A Song of Ice and Fire

If you sent warm, sunny thoughts our way, it worked. We’ve had several days with no rain, significant stretches of sun, and moderate warmth. It’s been fantastic.

We travelled from the more popular tourist areas in the south to the east fjords, and now we’re in the northeast. The east fjords were very pretty. They were also quite hilly compared to the south. That’s all fine and good when the hills are nicely graded, but that’s not always the case. We’ve encountered several hills with 12-15% grades (according to signs). It’s a challenge pedaling an 80-pound bike up a hill like that! The winds and occasional stretches of loose gravel can also be challenging. Even though we’ve mostly been on the Ring Road (Highway 1, Iceland’s main highway) for a while now, there are sections that are not paved. Many of the sections in the east here have only been paved in the last decade. We went through one 5900-meter tunnel that was built in 2005, too.

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As we’ve been biking, I’ve been listening to book 3 in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. Coincidentally, it’s an appropriate choice, as I hear that several filming locations for the book’s HBO adaptation (called Game of Thrones after the first book in the series) are in Iceland. I haven’t seen the show yet, but I’ve been wanting to check it out for a while. Now I pretty much have to see it. The series is entertaining if you like scandalous fantasy fiction. I also highly recommend the audio book version. The voice actor who reads the book is pretty good. The characters are engaging, but there are lots of story lines to keep track of. As I was reading the first book, I thought it was obvious why it was adapted into a television series by HBO. I hear good things about the show, so we’ll see. Since much of the series takes place in “the frozen north,” I’m sure Iceland’s glaciers make fine backdrops. I hear that the show has filmed some at one of the waterfalls we camped by (Skogafoss) and at the Iceberg lake we stopped at.

We camped last night at the Reindeer Lodge, which is decorated — as one might expect — with mounted reindeer heads. A hunting expedition pulled up with a few reindeer as we checked in and got our camp set up. Now I’m going to sign off because Mike and I are going to have a reindeer burger and then hit the road.

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