After 3 hour flight I’m landing at Keflavik International Airport 50 kilometers west from Reykjavik. It’s 1am and I’m pulling my huge bicycle bag (full of bike & food) out of the arrivals hall. Weirdly, Keflavik Airport is a ‘bicycle free zone’ so I will have to unpack and assemble bike outdoors, not a good start this. It’s about 5 degrees so a bit chilly to fiddle with bits and bolts.
Anyway, cat is out of the bag and ready to play. It took about 2 hours to assemble the bike and sort out all the bungee cording and since it’s 4am already and sun is rising, I’m dropping dull idea of sleep and just start pedaling…. Hard to believe that shot below was taken 5 minutes down the road from the international airport… now try that in Gatwick!
Had this mantra in my head – ‘blast through the civilized bit of Iceland and get to the wild interior as soon as possible’. Well it is soon dawning on me that it won’t be necessary because after quick 50 kilometers I get to the very centre of capital Reykjavik and see this:
not a bad place this civilization
I stock up on food in big supermarket and absolutely lovely bakery and leave capital slowly moving east.
My guidebook tells me that Icelanders quite seriously believe in all kinds of ‘hidden people’ like trolls, gnomes, dwarfs etc. They say that at night for one reason or another those creatures build little stone pyramids all over Iceland. Well they must have had some kind of Troll Glastonbury Festival here:
I never was a history person but early history of Iceland really caught my attention. So here comes lesson number one (there will be only two so listen closely)… long time ago a bunch of Viking lads got fed up with the oppression of nordic monarchy and decided to find a better place to live. They set off and while sailing to Faroes Islands accidentally discovered Iceland. Instantly in love with the fragile beauty of the landscape, they slaughtered bunch of Irish monks who at this unfortunate moment (unfortunate for the monks) were meditating somewhere along the west coast and took Iceland for themselves. It was 9th or 10th century and as a civilized folk Vikings already knew that monarchy doesn’t make any sense unless you are a king or a queen (the truth some nations will take forever to discover) so in 930 they founded a democratic parliament in Þingvellir. After this noble act the usual politics or killing brothers and getting married with your own children resumed so I will finish my lesson here.