Despite my near-death experience with manflu I decided we couldn’t spend a sunny, warm day sitting at home and fiddling with our laptops, and dragged husby out to Seltún.
Google Maps and Iceland don’t really cooperate very well. Entering “Seltún” into Google Maps led us more or less in the right direction until we arrived at a gravel path wide enough to accommodate one Victoria Beckham, and covered in “DO NOT ENTER, ESPECIALLY BY CAR, BUT GENERALLY DO NOT ENTER AT ALL” signs. What you need to know is that Icelanders don’t fuck around with those signs. This is not a country where a coffee cup says “may contain coffee, and said coffee may be hot, which you will recognise by the fact you ordered a hot coffee”. If they put warning signs on everything that’s actually dangerous for you, you wouldn’t be able to leave Reykjavik, and from what I know about its nightlife even that might be doubtful. If a sign in Iceland says “danger”, that means “while everywhere else you can break a leg and die a slow, painful death, here you will break your legs and arms, then die a very slow, painful death, being forced by elves to listen to ‘My Heart Will Go On’ on repeat”. If it says “DO NOT ENTER”… that means you do not enter.
We did not enter.
The visitreykjanes.is website fortunately provides more than just names of the spots: it has geographical coordinates. Which is how we managed to get to Seltún. Husby was dripping with sweat – apparently driving in turns on ice, gravel, and ice mixed with gravel is not very easy. But nevertheless he decided to put on his winter jacket. And that’s how we discovered he left it at home.
Luckily I have yet again proven that I am a diva who has no clue how to dress in Iceland. I brought along my new-old sweater, my old-old sweater, a winter hat, a lumberjack baseball cap (don’t ask), and two pairs of gloves. Plus, of course, my own coat. And that’s how it’s been proven once again that we truly complete each other. Suitably dressed, we spent two hours walking through the snow and mud, inhaling the beautiful smell of rotten eggs, and…
I’ve read somewhere that God was fiddling with the idea of creating another planet, and used Iceland as its beta version. I confirm. This was like Moon. If half of Moon was boiling mud, and the other half snow. Add lakes so blue that our camera couldn’t capture the colour, and randomly distributed mountains. The sun was warm, the snow gorgeous and fresh, the tourists – few (3/4 of them were probably busy expiring on the “DO NOT ENTER” road). If this was supposed to help me fall out of love with Iceland, it really didn’t work at all. Not even the overactive children put me off. I just drowned them. Kidding! I wouldn’t do that! I threw rocks at them like any normal person would, until they cried and ran away.
On our way back we parked for a few minutes, because I wanted to take a close look at the Kleifarvatn lake. There were a few cars parked there, and five or six people doing the same as us: admiring. In silence. Not a single word was spoken. None of us acknowledged each other’s presence. We just were there. And this might have been the most magical thing that happened so far.
PS. We also bought Harry Potter and Captain America mugs, but I refuse to talk about that.
PS2. My fitness band stopped counting steps and altitude exactly when we arrived at Seltún, and I am going to be bitter about that for a few
hours days weeks.