One thing I’ve long since realized about myself is that I hate doing things the way other people do them. So, while it’s difficult to have one of the most popular tourist stops in Iceland to oneself, it IS possible to be the only one there awake. I realized this last year, when I arrived at Jökulsárlón around 3 in the morning, only to find it was cold, drizzly and somehow not nearly as spectacular as it usually is. (see previous blog post)
I decided to make another attempt now, and set out Tuesday evening (june 21) around 10 from Hafnarfjörður, arriving just after 4 in the morning at the lagoon. This time, I was rewarded with clear calm weather. Watching the sun come up over one of the most beautiful places in the northern hemisphere, with only the sound of birds and the occasional rumble of another glacier breaking apart disrupting the silence, was awesome , needless to say.
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Sometime last spring (spring 2008 that is), i decided, for some reason i no longer quite remember, to take some large branches i found in my parents yard and paint them white.. I figured they’d come in handy as props in some photos ; they did ultimately end up being the centerpiece in this photo here, taken in March 2009 :
Before reaching that conclusion , however, I lugged these “trees” around with me all last summer, propping them up in different locations (always at night), the farthest from my home being Jökulsárlón last August.
After driving all the way over there , timing my trip carefully so as to end up there in the middle of the night, i was somewhat devastated that it was raining when i arrived there at 3 in the morning. But, since my plan of having the place to myself had at least worked (the parking lot crowded with campers filled with sleeping tourists), i decided to wait out the rain, (sipping instant coffee with swissmiss and reading some stephen king novel by flashlight) Around 4:30 I donned rubber boots and lugged my trees down to the lagoon, carefully balancing them with large rocks in the freezing water. (seriously hoping nobody would wake up extra early and ask what on earth i was up to, probably would have appeared more than a little eccentric, which is of course the norm for me..) Anyway, after so much effort, i couldn’t help being a bit dissapointed at how unremarkable the lake itself was, with hardly any ice floating anywhere near the shore, which is unusual. You win some, you lose some, i guess. I’m heading out that way next week, heard its quite spectacular right now.
For all the physical effort put into this series, i was ultimately not all that happy with it. Put all the pictures aside and pretty much forgot about them. While browsing thru archives on one of my hard-drives today, I figured i might as well share them now. Enjoy.
view of Breiðdalur , on the way to Kleifarvatn
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In the last 3 months, i’ve composed at least 10 highly entertaining and informative blog posts, in my head.. Actually logging in and writing them has proven to be all the more challenging.
For now, i’m going to mention (on the off-chance that someone who actually follows my inactive blog is on their way to iceland before the end of summer) that there’s a new art gallery in downtown Reykjavík that people should by all means check out. It’s run by a group of young artists, displaying work for sale by around 30 or so visual artists, designers and photographers. (yes, i’m one of them) It’s called Gallery Crymogæa (named after a historic manuscript by one Arngrímur Jónsson dating from many centuries ago, the title of which is an old greek word for Iceland, if i have my facts straight). It’s located on Laugavegur 41a, and looks like this:
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Crymogæa art gallery