Iceland is a weird, fascinating place that combines inexplicably well the rootless force of nature with the solitude of men and some intriguing popular folklore .
At the end of my trip I was expecting people to ask me about the ongoing eruption of the Bárðarbunga volcano; about elves, trolls, hidden people and whale sightings; about roads and distances and temperatures. But the most recurrent question was one and one only:
Have you met Bjork?
Day number four. The first thing I saw after opening my eyes was my jacket, hanging outside of the first floor window, reminding me how our small gas accident from the night before hadn’t been only a dream.
On that day we followed the north-eastern portion of road number one and went through a dry, grey part of the island.
You know, sometimes volcanoes decide to raise their voices, spit out their hot stuff and erase life all around.
That is pretty scary, if you think about it.
We decided to take a detour on a secondary road in order to explore a more internal part. I don’t remember why we we did it, but I remember the road being so bumpy and annoying that we almost gave up and reverted our route.
But we didn’t. And in the middle of all that uncoloured nobodyness we found
a town evidence of human presence in the shape of a church…
..and a sport field….
..and a café selling good coffee, excellent cake and typical Icelandic sweaters.
When you drive for miles and miles without seeing anyone, it’s easy to forget that there are people other than you. Some of them are checking their social networks inside an isolated café and some of them are – as a matter of fact – Bjork.
That’s right: that was not a stupid question after all. Each time you run into a local there’s one chance out of roughly 300.000 that that person is actually Bjork, which seems like a big big chance if you come from Berlin.
At the end of that coffee we went back to the road most travelled (which was full of sheep, literally) and headed towards our next stop: Lake Myvatn.
We had booked a room at the Dimmuborgir guest house, and the room turned out to be a lovely little wooden house with a great view of the lake and the chance of stalking our neighbours while taking a peculiar photo shoot.
No trace of Bjork.
After a well-deserved power nap we decided it was time to explore the surroundings of the lake.
There’s a few times in life in which entering a claustrophobic rocky crater without any kind of protection is the right thing to do.
You may find a pond of blue hot water inside, so beautiful to see and clearly impossible to bathe in.
Also, no Bjork.
And did I mention the smoke?
Iceland is like the island of Lost, with the exception that the smoke monster is white and smells like rotten egg.
Like, for real.
That’s because the heat produced by the Earth makes it to the surface in the shape of super hot sulfur steam.
And that’s essentially what warms up hot springs and makes geothermal energy possible.
But yeah, it stinks and it looks like a war zone.
And then this parking lot. Just before going back to our accomodation, two things happened in this parking lot.
Number one: Stephen claims he saw on a map a city/village called Slutness. SLUTNESS! He has no evidence of that and we weren’t able to find the city in any other map. If you live in Iceland or – even better – in Slutness, please help me solve this mystery.
The second thing that happened is that Stephen decided that he was gonna drive. Which is no big news, if you’re unaware of
FLASHBACK – INT. CAR – DAY 2
My turn to drive!
Sure, it’s all yours!
Stephen and Fede swap places in the car.
I’m probably just a little rusty with the manual shift, but it should be fine
Erm…you’re in retro. Also, you’re not pressing down the friction.
Mmmh..maybe you should drive a little more.
It’s true what they say.
Your whole life before your eyes.
And lost in a terrifying but almost mystic moment, I saw the light and loudly demanded that we’d pull over.
I had found her. We could call it a day.