Volcanoes Erupting

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Today we met the first rains and cold in Iceland. We’ve been in a bit of mist and fog, but no heavy rain until today. It’s also our last day in Iceland, so we’re feeling the crush of moving to the next unknown. It always takes a good deal of mental strength to prepare for a flight and to anticipate our next steps. Decision making is tough for we three.

It’s not that we each can’t make decisions independent of each other. It’s the burden of worrying about what the others may want that can be taxing and stressful. Lots of solo travelers would argue that traveling alone is so much easier due to this weird human irritant – decision-making in a group. Today we had a couple of insignificant decisions that put us in a funk with each other.

Max is also facing the reality of being away from friends. This is a tough time for him to be away as one of his many friends is a girl. I guess that makes her his girlfriend. They started to like each other just a couple months before we left, so timing was terrible. And to top it off, she is a senior this year meaning that when we return, she will be getting ready to head off to college. Max will have another year of high school. They are so lucky to have modern technology to help them stay in touch, but so hard. Mom and Dad are just not nearly as exciting to hang around!

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Along the rainy journey back to Reykjavik, we did cross paths with one of the island’s most inviting volcanos. This bad boy lays just off the road on the southern coast of the Snaellfellsnes Peninsula. It’s so inviting, in fact, that it has steps up one side of it making for an exhausting journey but with the reward of an easy view over the edge into the cone. Climbing also allowed for sweeping views of the massive lava flows to the coast and to the north the active, Snaefellsjokull Glacier covered volcano. Rumor has it that two of Iceland’s sleeping giants, Katla and Hekla, both south of Reykjavik have been rumbling a bit more than usual. We learned that the island is a “newb” (Max is teaching me some new lingo) in the world of landmasses as it was formed entirely by volcanic eruptions.

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We arrived in Reykjavik to some of the coldest and windiest weather we’ve encountered, so trudging around town was pretty chilly. We did manage to find the University of Iceland and took a little accidental tour of its campus on the way to the National Museum of Iceland. Of course, to get there involved a hike under a flight path, over a giant walk bridge and across a bog. So exciting for the boys! We realized on our way out that the shorter route would have been about three blocks! Mr. Washburne is always looking for the hike!

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It was fun to see the progressiveness in the city. Apparently, Icelandic women have taken to participating in the “Free the Nipple” movement, and last spring roamed the streets topless to help send the message to desexualize breasts and nipples. I am all about losing the bra and going topless on some of those sweltering summer days! Thanks to all the brave women in Iceland who help in the fight for gender equality!

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