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Days: 60

Meals out: 16

Hot pools:  36

Ice creams:  Selka 29, H.W. 26

Nights paid for: 26

Nights indoors: 23

Nights outdoors: 37

Km on bicycle:  Selka 910, HW 1124

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August 22, 2010

There’re lots of sheep.  Many cats.  In the city, men walk very small dogs (“murse dogs”?) with no sense of embarrassment or irony.  It was days before we saw a real medium-sized dog (English shepherd).

Lots of horses.  The horses are short, sweet, gorgeous, and friendly, with the longest, thickest hair.  It’s a wonder they see anything, their manes are always in their eyes.

Icelanders build very unique churches.  The churches are edgy and experimental and fun, like architectural fights of fancy. Hmm, what could we do and still have it recognizably a church?  The design and treatment of churches is so playful it’s almost as if they’re mocking Christianity, but I don’t think that’s the case.

They also like their sculpture.  Sculptures are everywhere, weird, abstract, and usually substantial.  There isn’t much that’s wispy in Iceland at all.  Even the people are substantial.

They build with imported wood or else concrete, and clad everything in stucco or corrugated iron.

There aren’t any biting insects.  No snakes.  No predatory animals.  This is an indescribable difference coming from hiking and camping in Canada, where you have to always consider a variety of other beasts that could want to get into your food.  Here, none.  Food in the tent, no problem.

There’s not many warning signs.  There’re no shoulders on the roads.  Even on “highways”, people just stop in the middle of the road for many reasons, such as to chat with other drivers.  Seeing as there’re no shoulders, this is reasonable.  They don’t have flag-people to control road construction.   Very few police.  There aren’t restrooms, or “WC”s, as they’re called here, provided at designated rest areas.  Public garbage cans are few and far between.  What there is a hell of a lot of, is high expectations of everyone’s common sense, self-governing, and self-reliance. (more…)

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