for a knitting related project!
I’m greatly looking forward to watching the adventure unfold. I plan on photographing and documenting so that I can share it with you…or anyone you know who happens to be besotted by the dual obsessions of Knitting & Iceland.
Now back to packing. Don’t worry I am bringing an extra duffel, one can never underestimate the amount of yarn you might need to bring home!