I came to Iceland for several reasons.
One was of the course the inspiring scenery.
Another was the people it inspired.
And the last was the culture that arose from this relationship.
Of course I was only thinking of the country itself, and now I'm here, another learning mission has chosen to accept me; experiencing people from many different countries.
The scenery isn't just breathtaking, it physically steals my oxygen while I'm sleeping and distributes it evenly across the whispering shores, the sighing mountains, the shouting waterfalls.
Most of that you can see in the pictures from the pre-sessional field trip around Southern Iceland in the album linked in the last entry. I love photography (on an extremely amateur level), but dammit this country just makes any attempts at good pictures useless. My favourite picture I took was of the waterfall and the rainbow (displayed a couple of entires ago), but that still isn;t enough. What I can't show you is how that rainbow moved, faster than eyes can shift, once creeping closer and then again creeping back shyly. Lovely.
There are a lot of rainbows in Iceland. Mostly because it rains a lot. Speaking of which, last weekend I saw the most rain I've ever seen fall in one day.
This story ends with me being glad I still have friends.
I suggested to Antje and Eemeli that we take a bus trip to Ólafsvik, a town in the west on the Snaefells peninsula, near Snaefells mountain (and associated small glacier) where the heroes of my third-favourite-book begin their Journey to the Centre of the Earth.
Bus goes ok, and by bus I mean minibus, a public service minibus, and we get to Ólafsvik. It's a pleasant evening, little wind, some sun, and life feels easy.
"Did you book anywhere?"
"Naw, I'm sure it'll be fine."
They don't blame me, I'm young. The first guesthouse is full. It's not long before we learn that winter starts September in Iceland. And everywhere else in town in shut for the winter. The next minibus out of there was 5.35. The next day.
After much desperation we manage to book a hostel in the next town, 30km away, and decide to hitchhike.
Perhaps not wise in Iceland.
A guy picked us up on the outskirts of town, but could only frive us a little way. Still 20km to go, but now we're hopeful, and begin to walk.
We were still walking 2 hours later! You'd be amazed how many Icelanders drove by with massive 4x4s and only themselves for company. Eventually, we were picked up by a German couple in a tiny two-door car, so we sat very tahnkfully cramped in the back with our packs on our laps. I love Germans.
What's amazing is those two actually still grace me with their company, and what's even more amazing is we're all going on a trip round the whole island starting tomorrow! Me, Antje, Eemeli and a Czech guy called Tomas, a small hired car and a whole host of pre-booked accomodation.
More amazing pictures to come, see you next week! :-)