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Sunday, September 4, 2016

Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016 - Homer & Linda's Iceland Adventure

Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016

After breakfast, our caravan of three Ford Explorers headed east along the southern coast of Iceland. I was driving with John as trip leader/navigator for the day, and Felicia and Linda in the back seat doing what all good women do, advising the driver and navigator.

We drove to Skaftafel, part of the Vatnajokull National Park. Along the way, we passed many farms built against great buttresses of mountains with contented sheep and cattle grazing. Some of the sheep manage to climb to dizzying altitudes where, it must be presumed, the REALLY good grass must be. The beauty of this place is vast, rugged, and wonderful, so much that as the driver I have to really work to keep my eyes on the road. There is only a little traffic out where we are now but what there is must be tended to as most of the bridges have only one lane. This makes sense. With little traffic, Icelanders can save 50% of the construction cost by making it one lane wide. This, however, requires care as there are no signal lights and some of the bridges are quite long. So, if you can see the other end, you go every other car, or if you can't, you drive very slow and be prepared to back up or, in some cases, there are wide places where it might be possible to pull over. Fortunately, we didn't have to do that!

Skaftafal holds a portion of a giant glacier that dominates southern Iceland. To get out to it requires about a five mile hike round trip which, considering how beautiful it was, we were willing to do. As mentioned earlier, Linda has some back issues and I'm starting to have something wrong with my hip but with a little Ibuprofen, we persevered and covered the distance. Once there, it was time for Linda, me, and a sneaky little Albert to get our picture taken in front of the glacier and here we are.

Linda, Homer, and Albert at the Skaftafell Glacier


The glacier was also a good place for us all to have a group photo so by recruiting a nice passing hiker, we did that very thing. So here that is.

The Mountain Marauders at the Skaftafel Glacier

We journeyed on along the coastline until we reached the Jokulsarion glacier lagoon. It is a glorious place filled with blue icebergs. The reason they're blue is they are ancient and dense, most of the air squeezed out of them. I recall when we were in Alaska, we went out in kayaks and collected blue ice for our drinks. They take a much longer time to melt and are perfect for gin & tonics and such.

Jokulsarion Glacier Lagoon

We are now in another hotel for the evening. It's very nice, we have a great view, and if the clouds should part, maybe we'll get to see the northern lights. In any case, it's been a super day and we've had fun which is always a good thing.

Homer Hickam, author of Carrying Albert Home, Sky of Stone, The Keeper's Son, and many other fine books.

www.homerhickam.com



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