Saturday, September 24, 2016

Iceland, Part One

Iceland: Beautiful. Friendly. Rainy.
This sign greets visitors arriving at Keflavik International Airport,
about an hour outside Reykjavik. Words both wise and welcoming. 

Comprised of literally thousands of delicate layers, this formation reminded me of a fragile, sweet mille feuille.
From a little farther out, you see the basalt columns that formed naturally as the lava floes  spread and cooled and cracked  into their crystals.

 The photos above give a clearer view of the formation for sure, but I had to include this next view from a distance, for sheer scale. That tiny red dot at the cave entrance (center) is a person ...

Black Sands Beach was about a 2.5 hour drive from Reykjavik, outside Vik, on Iceland's south shore. I had decided early on that I'd stop at any information point/travellers' center/lookout that struck my fancy so the 2.5 hour drive ended up taking nearly 7, and I barely got there before sunset. I was particularly glad I was alone that day. If 96 and 98 had been with me, they surely would have smothered me in my sleep that night.

I drove past this memorial on one of the main highways several times before I finally stopped one day, expecting to maybe say a little prayer and be on my way. Sometimes I say a little prayer for people figuring even if I don't know their names, someone does. I was particularly touched by one of the markers: If you look closely you can see that one of the crosses has another, smaller, cross attached. I figured it was for a mother and child. I asked an Icelander learned the story. Roughly translated, 'These crosses are in memory of those who have died on [the road named] Sudurlandsvegur, between Reykjavik and Selfoss.' The memorial was erected in 2006 both as a way to remember the loss of life on the curvy road and to highlight for all the importance of maintaining the country's transportation infrastructure. I was very glad I stopped there and found this sweet, simple memorial.

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