Monthly Archives: April 2019

Water at Land & Land at Sea

It’s a tricky Island, Iceland. Sometimes water finds itself at land…


… but at other times land find itself at sea.


And then there’s Reykjavik.It’s a port city. You can’t tell the two apart there! Even  the  opera  house  has portholes!

If you just stay in Reykjavik, you might mistake it for a city. That would be a shame.


Iceland Travel Tip #2: Instead of Reykjavik 101

The  101 district of Reykjavik is famous for being trendy. It is, admittedly, a great place to stare at the architecture that replaces a view, in generic spaces full of cars, dumpsters and starlings, all most familiar and comforting…

…but  you could go to Frambuðír and have a view deep into the Atlantic and Iceland’s heart.

Easy to get to. Just fight your way out of the city, north on Highway 1, turn left at Borgarnes, and before dinner time, with the Snaefell glacier looming over you, turn left to the little church at Buðir. Park, and walk west on the path closest to the sea. Within an hour, you will be staring out of this old farmhouse.  Because you won’t want to leave, there is, conveniently, a hotel right beside the church. You can shelter there.

When you come back to Reykjavik, if you come back, you might see it more directly.

Just saying.

Icelandic Travel Trip 1: Instead of Gulfoss

Well, you can go to Gullfoss …

…with the crowds.

Or you can go to Gilsáfoss. It’s not so large, but it has spirit, and an ice troll, if you go in April.


Easy to get to, too. Drive east from the airport for 8 hours, turn left at Egilstadir, follow the lake through Hallomrstadir, and then, 30 minutes later, if you don’t stop to let the reindeer pass along the way, which is a fine reason to stop, for sure …




You’ll find it at the end of the lake, just upstream from the old bridge in the middle of this image. It’s the last stream before you cross the lake to the north side.  Have a nice trip! The ice troll is waiting. Gulfoss will thank you.

Sitting Down With the Mountain

The glacier…


… makes its own weather…


… in its own shape, just faster.


And then wraps itself in it. So does the land give voice to the sea.

So many travellers spend a week, or less, driving around Iceland to see everything, in the pattern of a modern “grand tour.” A more-authentic Icelandic experience would be to sit down with a mountain and learn …

… it’s not just sitting there.

If That’s Not Magic, What Is?

The energy that can cup water …

… leaves stones as the energy shadows of the cupped air.

Never underestimate the power of an open bowl!

The above 3 images are from Dritvik.

Bowls radiate energy and hold it at the same time.

Hvalfjörður (WWII fighter base)

Every one is a head.


In Iceland, pretty soon you start thinking with the world. Don’t fight it. It’s the way it was meant to be.


Icelandic Engineers Having Fun

How do Icelandic engineers have fun?


They make street art. A Mohr’s Circle is a two-dimensional representation of stresses in materials.  Compare the representation of stresses above with the more technical one below.

Nice. Here’s Wikipedia’s explanation of just why one might do this:

Internal forces are produced between the particles of a deformable object, assumed as a continuum, as a reaction to applied external forces, i.e., either surface forces or body forces. This reaction follows from Euler’s laws of motion for a continuum, which are equivalent to Newton’s laws of motion for a particle. A measure of the intensity of these internal forces is called stress. Because the object is assumed as a continuum, these internal forces are distributed continuously within the volume of the object.

So, here’s the Icelandic version again:

Lots of permutations through stress there, all delightfully witty.

And why is the Icelandic version so much more accessible and, well, fun? Ah, that’s because Icelandic engineers are well-versed in the barbs of thought and look for any chance for them to go away.

I think that’s it.