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ICELAND/GREENLAND TRIP, May 24 - June 6, 2008

SATURDAY, 5/24/08: Phone rings 1:25PM JUST as I'm ready, and into car PRECISELY at 1:30. Warm! TRAFFIC! Arrive 2:22 and kiosk doesn't find my electronic ticket. Clerk walks away with it at 2:29. To security line 2:34. Directed (at random?) to secondary security, more severe, where he DOESN'T find my cough syrup, to 2:48. Sit at Gate 3 at 3PM, no Steve, who shows up only minutes later, having gotten there earlier and was wandering around. Board plane 4:13, rows don't match: 21A opposite 20F! Move back 4:16. Do puzzles. 38 minute flight! LONG sit, and off at 5:24. #1 Empire State Building and plane 5:24PM. Mostly cloudy, some luxuriant countryside and elegant housing projects, and land at 6:02: 38 minutes. Off plane 6:14. 6:39 to Icelandair. Dine in "Dine Boston" to 7:58, poor fish and chips, though Steve likes his lobster salad, and my 22 oz. Bud Lite beer is tasty. Shit 8:03. Through to gate E8B at 8:20, and they again miss my 4 oz. bottle when 3 oz. is the limit and Steve has his baggie correct. Board 9:12 in LAST ROW that DOESN'T RECLINE, but many others don't, they say, because it's very HARD to push seats back, and thank goodness no one in the row ahead of us and the two gabby women to my left move back either. Swallow Diazepam without water at 9:25, Ambien without water at 9:30. 5 hour flight. Move back 9:36. Off 9:50, facemask on, dark out, some fishing lights below then all dark. Doze. Look at watch 10PM, 10:30, maybe sleep a bit.

SUNDAY, 5/25/08: Light out, above clouds at 1:32AM. Lose pen (don't know what this means, because I always had a pen when I wanted one). Few coughs, thirsty. Try games, need controls, which woman next to me said cost $10, so I wasn't about to do that. Cough. Drink water and orange juice that were passed to me. Moon 2/3 full at 1:52. 1:03 to go. 2:13AM change watch to 6:13AM. Bumpy. At 6:22 the stewardess says, "It's too late for a cup of tea," but then she GIVES me one and I SPILL it on my LAP and JACKET! Land 6:48, sunny and cloudy. Off plane 7:05, last since I'm in the last seat. 57E. Onto immigration line 7:10, through security 7:16. Get my bag instantly from carousel at 7:23. To guide at 7:25. Give $40 for 2,797K. To bus 7:35. Take 2 DayQuil and pee at 7:39. #2 sculptures outside Keflavik Airport 7:47, one said to be a Concorde sprouting from an egg, the other a rainbow: Bifrost in Icelandic lore. 8:10 everyone's arrived. Two good maps passed out by Steini, as he calls himself. Bus leaves 8:25. 9:12 stop for breakfast in Rekyavik after touring lots of downtown. (He calls breakfast brunch, which I believe at last when I'm the ONLY one from the group having lunch at Hamar Hotel.) #3 fountain. #4 gardens after breakfast 10:06AM. Breakfast of orange juice, after second carafe delivered, 2 cups of coffee, two ham rolls, 5-6 cheeses, 3 orange slices, 3 wild strawberries, 5-6 slices of casava melon, 2 hot rolls, one cold bun with butter and two jams. Bus goes 10:20. #5-6 1987 Summit House 10:10. The head of state, first WOMAN leader "elected democratically" was (as Steini wrote on sheet) Vigdis Finnbogadottir. To #11 Harbor/ whaling/ "Frigg" to 10:39. GREAT VISTAS of snow-sided mountains. Pee stop 11:43 in Akranes. #12 WHALE capture photo from pee-stop at noon. Continue on bus 12:13. To #18 mountains to 12:36PM. To Hamar Icelandair Hotel in Borgarnes 12:54. [To bus 3:30.] Unpack to 1:38. Look at lunch (with AM pills yet to take). Good talk with woman owner about both our pasts, good extra booklets she gives me, and GREAT mushroom soup and bread, but NOT great (or TOO great) 750K charge, about $11! To nap 2:12 and go ABSOLUTELY OUT to 3:22 when he PUNCHES me awake in middle of dream (which I've forgotten). Dress quickly and out to bus at dot of 3:30, just as Steini is looking for last ones, and I think I'm last, but five more get on bus after I do and we leave at 3:33. To #23 steam place (Deildartunguhver). #24 group at Reyholt Cultural Center for Snorri's hot bath. Really OUT of it mentally after waking---like STILL asleep at some level, at 4:55. Geir Waage gives a wonderful talk: Snorri GOT tales and wrote stories adapted by Wagner for his Ring and Tolkein for his Lord of the Rings, in particular