It’s a land of contradictions, this Ice Land. In Reykjavik the sidewalks are covered with grayish smudges; you might imagine they’d be from puffins or some exotic natural creature, and they are, but the natural creatures are humans and the splotches are gum. Apparently, so an inside guide to Iceland tells us, they spit out their gum as they’re walking along – and, in fact, close inspection proves it to be true.
They converted peaceably to Catholicism in 1000 after some chief pondered the question under a fur skin at Thingvellir; but when the Reformation hit they had to behead the last Catholic bishop – he just didn’t really want to become Lutheran.
The water, piped up from deep in the earth, needs no oil for heating, but you have to let it run for ten minutes before it gets hot.
The hotels have wireless, but they block “personal” websites, including mine – except for here at Geysir. The geyser named Geysir is blocked by all the rocks people threw into it, so it doesn’t go off anymore – on Independence Day they throw soapsuds in to make it erupt. But thank you, Geysir, for not blocking my site.
But yesterday there was sun and the rainbows appeared at spectacular Gulffoss, just as the guidebook said they would.