Archive for May, 2014|Monthly archive page

Road 54, noon

In Feeling of the moment, Place description, Writing on 2014/05/31 at 21:48

As soon as the road entered the mountains the fog descended. As we climb higher it gets thicker, I find myself unconsciously slowing the car down as visibility shrinks to just tens of meters. I hunch forward over the steering wheel and peer into the milky nether searching out the curve of the road and the least sign of an oncoming car. My focus is heightened partly from fear of flying off the road, partly from excitement at the risk. My wife beside me is scared from the first I am smiling with the second.


Road 54, 3:19 pm

In Place description, Writing on 2014/05/30 at 22:38

All morning we drove through relatively tame terrain, rolling hills of green pastures and fields, the mountains in the background less steep without snow on the tops and even some swatches of green climbing the slopes. Since around noon, the surrounding landscape has gotten increasingly wild, the pastures giving way to yellowish moss, a few crags and small waterfalls here and there, then the crags increasing in number sprouting large cliffs of stones like pillars on both sides and the ground becoming covered in brown shrubs with shifting green leaves. We finally started climbing along the edge of a fjord, getting glimpses of multiple islands off to our right and have just come round a bend heading towards the bottom of the fjord. Here the slopes are steeper but still green, coming down to the low tide wetlands of the bay and up the other side, and at the top of the slope the mountains rise like sheer walls of jagged dark grey rock, a knife edge line etched against a milky sky. I fear I write too much about this landscape but I simply cannot get enough of this barren beauty.

Myvatn nature bath, 3:58 pm

In Feeling of the moment, Place description, Writing on 2014/05/28 at 22:35

The sky is clear with a few tufts of cloud, the air smells of sulfur but there is a cool breeze blowing. All around is the dramatic Icelandic landscape barren mountains and all. The water in sitting in has a strange color, a kind of milky blue that is almost luminescent. The water is comfortably warm and relaxes the body, sitting here soaking in a hot spring looking out over the landscape is just perfect.

Road no. 1, 4:27 pm.

In Place description, Writing on 2014/05/26 at 21:42

We’ve just left the coastal road and turned back onto the main road. We climb higher up the mountains, and then, as we cone around a tight corner, the road opens up into a sort of narrow water chute valley, the road running along the valley floor and the sides rising gently just meters from the road. There is snow coming down from the peaks both right and left, flowing down the slope almost all the way to the banks of the road, big blotches of bare earth here and there in a sort of gigantic camouflage pattern. The sun shines down on us from a blue sky dotted with tufts of cloud and makes the snow sparkle and we can see for miles ahead how the road flows down the mountain in big sweeping curves. When this is what the world had to offer. It feels good to be alive.

Coastal road, remote fjord, 3:40 pm

In Feeling of the moment, Place description, Writing on 2014/05/26 at 17:56

We’re on a gravel road, the car vibrates and bounces with the uneven surface, small rocks ping off the underside of the body at a steady rate and we stir up a big cloud of dust behind us. To the left of us the mountains, barren cliffs coming down in terraces towards the sea, the narrow road clinging on to the edge above the blue water and me fighting against the loose gravel to keep the car from careening off the edge. I look out over the fjord to the mountains rising sharply on the other side, and realize how desolate this place is, we’re the only car on the road, no other humans around for several miles. It feels incredibly lonely, like we’re at the very end of the earth.

Coastal road, east Iceland, 1:45 pm

In Place description, Writing on 2014/05/26 at 17:56

We have just come off the gravel road at the bottom of a fjord and are speeding outwards toward the tip of the peninsula when I have a moment to relax and look out the window. On our left, moss covered rock formations rolling down from snowcapped peaks in a gentle slope, continuing on the other side of road, down to the clear blue ocean and on the other side of the fjord, darker mountains rise steeply to flat tops scattered with snow. It’s supremely beautiful.

Road number 1 north of H√∂fn, 12:20 pm

In Place description, Writing on 2014/05/26 at 17:56

The surrounding landscape is littered with crags and cliffs, tendrils of the mountain creeping out onto the plane. The road winds it’s way through a maze of rock, around tight turns, up steep hills, down sweeping slopes and through narrow passages, high cliffs on both sides. It’s a real rollercoaster rude through the stunning landscape.

Svinafellsjökull 2:10 pm

In Place description, Writing on 2014/05/25 at 18:58

The rhythmic crunch of spike soled boots on ice, the air is cool and crisp but my body is hot from exertion. Spread out in front of me is jumbled field of snow and ice, crisscrossed by crevices and gullies, sprinkled with volcanic ash and dotted here and there with puddles of absolutely clear water where the blue core of the ice shows through. Even if you’ve grown up with snow and ice, this is quite an experience.

Road no 1, afternoon

In Place description, Poetic prose, Writing on 2014/05/24 at 19:07

The black sand eventually gives way to some sparse yellow grass spreading out over the fields, the snowy mountains looming closer, masses of ice blocks from the glacier spilling out onto the grass. The road curves away from the mountains, running through fields of greenish yellow, the glaciers tumbling down in the distance. The road curves back and the mountains grow higher but less steep, slopes of sand running down towards the sea. The grass grows higher and the mountains become darker again, and more rocky, tendrils of broken black cliffs crawling out on the plane, the road snaking between them in wide curves.

Road number 1, noon

In Place description, Writing on 2014/05/24 at 17:46

The landscape is ever changing as we go along, from brooding cliffs just off to the right as we set, passing by green pastures dotted with grazing sheep, driving through moon landscapes strewn with dark boulders covered in sickly yellow grass. Out again onto open fields where green shrubs mix with the barren soil and dead grass, off in the distance, fields and lonely farm houses hugging the base of steeply rising mountains, topped with ragged black cliffs; little ponds and lakes on both sides all along the way. We finally cross a river on a narrow bridge and come down onto a vast plane of black volcanic sand, a complete nothing except the dark ground and milky sky, with snowcapped mountains straight ahead in the distance.