These past few weeks have brought an influx of blog readers to verify the accuracy of my reportings here, and bring me Things From The States. It's been somewhat stressful, since I always hope that Iceland will show off its best, but in true Iceland fashion, it does what it pleases. Two weekends ago, we did manage to see a smidgen of norðurljós in spite of the cloudy day, but last week it was like I controlled the earth, the sea, and the elements, providing two days of perfect weather for my next tour group. On Thursday, I met with four guys who were on their way back from a European tour-of-male-bonding, and together with K we went for a lobster dinner in Stokkseyri. This restaurant is exactly the kind of restaurant you'd want to eat lobster at- the menu consists basically of lobster in three sizes, lobster soup, and wine that goes with it. They know what they do best and they stick to it.
The restaurant is right on the edge of the sea by the south coast, and we arrived just as the last tinges of evening peach were fading from the sky. Good northern lights sighting ahead. After a truly decadent dinner involving wine and their famous meringue cake, we piled back into the cars and drove back along the coast. K pulled off at a beach entry in the darkest part of the road, and we all stumbled down to the dark beach (black sand plus a moonless night makes for challenging walking).
Even though I have lived here for a year, I cannot fail to be absolutely speechless when in a moment like that. On a black sand beach with the Arctic surf crashing below us, and above, the millions of stars glowed clear, washed in undulating green to the north. No cars, no other people, no sounds beyond the waves, and a crisply frigid wind to remind you that you are on the edge of the Arctic Circle, and all this only 45 minutes from home. I live here for those reasons.
The next day I played hooky from work and did the usual tourist trip of Þingvellir, Geysir, Gullfoss. I've done this now in sun and fog, snow and summer, and it is still exhilarating to see. In spite of its touristy nature there really is something to be said for these sights, and I love being there when people see it for the first time. As with the day before, the weather was absolutely perfect, and I am sure that memories of the gorgeous weather will sustain me through the winter. Having visitors come to explore with again reminds me of what is great about this place, and I always end renewed, refreshed, and loving Iceland again.
Ship sighting: Speaking of being on tour, I am typing this in the airport, as I am once again going to Holland. I will be missing a tanker-intensive day, as this one and another arrive today. I'll probably be taking the train through Rotterdam today, but the trains don't go anywhere near the legendary harbor. Better luck some other trip.