Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Iceland Again

My friend Isao used to tell me that Japanese people really like Scandinavian design. I realize that Iceland isn't "officially" part of Scandinavia, but certainly there is some relationship between these two parts of the world. Having now been to Iceland, I can see the affinity that Japanese people have for the north of Europe. Certainly I feel compelled (again) to try to have some nice furniture and reduce clutter, although the latter is difficult if you are the kind of person who loves books as much as I do. I mean, pick up any home decor magazine, and every beautiful shot of a room professionally decorated is not likely to include a lot of books.

But I digress.

What impressed me most about Iceland -- other than the people -- was the incredibly exotic quality of the place. Here is a land full of tectonic plates, lava, volcanoes, glaciers and the northern lights. We had about 6 hours of sunlight, and the sun passed very low over the horizon, so the whole day went by like a dream. Sunrises and sunsets took forever, and I kept hearing the overture to Das Rheingold in my head.

Believe it or not, this photo was taken around 10 AM when the sun was just crawling up into the sky.

Pfingvellir is the site of the Icleandic althing, or Viking parliament. It is an incredible place, and you can see the American plate pulling away from the Eurasian plate. I hope that this is not a sign of what will inevitably happen between these two parts of the world.

Look at how low the sun still is -- and this is probably around 11 AM.

We also visited the geysir, which is the only word to have made it from Icelandic to world-wide-usage.

Gulfoss falls is a two-tier waterfall. It is impossible for me to convey how cold it was. It was also very slippery and I fell down -- something I rarely do. But I like this photo because it looks like a rainbow and I are playing tug-of-war.

I love how this ice-covered grass almost looks organic. And, again, look at the quality of the sun coming through the ice!

Sunsets take forever. You can see the Blue Lagoon spa brewing in the distance.

The water really is blue at the Blue Lagoon.

I like the fact that every meal we ate was accompanied by candles. Actually, there was a great deal of glass/candle work for sale. In such a dark place, you really do value light. I plan to have more meals at home with candles to cheer me up when the upcoming New York winter seems to go on forever!

I would be remiss if I didn't point out that every breakfast included a nice serving of herring. I admit, I ate some every morning.

Miss ICELAND won the Miss World Beauty concert today!
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