his Grima, the Worm-Tongue, adapted exactly from a character Steini described as lying and "Snake Tongued." "We are sitting at the navel of the world," and I was so impressed by his knowledge and presentation that I said I would have wished he'd had a DVD I could buy of his presentation. Down to the gift shop at 5:20 and buy two books, sexily illustrated, with Visa for about $30 to 5:50, enjoying last bit of talk with Steini and two women and him. #27 whooping swans 6:01. Hraunfossar (broad shallow falls from between two lava layers) and Barnafoss (narrow and high) Falls from multiple viewpoints ("Like ants scurrying around a pile of leaves") to #55 at 6:45. Leave 6:48. Told to meet for orientation and dinner at 7:45. Tomorrow, breakfast starts at 7:30 and we leave at 9:30, for which I commend him. Wash quickly, put on slippers, and go to little conference room for two small salmon and muenster tapas with tomatoes on top with a glass of red wine, and I sit in the first row, alone, until he asks me to hold one end of his large map as he maps out next few days. Start talk at 7:50, end about 8:15, and to dining room to start with good asparagus soup and more wine, but chat and joke and sit and sit and wait and wait, and it turns out they REVERSED order and made 17 fish and 5 meat, not 17 meat and 5 fish, and no one knows HOW it would have ended until Steini demands it BE served at 9:40, and veal IS good; cod isn't THAT bad. but I STILL want meat, drinking both my first red and Steve's first red, and then my and his SECOND red, then two whites from around, so I'm feeling very cheery. Finally started eating at 9:47 and finish at 10:21, good apple strudel for dessert, leaving table last. Start typing 10:27, but Steve's in bed, setting his alarm at 6:45, and I'm sorry not to have 8 hours' sleep. Stop typing at 10:46, brush teeth to get rid of fuzz, take 2 NyQuil capsules, having taken night pills with dinner, and bed at 10:56 with Ambien and Valium, and get to sleep instantly.

MONDAY, 5/26/08: Wake at what I think is 6:41, but, after peeing, Steve's awake, says alarm rang, and it must have been 6:51 that I peed and drank water. I start typing 6:57 while he showers, catching up with this by 7:22AM and getting ready to shower myself. Shower to 7:33, take two DayQuil, but feel fine, and dress and type this to 7:40 while Steve "circumnavigates property." He said I coughed once at night, but, as usual, he didn't sleep very well on his first night out, but I don't remember waking AT ALL! Wonderful! Desk lamp is conveniently exempt from "card in switch" lights. I keep on slippers and go toward breakfast at 7:43AM, feeling almost normal! Back from ENORMOUS breakfast 8:19AM, all brain-blood drained into stomach, so I just feel like lying down while Steve goes for a walk. Hard-boiled egg, two slices salami, two slices ham, slice cheese, two melons, watermelon, hibiscus tea with inadvertent coffee at start, glass of ersatz orange and good apple juice, plate of yogurt with a few raisins on top, two wonderful pieces of pickled herring (so odd for someone who doesn't care for fish), and a piece of bread with solid-yellow honey and a "Cheese with fish spread" that tastes little of fish. Type this to 8:23 and just feel like lying down, my not-quite-eight hours' sleep last night clearly not quite enough. Coughed once, very phlegmy, but feel ALMOST recovered from cold, also pleased with general cheeriness of our companions, and "the hunk" must have been even hunkier at an earlier age. 8:35AM: take cough syrup, put cough drops in bag with two pre-slit-open DayQuil, hopefully ready for day of seat-shifting in bus. 8:57AM: Lying down, which feels good, seems to make me want to cough, so I get up and go outside, but there's not much really to SEE: empty golf course, sun making small spots that include me and then move away, and total silence. Back in to look at two new-bought books at 8:58AM. Try to link characteristics with names. Bus goes 9:37AM. To stop 9:43-10. #57 Egil's daughter feeding father milk 10:13 in Borg. Fabulous licorice for 180K. Pee. Leave 11:21, HAPPY! Start walk 11:53. Back on bus 12:27, not terribly eventful. To Botin fish-soup lunch in room JUST made for 24, and HARD shit to 1:31, and order tea. To ridiculous windy rainy