Category Archives: Iceland

Iceland Travel History Article Published

An article I wrote about my January trip to Iceland has been published on travelthruhistory. In the article I remember my original Beat inspiration, going against the grain by stressing the journey experience, and I think being innovative by including what I’d have liked to have done or seen but missed; partly as consolation to the good people who think I do and have done too much, and have it too easy. Stating I thought I was mostly lucky counters those who think and hope the opposite for me. Here’s some more photos from my time in Reykjavik:

Laugarnes Park (first afternoon/evening)

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Tjornin (the Pond) (next morning)

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Viking Statues (and Hallsgrimskirkja church) (afternoon)

new non-human friend reminded me of a special old one

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Loki the Pearl (Loki café and Perlan)

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http://www.travelthruhistory.com/html/exotic120.html

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Spring Equinox International Day of Happiness and mistYmuse End Eve

The northern hemisphere spring equinox is today, at about 1600/1700 in the U.K., so it’s quite easy to celebrate the International Day of Happiness. However, it must be harder for people in the southern hemisphere, with today marking the beginning of autumn, and the end of the warmer months.

March equinox illustration

Happiness is Relative

There are a lot of people who find it difficult to be happy in the northern hemisphere too, and that’s where things like society and culture make a difference. Iceland is one of the ‘happiest’ countries despite being one of the coldest.

That’s mostly why I set up the mistYmuse (Midwinter Ideal Sunrise Times and Midwinter Until Spring Equinox) to bring some happiness to the most difficult months, covering November to March.

I could have been saying it was timed right this year (although not the day, as it falls on the 20th this year, rather than 21st, as it sometimes does), with a mini-freeze just ending in time for today, but I just saw another one is forecast for the Easter weekend in a couple of weeks. At least there’s more light than darkness now, with more chance of warming sun when it’s shining through the cloud.

Happy Guilt

U.K. comedy great Ken Dodd passed away recently, and one of his regular topics and subject of a song was happiness. I was thinking then that I would probably be happier if I focused on entertainment, instead of feeling obliged to write about the negatives of the world, mostly due to having been to university and studying politics and international communications, and wanting to ‘make a difference’; knowing I can only try and slow the planet’s decline down, due to human overpopulation and consumption; which brings me into direct conflict with the general theme of global human happiness… in the short term anyway… as future generations will be happier if they have a cleaner planet with lots of other species!

Stephen Hawking, who of course inspired the greenYgrey parody comedy science correspondent, Stephen Wolfing, also passed away recently. He seemed happy, having fought against the most debilitating illness, showing there are different ways to find happiness, and sometimes adversity provides the opportunity for personal greatness… as in Buddhist enlightenment or Nietzsche’s superness, which can provide happiness whatever the situation.

Comedy Philosophy

Anyway, I have become too greenYgrey, and will leave you with some Ken Dodd happiness to enjoy the special day, in whatever way, wherever you are. In the obituaries I was also reminded of Dodd’s 1960s (my birth decade) Knotty Ash Diddy Men, which could have been an early influence on my greenYgrey fantasy fiction, although I didn’t remember them at the time!:

Wikipedia: The Diddy Men have a song, once released as a single, titled “The Song of the Diddy Men”, sung in a high pitched, chipmunk style voice. It includes the chorus: “We are the Diddy Men, Doddy’s dotty Diddy Men, We are the Diddy Men who come from Knotty Ash”. Another song “Doddy’s Diddy Party” featured the refrain – “tonight’s the night the Diddy Men paint the town, we’ll lose our blues, and let our Diddy hair down”. There were several other songs including Diddycombe Fair – a spoof of the well-known West Country song Widecombe Fair.

Reykjavik Arrival Sunrise Photos

I saw the hotel I’d booked, the Capital Inn, from the Straeto local bus I took from the airport, after buying four tickets for the four zones of travel (same system throughout Iceland, with Straeto running city and national bus routes) from the airport arrivals shop/café.

I think that’s a good example of why you should continue looking around, observing and analysing everything like an intelligent wild animal instead of a brainwashed docile prey, and not be cowered or shamed into looking away, down or into social media all the time.

Techno Society

I saw that the powerful were trying to make citizens look through the world through their media appliances instead of using their natural senses in a David Icke presentation, but had thought it myself. I don’t know if it is intentional or conspiracy; just the way technology and society are going, but it does seem to be happening.

