April 18, 2010

Cosmic Triplet: Iceland

One of the best teachers who ever taught me -- still a friend to this day -- also introduced me to the idea, however well established, of the "cosmic triplet."

That new words or strange occurrences come in threes.

It's no great revelation, but I'm always on the lookout for such triplets and it always makes me think of that teacher.

So two weeks back the Shoebox Tour visited Charlottesville. World-traveling juggler Jay Gilligan, who I see about once a year, is a great resource for all things Sweden and Finland. That I knew.

But when I (we) asked where we should visit if we only get one trip to the Nordic region, he answered Iceland! without hesitation. Jay said it's the only place he's ever been that really feels like you're "somewhere else."

Icebergs and volcanoes and moss, he said.

He also described the Iceland ring road, which vaulted itself into my must-visit list. The 832-mile route circles the island and helps bring folks to many bizarre sites: a remote hut where a man made cement sculptures, a fjord where a disgruntled ship captain crashed the country's last iron ship, and the airplane house (I think that's it).

Jay also used a drinking straw to illustrate the typical rope barrier left on the ground at the side of cliffs to (barely) warn tourists of potential danger. "They probably put it there thinking some dumb German tourist could get hurt," he said, describing the rawness of Iceland.

He'd traversed the country for Shoebox Tour Iceland in 2009.

Jay also shared thoughts on the fashions and America-hungry culture of Iceland. He said the country likes to whore itself out as well, which also surprised me. Apparently they have a habit of freezing a glacial lagoon so tools like James Bond can make films.

Then the New York Times posted Images of Iceland's vast landscape, in Iceland's vast landscape, featuring photography of sites "so beautiful you can’t imagine." Thanks to Lauren for sharing it!

And a tongue-twisting volcano blew too. It put a dent in everything, if you didn't know. Just search GoogleNews about it to see the media swirl.

I think the Washington Post's photo gallery is illustrative.

More on the Ring Road:
:: A trip in photos
:: NYT "ultimate road trip"

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Blogger Erin said...

By looking at those pictures, the place looks incredible, unbelievable almost.

April 27, 2010 at 11:34 AM 

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