|It turns out this scene is nearly a national icon, common on postcards.|
Thursday, January 14, 2016
Iceland, day 2.1
Our driver and guide, Trond Eiksund, a kindly bear with a reddish beard, was witty, entertaining, and informative. He succeeded in making his audience comfortable and communal. Since it was sunny, he reordered our itinerary for maximum viewing effect. We first stopped at Pingvellir, or Thingvellir in English, national park. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Trond told us to look around, go straight on the path some 800 yards, and meet back at the mini-bus at three minutes before noon. The morning sun in back and to the right, did not provide much warmth (it was around 30 degrees, no worse than Syracuse and not windy) but silvered the snow and distant mountains. In front of the guest center, I saw what did not surprise me: somebody wearing a San Francisco Giants hat; he was emerging from a tour bus. I walked up to him, pointing to my own 2012 World Series watch cap. "Excuse me. I just knew this would happen. Giants." We shook hands. It was Dustin and his female fellow traveler, Jenna. From Saskatchewan. "I have to ask: why the Giants?" He said he really likes baseball, and a couple guys he runs with got him into the Giants. Naturally, he is also a Blue Jays fan, and I reminded him that Syracuse was their Triple A team for many years. He knew that. Jenna took a photo of us. As I said, I knew this would happen. Lord knows what this fellow made of all this; he seemed slightly taken aback. Why wouldn't he be, with a stranger gregariously putting an arm around him and posing for a photo as if both were ol' war buddies? It was a brief encounter. I didn't tarry. But it was a given this would happen.