Dyrholáey is a wonderful bird sanctuary, and you can drive up the cliff on something approximating a road and look out over the sea from the lighthouse stoop. Wondrous. But when it’s your first visit to Iceland, and you don’t know any better, you can also stop in the wrong place, with Italians and Germans dodging around you in their rented Yaris’s, and take an image of the lighthouse from the edge of the bird fields (there really is nowhere to stop, and walking on the grass and disturbing the birds is strictly forbidden), and see the Island (that is an island no more) plowing out to sea.
Being in the wrong place is best. You can find the unexpected end of the trail.
Or be plodding cold through the dawn fields, blowing on your fingers, dreaming of coffee, when suddenly it’s 20,000 years ago and you know, you just know, you can read the Earth like a book.
You can take a picture of a shop window that strikes you as incongruous, and years later realize that it’s not. It’s Iceland at heart. This is what comes of 1100 years of Irish women freezing in the cold.
Interchangeable, insulated tattoos. You just never know. That’s the thing. You walk down the street, and there it is: the Tower of Mordor!!!! With the nuclear clock at two minutes to midnight!!!
You can go to Kjarvalstaðir, the Art Gallery, to see Kjarval’s works…
… and realize that everyone else comes for the lunch! You can find a trail on the internet, then try to follow it through the, well, bog, but you get to know the mountain.
You just never know. Do it all wrong, I say, to do it right.