An Iceland folio
May 21, 2014
This installment of Jack and Marcia Schnedler’s postings from their 24-day Icelandic driving trip takes a visual focus.
A potpourri of photographs mostly by Marcia, with captions mostly by Jack, the images show assorted novelties and oddities (to American eyes anyway).
They were taken as the Schnedlers continue circumnavigating this mid-Atlantic island of 325,000 people, which sits astride the clashing tectonic plates of North America and Europe.
Visitors to Iceland can view a variety of street and wall art. Some of them are as inscrutable as this image In Reykjavik.
The puffin is a national symbol in Iceland, which results in countless thousands of puffin dolls being sold to tourists from around the world.
Iceland’s highway signs encouraging the use of seat belts have a more beguiling way of delivering the message than the U.S. “Click It or Ticket” threat. Seat-belt use is mandatory in Iceland.
It’s hard for anyone who does not read the Icelandic language to know what to make of this ultra lanky silhouette at roadside overlooking Akureyri, the island’s second largest city.
These tomatoes are on sale on the honor system near an Icelandic hot spring. Just take the tomatoes you want and deposit the requested price. Icelanders seem to be honest and trusting enough that credit-card imprints are NOT required when checking in at a hotel.
Iceland has scores of golf courses, some in the most remote locations. Most of them appear to have an abundance of rough, making play even more of a challenge in the frequently strong winds.
In mid-May in Iceland, snow still closes some highways, as these tourists discovered on the way to the Viti crater of the volcano Krafla near Lake Myvatn. This volcanically active location bestrides the North American and European tectonic plates.
Jack and Marcia Schnedler are yet to visit Iceland’s most unlikely cultural attraction, located in the capital city of Reykjavik. It is the Icelandic Phallological Museum, aka the Icelandic Penis Museum. It supposedly displays the male organ of more than 200 mammal species including homo sapiens.
This is not a creation of visitors from another planet who got tired of crop circles. It’s an elaborate roundhouse-style corral for sorting out horses. Iceland has 80,000 horses, one for every four human residents of the mid-Atlantic island.
The Icelandic sense of humor is manifest at the Icelandic Aviation Museum outside Reykjavik.
Even in chilly May in Reykjavik, liquor-loving Icelanders enjoy their drinking outdoors on a Friday evening. Alcoholic beverages are dizzingly expensive in Iceland, but that doesn’t seem to slow the pace of consumption.
Hot dogs are a favorite food of Icelanders. This stand in Akuryeri, Iceland’s second largest city (17,000 population) advertises the beloved “pylsur.” They’ve served as a fast and flavorful lunch for the Schnedlers on several days. Their virtues include a crisp-to-the-bite casing and very fresh buns.