Icelandic Flotsam


The final rant about being in Iceland, honest. Until I remember something else maybe ;). This one is a bit of a mixture of little bits about the trip that wouldn't fill an entire rant on their own.

English: It has to be said that the people of Iceland have fantastic English. Not just one or two of them, but the entire country it seems. There wasn't one person that we interacted with who didn't speak English fluently. From the people at the hotel to the random person we talked to at a car park trying to figure out how to get out of the place, everyone spoke English. In some cases they spoke it better than most of the English people they spoke too. Scary!

Geysers: There's a lot of geothermal stuff going on around Iceland. It's one of the reasons they don't pay heating bills apparently. Every building has geothermal heated water pumped directly to it. But this means that with all the activity underground there are a few things to see above ground. Like Geysers. The land has a few of them dotted around the place and one of the ones we went to erupts every eight minutes. As in set your watch to it. I've seen videos of these things but one up close is kinda cool. If only I'd thought ahead and brought that boil-in-the-bag rice like your man off the telly.

Ginger: So the Icelandic folk are your typical blond and blue eyed bunch without much variation. A few of them sport beards, a select sub-group even sport very viking like beards, so being a ginger was a bit like having a huge sign over my head saying "I ain't from around here." I've been to America a few times and have gotten used to the Yanks all thinking that ginger hair is some sort of double rainbow, staring at me as I walk past, but in Iceland something happened that hasn't happened before on an holiday. I was popping the lady friend's postcards into a letter box one night and the street lamp over head illuminated the area in a bright white light. A car of three lads in their twenties drove past and then stopped suddenly across the road from me. One of them took out his phone and snapped a picture of me. As I looked at him confused he waved, smiled and then started to point at his hair then at me. I literally had my picture taken for being ginger.

Gullfoss: Gullfoss is a waterfall, meaning The Golden Falls, that is a must see in Iceland for one special reason. Unlike most waterfalls were you have to drive to the foot of a mountain or even hike to the top of it, Gullfoss kinda just appears in the middle of nowhere. It literally took us two hours to drive to the plain that the waterfall is in and as we approached there was nothing around to indicate a valley or waterfall or anything was nearby. The closest mountains were another hours drive away and the area itself was flat and more or less featureless. We pulled into the carpark, got out, and walked down the little platform to be greeted by the sight of the biggest waterfall I've ever seen. It was originally a lake a few million years ago about some volcanic activity split the ground apart. Since then the waterfall has been pouring into a massive hole in the ground. Very funky to see. More so because the foam and spray is frozen to the sides of the rock in really strange ice formations.

That is about it for the random bits I reckon, unless the lady friend reminds me of some stuff later on. Which is entirely possible when so much cool stuff (pun intended) is packed into one trip.


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