I’m using it now, so I am not totally rebelling against it, and rely on it a lot, and think it’s often better to find your information than have a conversation, but I do try to get away from it, and balance it with nature. As I did in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Morning Beauty

Travelling on a night flight in mid-January I didn’t book a hotel for the first night. There was a storm off Scotland we flew into, and quite heavy snow in Kevlavik airport, Iceland’s international airport just south of Reykjavik. However, we landed on time. There was no sign of the Straeto bus, so I ended up staying the night in the airport.

Finding the bus over by where the courtesy buses for car hire and hotels are, and are signposted, at about 09.30 in the morning had a nice bonus, as it was just getting light, and the trip to Reykjavik was a like a winter wonderland, full of thick snow.

Moreover, when I saw the Capital Inn and got off the bus, I spotted the telltale twilight colours of pinky, and took a few photos of the sun rising on the eastern horizon, despite being quite disorientated from a lack of proper sleep and the early morning cold, as well as arriving in a new city and only luckily finding my hotel. I walked up onto another road and had to walk back down through thick snow to get back on the right road; well, I don’t know if I had to, but that’s what I did anyway!

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Dream Wife Iceland Music Video Fire Light Evidence

I’ve previously blogged about how a golden circle appearing in an Icelandic selfie of mind reminded me of Bjork’s Utopia and The Gate videos, and I just found new evidence of that Icelandic belief in Dream Wife’s great greenYgrey Fire music video:

I was first alerted to Dream Wife in a Classic Rock review of their debut album.

My photo:

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I’ve blogged a bit more about Bjork, pronounced Be-yerk, and wrote a little poem about how to pronounce her name based on how I’ve always heard it, before learning it was wrong, on the fmpoetry website.

Selling Snow to Norway, Iceland Fjord POP

Selling snow to Norway isn’t as easy as I thought. It’s like selling greenYgrey to Blighty! It might be easier now Team GB is in most places under the snow King Harald and Queen Sonja sent back, saying ‘If you’d read the article properly, you’d have seen that we want more Winter Sport competition, so we want you to have more snow, and practise your slippery surface movements!’

Return to Reykjavik: Iceland Football’s Debt to Me (83 meter rhyme parody)

Yes, that opening paragraph scored 98% on the all new for 2018 parodymeter. So with no offers for outsourcing Norway Winter Olympics victory celebrations it’s back to Reykjavik, and my detour after getting a little lost walking back from the Mjodd bus station.

After Iceland football success went through the stratosphere during and after the writing of XaW Files: Beyond Humanity I was interested to walk past a football stadium. I just found out it’s a multi-purpose venue, including hosting Breidablik men’s football team, who finished sixth in the Icelandic league last season.

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Finding Huldufolk and Fjord POP

With time and relative safety it was a joy to walk in Reykjavik, and that’s how I’d like Blighty to be. It’s the same for being online, just rambling while wandering wondering. whY, just now while searching the Kopavogsvuller stadium I found out the area is a hotbed for huldufolk elves, which has relevance for XaW Files, which ended in Iceland of course.

Funnily enough I reached the west coast at a fjord inlet. I thought it was the one below my hotel at first, until working out it wasn’t by the planes taking off from the local airport; I’d walked along that fjord inlet to the airport the second day in Reykjavik.

I was glad I’d gotten a bit lost when the sunset made the horizon PinkyOrangePurple (POP):

Moreover, I got into a little hot water… in a good way, finding some of Iceland’s famous hot water from geothermal activity:

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As I headed north, feeling chuffed with myself for finding the way, with the help of a city map information board I should add, I was thrilled to find myself in a Christmassy scene at the top of Kopavogur, near the art museum, and with a church beyond the fairy lights.

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Iceland keeps their winter celebration decorations up until the end of Thorrablot in mid-February… nearly as long a winter celebration (survival) as my mistYmuse, which lasts until the spring equinoxY time March 21st.

 

East Reykjavik Trek, Iceland Panorama, Northern Lights Drama

The bus to Borgarnes went from the Mjodd bus station in east Reykjavik. Having spent a couple of days in the centre and with one more full day before departing for Borgarnes I thought I’d recce the bus station, which was a few miles away, rather than doing it the next day with rucksack on. In the end it worked out quite good, as it was a nice clear day, and the day after wasn’t. I could see the eastern panorama, and couldn’t the day after.

I found the route from the hotel to the road out to the bus station straightaway, but then continued on past the left turn I should’ve taken after this church.IMG_20180117_122131

I realised my mistake from bus stops, and worked my way back using them. I was enjoying the invigorating clear sunny day, so the diversion wasn’t that bad. I also took a few extra photos.

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I also found there was a post office in the Mjodd complex, as well as a supermarket, so I could efficiently send beautiful postcards that arrived at their destinations quickly, and plan my food shopping for the next day.

