miðvikudagur, mars 08, 2006


Yesterday E had to make a phone call, and since we live in a shoebox (albeit a seaside shoebox) I elected to take a little drive while she did. I ended up at one of my favorite easily accessible places in the Reykjavík area, the lighthouse at Grótta. Grótta is at the end of Seltjarnarnes, the peninsula that the old part of Reykjavík (and the town of Seltjarnarnes) occupies.

The weather was a beautiful Icelandic mix of bright sun and thundering downpours that came through on about 10-minute intervals. I drove to the parking lot near the lighthouse and parked facing out at giant rolling harbor waves with frothy heads and comet tails. The stoic mountains Esja and Akrafjall were directly across the water from me, powdered-sugar snow dotting the brown flanks of Esja. The sky was that choppy Gulf-Stream-ends-here mix of slate rainclouds, puffy baker's hat cumulus, and clear pastel patches the color of Easter eggs.

As is often the case, the little parking lot at the end of the world was around a third full, even at 6 p.m. on a workday. Some of the cars were parked there while their owners walked on the beach or the trails nearby, like the dad and little girl I saw coming back from a walk. He waited for his daughter while she sat down in the muddy grass next to their little panel truck and took off her wet shoes. But around half of the cars were inhabited. Next to me, parked across two spaces diagonally, was a red Hyundai. There was a girl in there smoking, staring out at the sea, and maybe writing greeting cards or a journal. A few cars down was an old fella, looking out his windshield at the waves and mountains. Everyone seemed to be there for a different reason, and everyone stayed in their cars, but it was nonetheless an odd kind of little society. There was a togetherness in the clustering of cars with the foggy windows parked alongside each other.

My car was inhabited, too. I was talking to my friend Fellas in New York while I looked out at the effervescent waves, another member of the parking-lot community of Grótta.


Blogger tsduff said...

It is very cool to know where you are talking about. My Icelander boyfriend and I visited that spot last Sept - planning on going again this late June for his family reunion in Hafnarfjordur. I've really enjoyed reading everything you write - so informative and funny as well. At some point we are considering moving to Iceland, so as an American, it is wonderful for me to hear how you handle your adventures there.


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