walk 1:54. #75 flowers at 2:10, SHELTERED cove at 2:14. Back to bus 2:45, thinking someone (Dee) was behind me, but she'd turned back, caught waitress as she was leaving restaurant, who phoned Steini to bring the bus BACK for her, and they SAY they were only waiting for me for five minutes, but it felt like I was at least 20 minutes behind the last in front of me on the cliffs with birds soaring above and below, waves roaring in, rain soaking everything (though undershirt was only DAMP, not really wet, as my shorts were. In from shots of the small harbor 2:59, WET! To #87!! Bus leaves 3:08. To Hellissandur for shark marinated in Black Death, mostly just alcohol. 3:34 comfort stop with only one john and some left over at 4PM when I leave with last of lovely vanilla soft ice cream for 190K, having a taste of SALTED licorice, too much, and a sample of chocolate-covered licorice, very nice, and didn't know they DID have licorice ice cream! 4:21 Steini actually checks that we DID fasten our seat belts, of which I HAD to take a photo #91. 4:23: left windows MUDDIED! It's a bad DREAM! Leave church 5:25 after probaby phony 11th Century silver chalice and odd "Christ at Emmaus" painting with fat cleric telling stories. Two shark pieces, not great, out of Hildebrandor Shark Museum at 5:54. HAD cough drops in my bag, I thought, but they were on top of the toilet when I got back to room at 7:03. Change out of EVERYTHING from head to toe, relying on sweater, which WAS warm enough. Back to bus 7:28, which leaves at 7:34 when last arrive. Fossatun Restaurant at 7:54 for talk by owner, then order of wine for which I did NOT know I had to pay 750K for a small glass of red, but good chicken and cream sauce. See Iceland Melodies to awful music but good visuals, over at 9:58. Out to see troll-woman. To bus 10:10, still sun on some peaks, others buying books to make us later still. Steini changes leaving time tomorrow to 8:30AM, luggage outside by 8:15, breakfast starts at 7AM. Bus leaves restaurant at 10:21 and to hotel 10:42, start typing 10:46 while Steve packs, I decide I have to wear WET jeans tomorrow rather than PACK them wet, and finish this at 11PM, having still to pack. Not eight hours' sleep tonight, for sure! Pack in a DASH, black bag closing thankfully easily, finishing by 11:19PM, writing note to Steve to wake me at 7:30, since he INSISTS he's going to breakfast at 7AM, but I want as much sleep as I can get. Shit now at 11:20 AGAIN! Wash face and hope I don't regret packing away my sleeping pills! Bed at 11:28PM after typing this last of day.

TUESDAY, 5/27/08: 2:50AM: Up to pee and type dream fragments. Finish typing (mostly imaginary) details at 2:55AM, feeling sweaty but rested, the cold seemingly not made worse with that awful coastal dash in the mud and rain yesterday. Up 6:48, having dozed on and off, and LOST wooden comb!!! 7:35AM: one vain hope was looking in the chair over which I draped my wet pants last night, but it wasn't there either: total mystery: I kept it ONLY in my pants pocket---AH, maybe I transferred it to my BLACK pants' pocket yesterday and forgot to take it OUT before I folded it into my suitcase! ONE LAST HOPE! I've made SURE it's not anywhere in the room. Breakfast was at 7:06AM, only four in the room when we got in, and I had a huge bowl of meusli and a glass of apple juice and that was ALL, to my satisfaction, with a bit of added peanut butter and honey on a hard roll as I left the dining room. Now to a very different task: I was SO aware typing yesterday's notes that I said very little about the SCENERY of Iceland. Main characteristic: treelessness! Supposedly it had been covered with trees when discovered, only to be gradually denuded by human forestry---and unforestry. They've planted many poplars as windbreaks, and some towns have them, as they surround the perview from the dining room here, but all mountain-silhouettes are free of trees, with slices of snow sluicing down some sides, many of which our bus rode ABOVE, so we were actually "above snow level" much of the time we weren't actually on the coast, along which as many as three roads had been built in places: first too near the water, which was then inundated by a storm, then, in reaction, too high on the slope whose steepness caused too many