Iceland on the rocks thanks.....
Trip Start Jun 01, 2002
74Trip End Sep 11, 2007
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Another trip planned another trip about to be executed with good old friend Jenny. After a very long week at work, the idea of a weekend away to relax would be fantastic. We just did not expect the journey to begin with a long delay on the flight, a long flight, a long bus transfer and then a long time to check into our hotel. 2am we finally crashed.
Next morning and with no real confirmed plans, we decided to walk around the city of Reykjavik, Iceland's capital
After about 30 minutes of walking around and being beaten by gale force winds and having my teeth shiver until they loosened. A decision had be made. That decision involved getting out of the wind and cold. Time to hire a car and explore this country in a bit of style.
After all the paperwork was done and I had agreed to pay something along the lines of 2000 AUD if I crashed the car we were off. Well off around the city for about 25 minutes until we could find the motor away.... And then we were off, properly.
Iceland is a fantastic place to drive and highly recommend it to anyone. It even gets better, once you remember that they drive on the right hand side of the road and the seat belt and indictor are not where they should be. Deciding to head North for no apparent reason we witnessed an ever changing landscape, from green pastures one moment to harsh moon like surface next
Taking the opportunity to stop and take photos whenever we pleased and to randomly select roads to head down was great knowing we had a reliability of our little Nissan 1.6 thing. What we did not expect was road named "The F508" . It just looked like a dirt road, I promise. In hindsight, a dirt road on the moon not the smartest move in the world.
Sure the little ol' Nissan could handle the dirt road and even when the potholes got as big as basketballs and the side of the car dipped 3 metre's below sea level - she still performed well. It wasn't until we reached the "chasm from hell" that the brake lights lit up and the reverse gear was engaged. I am all up for adventure, but that particular day I was not interested in becoming front page Icelandic News:
"An Australian Male and New Zealand Woman's car is trapped in ravine for 3 weeks
"One small step for man, one giant chasm for Nissan"
What was ironic is that the following day we joined a "Iceland Tour" in one of those Monster Jeep Truck things, with 5ft wheels and seats about 8 people. As the trip meandered through the landscape and we received an excellent history lesson from our guide, the surrounding area became quite familiar. That familiar that we approached road F508. Yes the exact same road as the day before.
Upon reaching, the "chasm from hell" I expected the tour leader, to quiver in his fur boots and reverse out of there in a split second - instead, he just slipped the monster truck into 4x4 and went over it like a walk in the park. What made things even funnier, is that 20 minutes later that road lead us to the main Iceland Glacier; where we encountered a snow blizzard. The little Nissan, was never going to handle that!
This blizzard will be etched into my mind forever
But a trip to Iceland would not be complete without a visit to the Blue Lagoon. "Amazing", is the only word that I could use to describe it. Well I could use hot, beautiful, peaceful, an environmental wonder and one of natures greatest things - but "amazing" will suffice. Being the scientist I am (or just reading the pamphlet), the water that you have the opportunity to swim in, is this amazing blue colour.
This blueness is caused, not by some toothpaste company wanting to demonstrate how plague attacks chalk, but by the water being warmed by the Earths Core which lay about 3km under the earths surface and as it boils it travels upwards mixing with all these minerals to make it this turquoise colour. Which is at constant temperature of about 35 degrees, whilst all around you is volcanic lava.. Amazing!
Oh and you get the opportunity to put this white algae crap on your face. It is kinda weird and you look like clown, but when you look around and everyone is doing the same, it is not too bad.
So there you have it Iceland in an ice-tray. Other than being incredibly expensive it really did have an impact on me. Highly recommend it to anyone who has the opportunity to visit, but just remember to watch out on road F508 there is that "chasm from hell"