Moreover, on the return journey, I saw a rainbow, and more importantly, for novelty rather than beauty, what looks like ribbon Northern Lights, as I’d heard about on the Sky at Night programme the previous month. These photos were taken a while between each other, about a minute, with the rainbow having nearly faded in the second, showing the white ribbon facing the rainbow is static, rather than a travelling snow storm.IMG_20180117_153523IMG_20180117_153634

 

I got lost and ended up in Kopavogur for the first time walking back, but had time, and kind of knew where I was, so wasn’t that bothered. I think I followed a path after the church, instead of hugging the big road to the east and south looking back on it. I did find it straightaway walking out to it the next day.

When I returned from Borgarnes I knew I was heading in the wrong direction by the Deloitte skyscraper I remembered, so started back to the north quicker. This first time I ended up heading south, but Reykjavik is quite easy to navigate, with the sea on its west. Moreover, I got a few nice photos as the sun set, which I’ll post next time…

 

Cosmic Rey-kjavik – Sun Return

Leaving Borgarnes on the Sunday 09.50 bus to Reykjavik, which was excellent both ways, the eastern horizon glowed a deep POP (which I remember as originally a Deep Orange [not Purple!] rather than the PinkyPurple it looks in the photo) beyond the buildings hiding the dividing line between land and sky. Was it the Northern Lights? It looked vivid and vibrant enough. However, it was the sunrise time too, so I think it was more or all that. I took a photo, but it doesn’t do the deep rich colours justice, appearing lighter than it was (I know the back of the building looks yellowy orange, but it wasn’t that!).

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Cosmic Ray Vik

I’d seen online that the Northern Lights had made a big appearance near Vik, 150 miles / 225 kilometres east of Reykjavik, so walking to the centre from the Mjodd bus station I kept observing the sun and eastern sky, with our solar system centre keeping me company through thick cloud the whole way. It seemed to be creating shapes again, kind of a pillar effect.

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Getting a little lost, I ended up south of the centre in Kopavogur, but that resulted in me seeing the southern horizon of Reykjavik for the first time, and I was impressed by its peaks there, already loving the northern and eastern ones.

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As I approached the excellent bargain Capital Inn, where I was staying, the sky under the sun seemed to be moving. Was it the Northern Lights I could see, as they happen all the time, but are largely invisible in the day. Or was it snow high in the sky? Or wishful thinking? I don’t know, but there did seem to be some activity up there, under the sun.

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The sun continued shining into the evening, when I walked down to the city for a few pints of Gull.

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Ice Age 3: Borgarnes Secret Art Full Story

I wannabe… an artist
not an administrationist

pastiche of S*x Pistols’ Anarchy in the U.K.

If I’d continued in academia I could be a Professor earning big bucks now, with a P.A. doing my admin, and postgraduate students doing my proofreading; or editors at my publishers. I’d have a publicist saying how good I am, instead of me having to proclaim myself a self-proclaimed genius. So please don’t jump on me for this admission of failing.

I’m not a technophobe, and enjoy the freedom it gives me, and the art it allows me to create and share, but I try not to get too bogged down in it, balancing it with nature etc, as I think it’s healthier for me and my mind.

My Iceland trip was all organised by me, as were all my solo trips, including some with marathons included. Thankfully, I’ve never made a big mistake, such as getting the wrong dates or place.

Ice Sculpture Complete Picture

However, after taking over a hundred photos in Iceland, while transferring them from phone to computer in groups of seven or eight via gmail, which is how much they can send in each email, I seemed to have missed a line of four photos, and they were the build up to my ‘all important’ ice sculpture on the Borgarfjordur Beach that I posted one close-up photo for before.

When I saw that one photo, and wrote I thought the creation of that ice-sculpture deserved a blog post of its own, half in self-parody, I remembered taking a few photos, but when I looked them up on the computer the next day I found just that one.

I must admit, I didn’t think that I couldn’t have transferred it from phone to computer, which is even more negative to me than missing transferring it in the first place. I know it’s lapses like that that make the Mister Men denounce my Doctorhood, but that’s because they don’t know that Doctorhood is about genius not commonsense! I feel I am justified in a little ‘offensive’ humour with most of this blog self-parody admission of mental failing, as well as trying to be the People’s Doctor for over a decade.

AD Icy

In mitigation, I can put it down to ADHD, if you believe me, and add that I was both times in a state of coffilosophy, which can aid fast creative rambling writing such as this, but isn’t so good for clear logical thinking. I also try to complete these blog posts as quickly as possible.

