We wake early, the house already stirring with our friend’s morning activity. The kitchen is cramped with its too large table. We make it work eating in shifts. I fight with the fancy coffee maker and am victorious for my efforts. I try for a beverage for John, the coffee maker says no can do and I give John my hard won coffee and enjoy one from the community carafe.
We have rented two cars and today will travel to Western Iceland. John and I are with Maxine and Gilles, the married couples, the other car with the 4 single girls, Carol, Coleen, Laura and Maureen. We have wifi in each car and can communicate. We set off to explore the magic of this country.
We follow each other, then a stop needs to be made and we twirl around, lose each other, frantically text one another and find one another again. We still have not left Reykjavik, though finally we find our way out of town, Gilles expertly navigating the traffic circles that come one after another. Traffic calming devices that do little to calm.
John and I sit back, relax and allow Gilles and his co pilot, Maxine to expertly guide. We have a large itinerary today, each vista more beautiful than the last. I can’t stop taking pictures and even take pictures out of the car window, a practice I never do though the scenery begs for a photo and I happily snap away and comply.
We stop at Snaefellsbaer and I begin looking for sea glass. John finds the first piece and the game is on as I search for more. Maureen shows me her finds, more than me, now I have competition. Soon, Carol and Maxine are hooked and now the small amounts of glass on the beach will need to be shared with the growing group of sea glass aficionados, eagle eyes necessary, I employ John’s sharp eyes for my team.
We spy some pretty horses and stop to take photos. They are lovely with their don’t care, long hair and remind me of friendly puppies as they amble to the fence for petting. The Vikings brought this breed of horse to Iceland. They are the only horses that are permitted in Iceland, thus the breed remains pure. Their pretty hair with their perpetual baby look at odds with their strength. All the horses are owned, though they appear wild except for their friendly manner. I learn that every summer the horses are set free in the highlands where for several months they are free to be their own community. In the fall, the owners band together to gather the horses, sort and return them to their owners. In this manner they stay wild, though strangely relaxed. I think about the horses at home, high strung, perhaps they could benefit from this practice?
We stop for lunch in Arnarstapi and opt for a tailgate party of homemade sandwiches. We huddle behind the car eating out of our kitchen trunk and save money not eating fast food fish for $25.00 each where we could huddle outside stand up tables in the rain.
The area is beautiful, scenery surreal, it appears as though we have walked into a postcard. I spy a lion in the stone with his grassy mane. The scenery beckons and I comply. I no sooner take one photo thinking how beautiful when the next photo presents itself and wins the prize. We reluctantly leave the area, check the time and realize that our set itinerary was too ambitious. We negotiate between two sites, majority rules and we set off for Saxholl crater.
We arrive and are greeted with stairs yawning towards the heavens and I’m thankful for the stair training I have done, happy to not shame myself. The rise and run is off though gradually sorts itself out. The view is stunning and we take in all 360 degrees, happily snapping photos. Soon we are satiated and decide everyone should count the stairs on the way down. It’s comical as we all come up with a different number.
It’s late as we return to Reykjavik with its never ending traffic circles we twirl even certain of our destination. It has been a great day I decide as Maureen and I compare sea glass and I scroll through today’s cache of photos.