accidents and landslides and caused it to be replaced with what may even be landfill to remove the roadbed from both the slopes of the hills and the ravages of the waves. A few times we were encased in fog---a good time to nod off, with nothing to attract the eye outside. Looking out the window at breakfast, I remarked that I kept wanting to see ANIMALS on the grass: deer, maybe moles, other rodents or (on another continent) marsupials, or even golfers! But only birds: terns, ducks, and often many whooping swans huge in their white bulk. Always somewhere were clouds to indicate rain somewhere all the time; many times tops of mountains were lost in cloud, which doesn't bode well for sightseeing from the plane, Fokker, he thought, from the north to the south after our third day in Akureyri, the second-largest town on the island where we stay three nights next. Shafts of sunlight sometimes liven the horizon, as do the frequent rainbows, mysteriously lower in the afternoon, but I guess if the sun is HIGH, the rainbow has to be LOW, so that the rainbow would get higher and higher until it would overarch the view if the sun ever visibly reached the horizon, which, with the constant cloud-cover, would seem a most unlikely sight, though there were times (at least I THINK there were times) when the sky was predominantly blue. Also, the air is very clear, and the ambient sound is one of quiet, often remarked on by Steve. Horses about, the "fabled" Icelandic ponies with their five (as opposed to merely three southward) gaits, to which we are to be introduced later today. Then there's the cattle, which only recently appeared, according to Steini, because they're kept inside during the cold weather. I made the mistake of saying we saw COWS, but he pointed out that I may have see CATTLE, but no COWS, and couldn't I tell the difference between cows and otherwise? And I said, "I refuse to utter a single word." Now at 7:51 most of the suitcases have vanished down the hallway to the lobby, and I suppose we could have left at 8AM, rather than 8:30. I tried to have the mistaken room 112, but she seemed to know she'd be facing the mountains, so we had to settle for 115, looking toward the embankment that removed the view of the naked road from our sight, only seeing a small wooden platform-"balcony," each furnished with a single plastic chair. I guess if a couple wanted to sit outside, they'd have to borrow a neighbor's chair to make up a pair. Shower serviceable, though I used it only once, yesterday, keeping the same underwear, only changing it when the wet made it impossible to wear to dinner last night, and not completely dry before packing last night before bed, so they have to be aired at Akureyri first thing. Lovely snowy vistas, I repeat, mesmerizing in their constancy in the distance as we move like ants along the roads, small houses dotting some hillsides, some even cantilevered out over shorelines in the larger towns, none very distinctive or modern, but he said most buildings went up in the 50s, a conservative era, so most were unobtrusive. Steve returns and knocks, sans door-key. Lunch was at Fjoruhusid. Steve shows me his WONDERFUL pansy pictures (for decor at this year's nudist summer gathering, which he'll enlarge at Kinko's), and we find that the ORIENTATION of the picture CHANGES as the orientation of the CAMERA changes: remarkable, which I haven't noticed in mine. Finish now at 8:12AM and pack this away in my too-crowded shoulder bag. Take ANOTHER book, leave room 8:23. To bus 8:28. 310 km to Akureyri. #100 Laxfoss/Glanni. #101 lava fields 9:17. 9:27 start uphill. Grabrok Crater. STAIRS broken, path still undewinterized: "Too loose to trek." Pass is at altitude of 560 meters. Snow omni-present. #102 at 10:05. Stadarskali 10:20-10:40 stop. Glazed donut for 175K. Better than "loveball" for 110K. Gauksmyri horses to 12:10, not really understanding the five-gaited: one of which involved always having three of the four legs on the ground at once (movies later showed that the REAR legs WALKED, keeping on the ground, while the FRONT legs CANTERED, alternately off the ground). Maureen showed BOTH of us how to set our cameras to take movies, and I found out how to replay them by simply pressing OK, as it in fact said on the movie screen itself. Have to learn how to LEAD in taking pictures of moving objects. They served VERY good cake, with lots of whipped cream, and tea, but food was interrupted by the demonstrations of gaits by four horsemen. To #133, and three or four first movies, depleting number of photos from like 2500 to like 2300. To falls 12:25. Kolugljufur Gorge. Bus goes 12:40. Sheep 12:47. 