Jun 26, 2009

Iceland Expedition - Part 5

News from trolls, dwarfs, and elves

This is the last blog in the series that documents my first trip to Iceland with Bearbirds. Once again she has shared some fascinating photos from our voyage. And Mops amd Pops rell me that I must confess that these Iceland blogs have actually been written by Bearbirds, who has generously allowed me to post them as if they were my own.

We came to a lonesome place at Trollaskagi, the troll peninsula in the North of Iceland. In the morning the weather looked nice and we went out for a walk. We hiked along a small lake, the sun was shining and a farmer was going to spread liquid manure. He bent out of his tractor for a small talk with Bearbirds. It was so romantic!

When we reached the end of the fjord it got cloudy and a cold wind blew. Bearbirds climbed down to the shore and cried full of excitement, "Look at the wild Northern sea, Edelweiss! We nearly have reached the Polar Circle, we have crossed the 66th parallel already!"

I'm not a fan of such a big bathtub full of cold water, but the latitude was interesting.

"Am I now entitled to get such a cap we have seen in the 66° North shop?" I asked.

"Oh Edelweiss, I fear your head is too little for such a cap!"

I growled extensively (yes I can!).

Next day we intended to visit Gryla. Bearbirds had told me some stories about this old cruel troll woman and I was a bit afraid.

"Gryla isn't dangerous any more. She is turned into stone," Bearbirds said to calm me down.

But it was raining and storming and we couldn't dare to walk over a two miles long dam of billions of slippery pebbles to reach the isle Thordarhöfdi where the petrified or pebblefied Gryla lives. Bearbirds promised the weather would be better in the afternoon, but it wasn't.

We cancelled the troll visit and had a little walk around the hills in a hailstorm. Suddenly I stopped. An odd being peered at us out of the hill. Was this a munchkin troll?

"I don't know what kind of creature it is," Bearbirds said.

"Shall I ask it?" I whispered.

Believe it or believe it not, but this creature was a dwarf. Dwarfs lived in Iceland in the very olden days, but they are assumed to be exterminated since the Viking age.

"I'm the last dwarf maintaining the remembrance of the golden days. There will come a time …"

The last words of the dwarf were blown away. What a fascinating meeting!

On our way back to the East I fell in love with a big black emotionless tomcat.

"Forget him," Bearbirds said, "he has a heart of iron."

And then we had to take the ferry back to Denmark. My heart was full of pain about my lost love.

"I have told you of the elves," Bearbirds said.

"Indeed, you did, but we haven't seen any!"

"Look there!" Bearbirds pointed back at the coastline: "The elves are dancing their 'goodbye and come again' round."

Last week I got a call from Bearbirds. She will go to Iceland again in late August and surely I will come with her!

Comment from Hoopoe

Dear Edelweiss,

Do you agree with Mops and Pops that honesty is the best policy, or do you feel deflated to think that we all now know that it is actually Bearbird's writing, and not your very own? I suspect she has accurately captured your feelings and reactions.

May I offer my condolences over your unrequited love? Hearts of iron are pretty inflexible, and those windows to the soul, his eyes, imply a complete lack of the inner man, I think. A sweet little creature such as yourself is better off without The Black Cat, I'd say.

I wonder if you might consider this fellow as a more appropriate subject of adoration.

Your concerned friend, Hoopoe

Jun 16, 2009

Iceland Expedition - Part 4

The Bird Plague

Here is another Iceland adventure that Bearbirds and I had, with wonderful photos courtesy of Bearbirds.

It turned out that the second part of Bearbirds name was going to get a plague on our journey through Iceland.

Bearbirds was talking with a Japanese Christian missionary in the bus to Mývatn (Midge Lake) when he suddenly cried, "I beg your pardon a thousand times, but have a look out of the window, please!"

Three white swans were flying beside our bus over the deserted Icelandic highland. After a while they turned off.

"Probably they are humans turned into swans by a sorcerer or a troll," Bearbirds whispered to me when the missionary had apologized for the interruption a second time and had delved into his nice Japanese Bible. Probably he had to reread how to proselytize people without losing the famous Japanese politeness. It's like try to square the circle, if you ask me.

Finally we reached Mývatn and stayed in a nice hostel near the lake. In the night Bearbirds tossed and turned in bed and said, "I can't sleep. The birds are crying so loud!"

"It was you who chose the place near the lake," I answered without turning my face.

I was sitting on the windowsill watching the water birds busy in the moonlight to arrange their nesting places. There was a lot of discussions and quarrel among all the ducks, geese and divers.

Bearbirds was tired and grumpy the next morning when we had a walk uphill. The wind tousled my fur but the view to the snowcapped mountains of the highland was marvelous.

Then we went down to visit the mud pools. They didn't smell nice. Bearbirds stopped at a pool with blue bubbles.

"Do you want to have a bath?" I asked.

"Of course not! Silly cat, can't you see that it's boiling? I really don't like to be grilled!"

I would have liked to ask if there was hot blueberry soup in the pool but I preferred to keep my mouth shut.

Later we reached a fenced pool where Bearbirds had to pay an admission fee. I sat down in a beach chair and Bearbirds dived into the steaming water. She met two women, tourists from the other end of the world, and they began to chat.

"We are quite alone in this nice hot lagoon!"

"Oh, yes, there are no tourists here!"

And finally they all began to sing and to cry, "Here are no tourists! We are no tourists! All the others are tourists, but not we!"

Which troll* had turned them into a crazy gaggle of geese? It was extremely embarrassing. And this was the first time when I thought, Bearbirds, you really can be a plague!

* You can see him in this picture:

As you can see, travel with Bearbirds in Iceland was quite an adventure and the natural scenery was eye-popping. I've never had so much fun and learned so much!