Solheimajokull, Myrdalshreppur Iceland – Day 3
It’s an oddly intoxicating sensation to be lost in time. I always feel this on vacation, but more so in Iceland in summer when the sun never sets and it’s daylight through the day and into night. For Greg this is Day 3 and for me it’s Day 2. Fortunately it’s all day for the entire trip. We’re prepared with eye masks and farmstays with blackout curtains, but we are not prepared for the hyper-charged energy that comes with 24 hours of daylight. Stopping to photograph and tour along the South Shore from Keflavik to Skogar it takes us about 10 hours to make the 130 km drive. We arrive at Guesthouse Steig at 9:40pm, but it feels like 4pm all day long. Their kitchen is closed but our host recommends the Strondin Bistro in Vik. Luckily they’re open until 11pm, like many restaurants in Iceland, as tourists like us get lost in time and surface closer to midnight, suddenly hungry and ready to savor Icelandic cuisine. The grilled lamb and Arctic charr are exquisitely delicious – not just because we’re hungry, but because the sauces and seasonings are a salivary delight. We fall into an easy pattern for our days starting with a guesthouse breakfast of homemade breads, fruits, and eggs or waffles, followed by skyr and fruit throughout the day, ending with a fabulous meal at a restaurant near our stay. We regret not walking out to the nearby cliffs beyond the bistro to see puffins fly in from the sea and roost for the brightly lit night. Instead we literally fall into bed and sleep as in a coma from midnight until 8am every day. This manic travel and sightseeing followed by late dinners and deep sleep becomes our established pattern. In the morning we’re excited to explore two great geological wonders a few kilometers in either direction. Solheimajokull is an easy access glacial tongue that branches from the vast Myrdalsjokull ice cap, Iceland’s 4th largest glacier. A short 15 minute drive west and then up a dirt track that leads to the exquisite glacial lagoon and the iridescent blue-white of glacier rimmed by the green of summer and azure sky dappled with incessantly raucous gray clouds. Greg runs down the path as I just take in the natural beauty of this place, the gift of this day, savoring panoramic views in every direction. In his signature navy blue L.L. Bean jacket, Greg turns back to watch me then scurries down to touch the tongue of glacier – its name translated as “sun world glacier.” His first time on a glacier, my second experience (first at Mt. Baker National Recreation Area in Washington) at being humbled in geological time, these 10,000 years until now, as we live in the on-going global glaciation. Our very lives are illuminated by the majesty of geological time, on display 24 hours a day in June in Iceland. We culminate our awe with a cappuccino from the current epoch in the quaint bunker of Café Solheimajokull.