Land Of Glacier And Skidoo Mark

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September 29th 2013
Published: September 29th 2013
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Wot A Monster!Wot A Monster!Wot A Monster!

(Big car too)
We met Thor last night !!

Honest to Gods.

That’s what the hotel manager is called. A lovely guy. Very interested in aurora too. Lots of animated discussion. Ended up hugging him (and yes, I was pissed, but I would probably still have hugged him anyway. In fact, I want to go and hug him now. Maybe later).

So, how are we getting on with the Icelandic people ?

Well, they’re a hardy race, but they don’t rest on their laurels :-). They are lovely people. Very friendly. Very approachable. You’d like them.

And how are we getting on with the Icelandic language?

Wellapartfromthefactthatalltheplacenamesseemtobetotallyunprouncablefullsentencesinthemselves, everyone speaks perfect English (even better than what I do isn’t it). Puts us to shame. I can speak some Icelandic though. For example, the Icelandic for “Hi” is . . . “Hi”. And the Icelandic for “Bye” is . . . “Bye”. Easy really once you get the hang of it.

Anyway, Nana’s and Whatshisnamesonson wedding was lovely. Nana looked lovely in that dress. Turns out she’s an Icelandic actress so there were lots of loveys here. Met an English guy from Hollywood called Fraser (didn’t really help that I kept calling him Francis). Met the bride’s mother too. It was almost as if I’d been invited. One little factoid, they don’t change surnames when they marry. That’s how the family lineage is preserved in the surnames.

However, in all the excitement, we booked a snowmobile tour on a glacier for today. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Not sure what time we finally got to bed, but the first thing Moi said when we woke up was “shall we cancel it”. Fortunately, I was still pissed and said no.

And are we glad we didn’t.

Drove about 40 miles across the moonscape, then a large 4x4 monster took us up the side of a volcano to the glacier at the stop to a line of Skidoos. The guide told us to stay in his tracks as there had been new snow last night and we don’t know where the crevasses are!! It was about an hour’s round trip in all and he took us up to the 3rd highest point f the glacier (about 1500m). As we got higher and higher, we went into the cloud, and suddenly it was a total whiteout. Really quite freaky. All we could see was the guide about 10m in front and nothing else. Just white, up, down, all around. At one point, we couldn’t even tell we were moving. It was just like we were suspended completely surrounded by white. I said it felt like we were in Heaven (didn't know they had Skidoos in Heaven).

The glacier is actually a huge snow cap sitting on top of a volcano crater, the weight of the cap pushing down on the ice which forces it out down the valleys, moving about a centimetre a day!! There’s actually about 4 glacial rivers coming off this one snow cap.

He said it was the same with Eyjafjallajökull (the one that went off in 2010) which is just next door. When the volcano erupts, it takes about 4 hours before it melts through the glacier (which is about 250m thick) and then explodes. There’s no molten lava as the super-heated steam and water reduces everything to ash.

He also said the volcano we were on is still active and usually goes off about 3 years after Eyjafjallajökull (hang on a sec, what year is this?!) and when this one goes off we’ll really know about it as it's MUCH bigger. They do monitor activity and usually have a week or so’s notice, so we’re alright for at least a week. Another interesting factoid was that when the other one went off, they had about 300 earthquakes a day!!!

Anyway, back down to Earth, a short drive home, bought some milk and teabags (English Breakfast tea) on the way, then crash out back at the hotel.

No alcohol tonight. Well, maybe just the one.

Right, too knackered to type any more. I’m off to hug Thor.

Additional photos below
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