Anyway I found the other four photos this morning, and here’s a slideshow of the full sequence, seeing strange blocks of ice ice-so-lated (isolated) on the beach, reminding me of a baby seal, then finding one both beautiful in a sheer transparent diamond kind of way, and movable.

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YouTube Easy Transfer

I also found out this morning that it’s easy to transfer videos from the phone to YouTube, after them being too big for gmail had stopped me transferring them before; only took me three weeks to try straight to YouTube!

Ironically, it was inspired by time between events at the snowy icy Winter Olympics! Lots of impressive sporting achievements there, and improvised art by viewers too, reminiscent of my ice sculpture, which I know really, doesn’t compare to the stuff seen at ice hotels etc!

In mitigation, the process from my old camera was often laborious, and the videos are not that sensational, more for my personal enjoyment, as I loved my day on the Borgarfjordur, and the next day to the north of Borgarnes. So it was as much about nonchalance as no chance… of technological capability.

I’ve got there in the end, which reminds me of a thought I had yesterday, with most of the issues I started campaigning about fifteen years ago now having been realised, but would they have happened anyway, if I’d just ignored them, and taken the big bucks path… instead of the sunny nature one!

To reclaim my self-proclaimed genius status, pointing out what I’ve done, although I had no plans to do it when I started off this coffilosophy ‘spontaneous prose’; adding to the tradition of my travel writing hero (Kerouac); the last paragraph brought this blog post around to the start, while also introducing my YouTube videos, with one in particular providing an image looking like a path to the horizon sun, between light snow and dark clouds.

Okay, I’ll post it here, but there’s five more over on YouTube, including one or two quite exciting ones, of ice breaking on the bridge; while others are more serene, capturing the peacefulness of the day.

Ice Sculpture not Genius to Doctor Who Ice Warriors Under the Bridge Ice-breaker

Walking along Borgarnes’s Borgarfjordur beach there were lumps of ice that looked as if they’d fallen out of the sky, as they were so ice-so-lated (isolated) in thawing compared to what must have been other ice around them… unless they were placed there by U.F.O. aliens! Al-ice-ns? Doctor Who‘s old-fashioned greenygrey Ice Warriors?

 

The Curse of Peladon depicts an Ice Warrior delegation aiding the Doctor.

 

The Ice that Fell to Earth (referencing the film of that name, swapping Ice-Man)

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When I saw a lump of ice that looked quite picturesque and light enough to be moveable I thought I’d create a little ice-art, from the bottom of my cold heart, lifting it onto a rock, and having to spend a few seconds balancing it:

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Okay, my ice sculpture is still at a basic level. I did write a feminist Folding Mirror poem this morning in not much more time than my ice sculpture took, after being inspired by watching the Suffragette film last night.

To finally say ‘bye ‘bye to Borgarnes on this blog, here’s a little more variety to end, in contrast to var-ice-ty, with photos of a frozen waterfall, grass sticking up through snow, and Under the Bridge, which acted as an ice-breaker as I got to know the Borgarfjordur!

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Iceland Mountain Queen Surreal Photo Evidence?

Dedicated to the Grid and Walk-On Girls: always Formula 1 podium placers and Darts 180 bullseyes, and welcome at AAW (Adult Angelic Waifs).

I meant to write ‘bye ‘bye to Borgarnes in this blogpost, but looks like it’s turned into a goodbye Grid Girls instead!

I only became aware… (not a-were… that happened a long time ago…
and I’ve never looked back…
was looking for a pack…
until I found a greenYgrey rucksack!)… sorry for that mistYmuse poetic interlude, I was trying to write that I only found out about the Lady of the Mountain of Icelandic folklore this week.

lady of the mountain

I didn’t know about the Lady when I fell in love with Mount Hafnarfjall, between Reykjavik and Borgarnes, after spending the day with it; and was thinking that the reflective silhouette and wispy cloud shown in my photos could be interpreted as traditionally feminine features in a totally lovely way, complementing the hard as rock foundation, which is needed for all women apart from those who live sheltered lives – such as shown in The Grandmaster movie.

Maybe she was happy with me because I took a photo of her raven companion in the sunny glow of east Reykjavik, which I just noticed was the last photo before seeing what I think are Northern Lights ribbons near a rainbow:

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I just read the info on the above linked Mount Hafnarfjall site, and saw that most of the mountain is basalt, but the crag, which I guess is the one I thought looked like a shark or cetacean’s dorsal fin, is made of granofyr, which has a bit of a greenYgrey resemblance ring to it (gr-n–yr)! Here’s a last collection of photos showing AAWsome Hafnarfjall:

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