Sunday, September 20, 2015

travelogue: iceland, we go (part II)

I said I would write more

photos more

iceland more!

But I can't.

At least not the way I did it in part I.

You see, I am a very, very fickle blogger. I lose steam so quickly, like a molten lava cake that wasn't baked properly. It's a bit overwhelming. I trumpet hard my excitement of getting it all down, have so much resolve to do it, practically roll out the red carpet.

But then I lose interest. I already made you a little film

And. Life gets full.

(Life is so very full, at the mo. Not full the way it was in the summertime, but Fall Full, you know? It's so different. It's more more more. More adult, more business casual. More packing lunches and highlighters and taking the attendance.)

So I don't have the time to do a Day 4 or 5 or 6 or 7 itinerary. A part of me wants to. But the stronger majority doesn't, and just wants to lay on her teal couch watching The Good Wife.

Shall we compromise?


I promise to put some photos up and write some words.

I do not promise that they will follow any semblance of order, or that the words will make sense.

I embrace my random.

Take what you can get.


This one.

 My husband is a wild man whose heart belongs to me, but also to the sea. And the ocean. And water of all forms.

So he hatched a plan to take off his clothes, in the frigid, frigid cold, with no protection for his animal skin against that icelandic wind. He asked if I would like to be his co-conspirator, to be the one taking the photo while he ran in, ran out. We'll keep the car running with full heat blasting, he said. Will you help me?

I was grumpy. I said no.

The glaciers are a big deal and they have a lot of fans. People travel from far and wide to gawk. If he got naked, there would be onlookers and I don't like big productions (unless I'm in them.) I don't like people looking at me (though I also love when people look at me; I love being the centre of attention.)

I am a walking paradox.

So he planned to do it himself, maybe coax a bystander at the beach to help him out. I slinked away to the car.

But then. He found himself a quiet spot on a neighbouring sand bank-- one that didn't have two zillion sets of eyeballs mooning over all that blue ice. It was so pretty. Just a handful of admirers; it wouldn't be a spectacle so much as an homage to God. Or Neptune.

I got over myself. Had a snack. Put on my game face. Filmed my husband running into a body of water that calls glaciers and seals and zodiacs its inhabitants. Snapped that shot.

What a champ.

When I look at these photos, I feel like I am looking at the beginning of time.

These ice sculptures have been around much longer than you or I.

Or selfie sticks.

If they could talk, do you think they would be stoic? Would they giggle? What kind of spirit does the grand dame of ice possess?



This one.

I was grumpy this day too (a pattern is forming).

I didn't want to go to the mysterious, cryptic hot springs that you only hear of from word of mouth.

I wanted to eat supper and shiver myself to sleep in a tent we lugged all the way from BC. I had no more room in my spine for spontaneity.

But my hero, my husband, convinced me that it would be worth it to walk into the valley, to divine for the water. I begrudgingly shoved a chocolate covered rice cracker in my mouth, grabbed my towel and bathing suit and set off behind him. I only half-believed that we would find anything on this journey or that our trust would pay off in the form of hot solace.

We were the only souls traversing between the craggy mountains for fifteen minutes, and then suddenly we were upon it.

It was the best evening.

But Shhhhhhhhh. It's a secret.


Here: some pictures from a day when we were tired and beleaguered from travel. Snippy with each other. Needing a time out, or a banishment to the corner.

And yet. They aren't any less majestic, though a husband and wife fought beside them. Human emotion and strife cannot phase clay and rock and fast moving water. 


In all my dreams, Iceland is usually blue.

But it's also green and black. It is moss and dirt and grains of sand and loose terrain. It begs you to run on its fields of lumps, but not too hard. Run lightly over me, like a horse in flight.

Tell me: did I imagine this all?

Did we go to the moon?

These are the most beautiful pictures I've ever taken, will ever take.

It's not me or my talent, I swear. I didn't do an ounce of editing or filtering.

It's just this place.


It's 1:24 am on Sunday morning and I should have gone to bed long ago but you know... I feel like I've exorcised the most beautiful ghost from my system and I can rest easy now.

I don't have to shoulder the beauty of this place all by myself anymore: you are now responsible for knowing too. Cobble together my strange words and that yearning of yours to eat a different air, and go go go.

Go be haunted by an entire country.


  1. Ohhh Joann, thank you for filling up my morning with such beautiful words and pictures. Don't ever stop writing - I know grad school will soon become all consuming but please, please keep doing it, in your unique and special way, random as it is. It's wonderful.

  2. beautiful place, beautiful pictures

  3. This gave me serious wanderlust to go back to Iceland! I had an amazing time there but didn't have nearly enough time to explore and didn't stray from the tourist circle like you did. Thanks for sharing :)