Haukadalur: in which Iceland begins to laugh

[At the rate I'm going, I could still be posting about Iceland by summertime. Lolz.]

So the last you heard, the intrepid American trio had just climbed back into their car after seeing the first of the Golden Circle's three sights, ├×ingvellir.

View out my window:

Hi, A.

E. Sleeping.
We and our hardy Honda Jazz survive more insanely icy roads and make it to the second stop, Haukadalur, where there are two notable geysers: Geysir (after which all other geysers take the name) and Strokkur.

We stop in for lunch at the guest center, where a journalist hears our accents and asks to interview us. She's a freelance journalist writing an article for The Washington Post about Americans who are taking advantage of the economic situation to visit Iceland. She scribbles some notes down from what we say and takes some pictures of us outside. She says she'll email us before the article goes to print, which I guess it never did. Ah well.

Sold in the guest center: Poor Icelanders think these are pecan pies. [By now you can tell I've completely overcome any camera inhibitions I once had.]

After eating our quick lunch and bidding Journalist Lady goodbye, we head up the path to see the geyser. [n.b. We all called it Geysir the whole time, but I have since learned it was actually Strokkur, the far more active of the two.]

That's A. Lots of steam everywhere (quite strange with the ice, to me) - no, that is not an eruption.

The path, I would like to add, is like an ice skating rink. All bundled up with our faces buried and our hands stuffed in our pockets, I am sure we look quite amusing sliding our feet cautiously along. When we are still a little ways away from the geyser, we hear a rumbling sound, and look up ahead to see this huge plume of water shooting up at least fifty feet into the air.

Mmhm. And here's the thing, we're still downwind of the geyser (and Icelandic wind means business). I just have time to register a massive cloud of water droplets coming at us like the sandstorm in The Mummy or something -- and wonder if it'll be warm -- before I turn and cover my head.

A. slips and takes a wicked (but amusing) fall.

[Do you see that path? DO YOU SEE THAT ICE? Friend, Iceland is icy.]

Water and steam starting to clear. He looks slightly daft, but that's how I captured an unfinished thumbs-up.

Also, the back of my jeans is completely soaked. And whatever you may hear about geysers shooting boiling water, that water was NOT warm by the time it got to me.

Meanwhile, E., who is always ahead of us, is laughing at us from the other side of the geyser. A. and I agree that we feel it is Iceland who is doing the real laughing.

I pick out an Icelandic football scarf and a bar of chocolate at the gift store, change into pair of pants the second, and we and The Jazz head for the third stop on the Golden Circle: Gullfoss, or Golden Falls.


Maya Ganesan 2/02/2009 11:39 AM  

Nice! Love the Iceland coverage. ;)

Cassandra 2/02/2009 1:13 PM  

Everything looks so beautiful. E. and A. sound like very interesting and amusing guys. ^^

cuileann 2/02/2009 1:25 PM  

Thanks, Maya. :)

Ah, they were, Cassandra. I'm still kind of amazed that we got on so well, considering we didn't know each other at all when we decided to share the car.

pinkapplecore 2/02/2009 2:19 PM  

oh i love the photos!! it looks so pretty....cold...but really pretty!

cuileann 2/02/2009 3:59 PM  

Thanks, pinkapplecore! It really was. I loved it the way I love San Francisco, which is saying a lot. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Gypsy Alex 2/02/2009 7:07 PM  

You are my (s)hero already! :) Can't wait to follow bits of your journey! xo

Danielle 2/02/2009 9:35 PM  

Really? Iceland is icy? Thanks! :D

Love your photos. Love, love love :)

cuileann 2/02/2009 11:31 PM  

:) Thanks for stopping by, Alex!

Danielle - Well, what with all the "Greenland is icy and Iceland is green" nonsense going around, I felt it had to be said! Haha. And thank you vair much!

Priya 2/03/2009 5:20 PM  

Very pretty. How many pictures did you take in Iceland???

cuileann 2/03/2009 5:35 PM  

Priya - I am not sure how many I took but after dumping the bad ones I have 380.

Miss_Corrine 2/03/2009 8:21 PM  

Oh my goodness, what beautiful photos! :)

cuileann 2/04/2009 3:19 AM  

Thanks, Miss Corrine! :)

Lenore 2/04/2009 10:34 AM  

These pictures bring back such lovely memories. Can't wait to go back!

cuileann 2/05/2009 8:54 PM  

Lenore - LIKEWISE!

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