Friday, April 17, 2009

Iceland - Day 3

It occurs to me that there is alot I have not mentioned yet, such as the place we are staying. The B & B Guesthouse is close to the airport. We have a tiny bedroom with 2 twin beds and a place to hang our coats. The 2 bathrooms, small kitchen and a lounge with chairs is shared by all. There is also a computer with Internet access that is open to all guests. This small desk is where Jimmie continues to do his usual TFTW BCC work each day, where we both handle work email, and I write on this blog. Some of the other guests are interesting since they come from so many places. One Icelandic lady has returned here from Belgium to run for political office, so she is out campaigning each day. Another lady tonight is from Scotland but is a college professor who has lived in northern Iceland for the last 5 years and is on her way to Italy. A German couple came through for which I know absolutely nothing because they didn't speak English. And so on. Hilmar, the landlord, is very pleasant and helpful and is trying to improve our Icelandic.

I haven't explained this Icelandic keyboard either. The Icelandic language has many more letters in it than English does, plus various accent marks that have to be used on the different letters. So, some of the English symbols are in different places while Icelandic ones are where I expect them to be. It has made for some interesting typing and I may not have caught all the typos.

As we headed to Reykjavìk in search of the newspaper plant this morning, I realized that I had not mentioned the Rock Trolls. Big, fearsome trolls or little rock piles; solitary trolls or family groups - Rock Trolls stand along the side of the road everywhere we go. William (the artist) said it was the lazy man's kind of sculpture. Me (the weakling) took a long look at the size of some of these boulders and told him he might want to rethink that one. Some of these human-shaped stacks of rock are humongous and obviously extremely heavy. Stacking them to make people was a lot of work.

Of course, to make a troll you would never have to look far for the rocks. There is definitely no shortage of them on this island. I do not believe that I have ever seen a place covered by so much rock. And since Iceland sits atop the joining of 2 of the earth's teutonic plates, more rocks show up from time to time.

One thing Iceland IS short of, though, is road signs. And of course, what few signs we do find are written in Icelandic which does not always help. This occurs to me every time we are on a desolate, unmarked road and I hear sounds from the front seat that indicate the guys no longer have a clue where we are on the map again. I heard those sounds today as we headed to Reykjavìk to take out an ad for our BCCs and we completely missed the newspaper building. A few turns later and we were on a narrow dirt road with no turnarounds that took us to the top of the mountain and down the other side at a 14 degree incline. That route looked hazardous enough today, but with ice on the road it would have been treacherous indeed. Our surroundings were absolutely spectacular, but it would have been comforting to know if we are headed away from or toward civilization.

- Linda

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