So I’m heading up to the end of another year, another decade, even, and to mark the occasion I’m having a Milestone event. And I’ve always wanted to go to Iceland because it has everything, seriously. Vikings, glaciers, volcanoes, geysers… and it’s practically on the doorstep! On the minus side, I’ve heard it’s so amazingly expensive I just would not believe it. However, the G-Monster has been incredibly sweet and decided we should go (although he did try to talk me into going somewhere he might actually enjoy. Hawaii, he said. But even he did not have the readies for that.)
The milestone, however, isn’t even the going to Iceland, (which I have been trying not to get my hopes up about, for anything I want this bad will suck, eh), but packing to move house and packing to go on me holidays at the same time. This took never-before-utilised powers of concentration. Also, since I packed all me books to go to Beaky House sodding months ago, isn’t my handy phrasebook that I laid in last year still in one of those many boxes? Yes it is. Have I learned even a single word of Icelandic? No I have not. I am the worst tourist ever and we haven’t even left yet.
I was kinda miffed on the flight over when the person who had the precious window seat used their power to shut the sodding curtains, (seriously, why even take the window seat if you’re going to do that?) so I had no chance to see what the weather was going to be like or anything. Still, the menu was amusingly sarcastic.
Turned out it was sunny. Very sunny. Blue skies over a very bleak landscape dotted with retail parks. Well of course it was, we had no time at all to do anything that particular evening. I predict rain for tomorrow and so did several weather websites; although I was interested to note that while British sites have ‘weather’, and maybe ‘pollen count’, the Icelandic one has ‘weather’, ‘earthquakes’, ‘avalanches’ and so on. The last alert up there was for a flood, which seemed relatively pedestrian, until I read the rest of the entry and it was about a flood caused by a glacier collapsing and was accompanied by an outgassing of hydrogen sulphide. Oh my. For all my ‘its got glaciers and volcanoes and geysers OMFG!!!’ I had always assumed they were the sort of passive hazard where you were okay as long as you didn’t arse about and fall in. I hadn’t really thought about them actively coming looking for you.
But, here we were, and the weather was good and it… wasn’t very prepossessing really, sort of tired and untidy, like a ski resort in summer, or an allotment in February. There were some impressive-looking snowy mountains in the distance, however, and it turned out me, the G-Monster and our wee hire car were heading right for them, since he’d decided we didn’t want to stay In Town but somewhere out in the countryside. And was it ever! There was nothing but our cute wee motel-style hotel, a KFC, Dominos pizza and a massive great off-licence.
This might just be an amazing holiday after all.
We started the night with a wee wander round town while Dominoes made us a pizza. Even the wee lassie behind the counter had really, embarrassingly good English and got us a half-price deal we hadn’t known about. We blew the proceeds in the hotel pub (about a fiver a pint, which is not bad) where, for a Friday night, there was just us and two very ancient blokes singing along sarcastically to Eurovision.
I wondered, are people here incredibly polite to your face and then incredibly sarcastic behind your back, but then I realised I had more urgent problems, like the whole town being powered by geothermal energy. Not only was there no way of turning down the heat in the hotel room, which was like a sauna, but when the wind was in the right direction all the manhole covers steamed with a smell like unto eggs.
Strangely enough, I have never seen this mentioned.