Nov 18, 2016
By JANET MYERS
Beware of the sneaky trolls in Iceland
We were in Rekjanes peninsula south of Reykjavik in Iceland where at Christmas time it stayed light for only four hours. Our cabin nestled in the glistening snow amongst dark crags and larva formations and the sound of the ocean could be heard as it rushed ashore. Here folklore told of elves and fairies who frequented the black terrain. Grýla the Christmas troll being one of them. She used to gather up those on the naughty list and take them back for her stew pot but in recent years she and her 13 Yule lads have been reformed. They now leave gifts in shoes which the Icelanders place on their window sills – so just in case we left ours out as well. The following morning they were filled to overflowing so I think we must have been high up on the good list!
By the time we slipped into the silky steaming water of the blue lagoon later that Christmas morning, dawn was not far away. Gradually the blue intensified as the sun rose low on the horizon and the bright moon slipped out of sight. Our eyebrows and hair froze and we looked like trolls ourselves. With bushy white icicles above our eyes and spiky hair it looked as if Jack Frost had been our hairdresser.
We toasted the day with a glass of champagne and lingered for ages in the warm before hunger pangs tempted us out. In the evening we feasted on lamb instead of turkey. Then we settled down to watch a traditional seasonal movie. It was not long however before we gave up our seats in front of the TV for those on the balcony outside where mother nature was putting on her own performance in the night sky
Here the greatest advantage of our location was the darkness. With just the twinkling lights from other cabins it was our greatest asset. Here we watched from our own cabin the beauty of the northern lights as they danced and pulsated in giant green ribbon across the night sky. We needed to take no excursion. We watched from the windows, the porch, the balcony and even the hot tub!
When the mercury fell well below freezing the track outside our warm cosy bolthole took on the feel of an ice truckers encounter and we slid on the icy surface but the well equipped 4 by 4 made light work of it as we explored this magical wonderland.
One day took the standard Golden circle route in reverse. This way we arrived in the mountains above Selfross in the half light. Eerie and magical they appeared an intoxicating blue. Then as the sun set in front of us on our return journey it created amazing bands of pink and yellow against an ever darkening sky above. Then with darkness came recollections of trolls as the moonlight seemed to turn every rock into a small mischievous form.
The days passed, each as perfect as the one before. For me, few places on earth can offer such a sense of freedom and awe as Iceland in Winter time. Providing that is you aren’t on the naughty list and taken prisoner by the Christmas troll.
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About the Author
I've been around for a while and tend to live and think outside the box. Although I currently write mostly travel articles, a career in teaching, tourism, media, graphic design, house restoration and owning a restaurant are a few adventures along the way. They say that once bitten by the travel bug there is no known andidote and it seems in my case to be true. I've visited much of the planet, learnt a lot, met some great people, experienced different cultures and had some great adventures.