We made it to Iceland! Land of Game of Thrones and Bjork! If I don’t see a flying dragon in the next ten days, I’m gonna be very disappointed.
As soon as we arrived, we were picked up by our car rental company and taken to meet our new ride. Isn’t he a beauty? We called him Camper Rick after the genius crazy scientist/grandpa from Rick and Morty. He had free Wi-Fi, came with a gas cooker and GPS, and had a freakin’ tent on the roof!
Apparently these nifty little tents were made by a company in Italy, and they initially became a huge hit in parts of Africa and Australia, where campers were eager to get the hell off the ground and away from all the scary things that could devour them. (On a totally unrelated note: Is it too late to change that ticket and just skip Australia altogether?)
And they were so easy to set up! You literally just unhook two latches in the back and push the lid up! The tent pops up, you reach inside and take out the ladder, and you’re set! The floor was surprisingly soft, and the tent easily fit two, maybe even three people. There are two cross hooks that you take off when you first climb in. The next morning, before climbing down, you set the cross hooks back up and leave both sides of the tent open to allow the air to escape when you pull the tent closed. The job of the cross hooks is to pull the tent inwards so that when you pull down on the rope at the back of the tent, everything pulls inwards and there’s nothing sticking out of the sides. And that’s it! Forget unpacking everything, having to poke those annoying poles all the way through the tent, tying everything down, and all that jazz. Everything is up and good to go in 30 seconds!
Our first stop was Thingvellir National Park, where they apparently shot a few scenes from Game of Thrones. (We learned this days after leaving the park. Oh well.) The park is full of Icelandic history, since it was the site of the first general assembly in Iceland just before 930 AD.
People didn’t screw around back then. If you committed a crime, depending on the severity, you were either exiled for a few years or forever. If you felt sassy and were seen back in town, the family was allowed to get revenge on your arrogant ass.
AND women were drowned, men were beheaded, witches and wizards were hunted, thieves were hung. It almost sounds like Game of Thrones!
Some numbers for you:
- There were 72 executions between 1602 and 1750.
- 30 men were beheaded.
- 15 men were hung.
- 18 women were drowned.
- 9 people were burned at the stake.
I smell a Lannister…
For the geological nerds out there: The park lies at a point where the American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet. Even more interesting is the fact that the earth’s crust has been dancing up a storm over the past 10, 000 years; part of the land is moving westward, while another part is moving eastward at a rate of roughly 3 mm per year.
We tried looking for some weird ruins that a park ranger had suggested to us, but we somehow got lost. His directions were essentially “Walk out the door and keep going in that direction.” In hindsight, I don’t know if he was giving us directions or just telling us to leave him the hell alone. Either way, we didn’t end up finding anything. The guy said the path was very clearly marked, but there were several times where I had to respectfully disagree with that remark. Regardless, it was a pretty walk.
When the trail completely disappeared beneath our feet, we admitted defeat and headed back to the camper. We were gonna call it an early night and set up camp.