Man, the thought of having a wall of basalt and a cinder cone in my backyard, I tell you, nothing could be better.
If you don’t drive too quickly and get off Highway 1, you’ll find it. It’s a poor, poor farm, but, as Gunnar said, poverty is wealth, because everything the land gives comes straight from faith, as a gift, and gifts are not to be laughed away.
Have they been there?
This image is from the heath above Dettifoss.
It’s a hard one, but is it better to drive up to Dettifoss and get close to a wall of water, or park five kilometres away and walk along to goroge until you’re ready to see the falls from a new perspective?
Dunno, but when I got this far, I didn’t want to go further, and turned around, to the forest. It was hiding behind a rock and taking on human form.
It was a message. Iceland is full of messages like that.
Once, these birch forests were burned to smelt iron, then they were nibbled to naught by sheep.
A thousand years of erosion later, they became symbols of Iceland’s independence, and were carefully grown up from their sheep-nibbled stubs.
Then Iceland got to work hosting tourists. The north, and its tourists, were left behind, so tourists were brought on busses as late as 2019. They had 30 minutes to walk through the trails, without history, and then were off to think whatever they might think.
The Icelanders weren’t going there themselves in 2019. They were going here, upriver, by horse expedition:
Now what? The forests wait.
Black sand beaches are fun. You can watch the glaciers melt away to nothing there. This is endlessly fascinating. Most Icelandic tourism is based around twinning this melting…
… with a bit of human heat…
Perhaps now you’re ready for the Beach of Blood?
Maybe you’re ready to go north?
You won’t be alone.
If we want to end global warming, we will have to resist it and discover cold.
While tourists are gazing in wonder at puffins…
…Icelanders are gazing in wonder at trees.
Bifröst: where Icelanders go to get away.
Tourism is an industry. Here are some industrial views of Kirkjufoss, the most-photographed mountain in Iceland.
Tour busses race past Kolgrafafjörður …
Why would you rush past such a dawn?
… to get you to it. If you go on December 24 (not in a tour bus. It will drive past), Kirkjufell might look like this at sundown:
Mind you, if you turn around, you might see other miracles:
Few do. There is no time. The 8 p.m. Aurora bus is waiting in Reykjavik, and it’s many hours and a world away. Besides, industrial images are soooooo seductive:
I don’t think this is quite how people in Grundarfjörður experience the mountain. This is certainly one way, though:
The Eastern Burbs
And this is another.
The forest walk from the campground in November.
Iceland is real.
The November view from town.
It takes time for a mountain to speak. You can’t force it.