West Iceland!!

May 1, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

I hope you are well. Today was really nice. I took a 10.5 hour excursion and it was hands down the most beautiful drive I have ever done in my life. Unfortunately my phone internet isn’t working properly so I don’t have all the pictures to show. Only some teasers like this one and the one below, both of which were taken from an access road in the middle of the West Iceland peninsula. IMG_3289I woke up and picked up a Ford Fiesta from a nice rental place and then set out for West Iceland. In one of my meetings yesterday I was told to forget the “Golden Circle” and head to Snæfellsjökull, a glacier in West Iceland. With each turn, the scenery was more beautiful. I never made it up to the official glacier, but that was okay. I drove most of the way up, but then I didn’t trust my car to be okay in the conditions. You really need a four-wheel drive to do it and the Fiesta, while awesome, was having a hard time on some of the parts of the road. I walked around the glacier area but didn’t see it officially and that was fine. I didn’t want to push my luck as I had many other things going for me today.

Here are some of the things I did: Leaving Reykjavik, I went trough an undersea tunnel (on the way back, I drove around the gulf that I avoided by taking the tunnel. The gulf is very beautiful and great for motorcycling. I stopped for coffee on a roadside stand. I stopped a lot actually to take roadside pictures. I found an icy waterfall and climbed up near it. I passed this big crater and climbed up it and looked inside. It was very much a volcano and felt like it might have been Mars. I used to be terrified of volcanoes but you can’t be if you come to Iceland. I drove around the tip of the West Iceland peninsula and visited the towns of Ólafsvík and Arnarstapi. In Arnarstapi I had some Icelandic soup with lamb and a beer at a little home/restaurant.

IMG_3292I passed this roadside thing where some cars were congregating. It turned out to be a cool cave. I took an impromptu tour of a lava cave that went over 100 feet down. They gave us helmets and flashlights. I didn’t mention that I had my own flashlight in the car. It was actually pretty terrifying and I hoped that if the cave collapsed it would kill me immediately. There was a family from Toronto on the tour, and the kids kept trying to stop the mom from making annoying comments, which I found amusing. The guide, Thor, was a badass. Of course.

When I stopped for gas at the N1 in a town closer to Reykjavik called Borgarnes, I was immediately helped by a man in a bleached hair wig wearing a borat-style bathing suit. He started washing my windows with a spray bottle and rag in a very flamboyant style, and he wanted to pump the gas for me. okay. He was surrounded by a bunch of other guys and they were all filming. Hmmm. I asked him what kind of bet he lost but it turns out he was getting married and i guess this was a bachelor party of sorts. He said he used to work at the gas station. He literally kissed the gas dispenser tube when he took it out of my car. Ughghhh. They made me wave at the cameras. All in all it was pretty hilarious but amidst the sillyness I forgot to get a receipt. Probably can’t expense the gas anyway, so oh well.

I tried to go to Þingvellir, where the tectonic plates are diverting but the road from Borgarnes was impassable, so I didn’t go. Hope to share some more pictures soon. I probably took 100 today. I was too tired to go out again so I ate a smoked salmon thing for dinner at the hotel.  I packed up for the most part and now i need to go to sleep. The flight to Copenhagen is very early tomorrow.

Love, Annie



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