Iceland is not just full of ice (it has the biggest glaciers in Europe — notably the Vatnajökull which occupies 12% of its territory), it also has glorious green fields, pastures, lots of cows and sheep, agriculture (they produce their own tomatoes) waterfalls galore, thermal waters, Geysirs, volcanoes – an amazing place. Carla and I spent two full weeks with a rented Opel Astra, which took us comfortably to all the sights. Whale watching and “puffin” (seabirds that come to nest on the cliffs) watching was a particularly enjoyable outing from the Husavik fishing village. We also enjoyed a lot of music — especially at the new opera and concert centre in Reykjavik. Worth repeating.
Wings of Iceland
(a little rhyme to remember quaint bird and place names by)
Exultant birds and free,
wild arrows flying over field and sea.
Swift wings dash through the arctic skies,
as poetry of movement, art that versifies,
As aviary music on a canvas wide
from far horizon to the mountainside.
The migratory kittiwake and arctic tern
each year to breed on rocks and cliffs return.
White seagulls whirl high over Akureyri bay,
snipes nest in Bredafjördur’s isle Flatey.
At Húsavík plump puffins feed all day and night
on eel and capelin with furious appetite.
In Jökulsárlón glacial opaline brown skuas pirouette
not far from tourists with their internet.
Alas, In Eldey isle became extinct the last great Auk,
Volcanic Eyjafjallajökull ash chocked geese in flock.
Gyrfalcons take at Dimmuborgir prey,
Swans swim at Skútustadir by Mývatn on the way.
The white-tailed eagle, resident and king,
glides over fjords and bays when harvesting.
Black guillemots and cormorants reside year-round,
their compact colonies on barren reefs abound.
Near Snaefellsnes seals frolic next to eider duck,
while gannets dive as darts to find their luck.
Behold: blithe spirits flying to infinity.
Behold: Icelandic aviary artistry.