1:21 lunch at Potturinn og Pannan (Pots and Pans), poorly toasted sandwich of ham and melted cheese, with a bottle of Viking beer that wasn't very good. Turns out I missed a very good hotdog next door for only 220K or 330K. To the Vidimyri sod church at 2:12. My Visa bill was 1860K for not very much. Next door for 179K chocolate-covered soft licorice, a real addiction. Bus back, now fixed from its rightward tilt, at 2:26. 3:05 church to photo #150. 1834 left after #157 at 3:28. On bus after "comfort" stop 3:41. To Akureyri Botanical Gardens 5:02, taking pictures like crazy to #180 to 5:27. Leave garden 5:32, Cathedral is closed at 5:53, but the orchestra could be heard rehearsing inside. To Hotel Kea room 521 and SHIT at 6:04. Lay down and chat with Steve, who wants to walk town, so we go down three or four streets but he's already decided he wants the Icelandic lamb at Bautinn's Restaurant aross from the hotel, eventually loaded with ten of us and other Americans and Brits too. Order at 7:26 and back to hotel at 8:36 after walking tiredly up hill to see what the Art Museum looks like, then back while Steve shits and type this to 9:01 with my shirt off in the stuffy room. Then have to shit AGAIN myself. Take a few more pictures, ending up with 190 taken with 2140 left. Frustrating shower because hard/soft water won't rinse off, and you can't change water pressure with soapy hands: have to reach out and RINSE them to turn water on or off. Shower, then brush teeth thoroughly while watching almost non-existent (6 channels out of 100 working) TV, and finish this at 10:10PM as Steve's obviously getting ready for bed. Plan to get LOTS of sleep, maybe up by 7AM to leave by 8:30AM as planned. Steve wants to go to breakfast at 7AM, so I go to bed at 10:25PM, ready at least to wake when he does just before 7AM.

WEDNESDAY, 5/28/08: 4:07AM: Have series of incredible dreams, wake once and think to transcribe them, then think, "But these are so minor," and get back to sleep, and they develope marvelously, and I wake with an erection and go into bathroom to type, starting on DREAMS at 4:12AM. Finish at 4:30AM, thirsty and ready to go back to bed. Drink a glassful of the ice-field cloudy water, which gradually got colder from the tap, before leaving the bathroom at 4:37AM. Steve wakes me at 7:34AM, having breakfasted, saying with glee, "The hunk is wearing shorts." Frantic breakfast with many people: eat "last" scrambled eggs and tiny sausages, watery BOILED egg, slices of salami and muenster, and a roll with butter and two jams and a cheese spread, with more apple juice and water. Tempted to think of "falaters," but decide it's not worth the trouble. Up at 8:15 for Steve in the bathroom again, and finish this at 8:23, hoping it's cooler outside than either in the room or in the breakfast room: lots of people in short-sleeved shirts! GREAT sexual "opening" thoughts of MAN nudist camp and Prime Timers' parties. Bus goes 8:34. Laufas Farm 9:04 to 9:26. #195. A FOX by the side of the bus! Godafoss (idols of gods thrown in) to #209 to 10:26. To #210 to 10:16, WITHOUT SOUND. Set it on. Bus goes 10:40. Down to 1998 pictures left. #211 farm at start of Lake Myvatn tour 11:30. #212 two "false craters," 2 ducks for bird watchers #213. #214 into crater 11:18. #217 & 218 two UNSUCCESSFUL tries to photo very distant Vatnajokyl Glacier. FLY captured in first one at 11:45. Climb around hills, impressed by scenery, but NOT climbing to higher hill just to get a different perspective. Look for PEOPLE in most shots on a bigger screen. Great lunch in Sik/Sil Restaurant: shrimp sandwich 390K, Egils Pilsner only 220K, must have been a mistake. On bus 12:45. To Namafjall Hubrik 1:07. To #232 to 1:32 of blue and blue-black bubblings, Jim taking closeups of colorful sulfur runoffs, running to distant viewpoints just as I used to and I HATE him. FEEL sulfur in my LUNGS. To Krafla 1:40, steam-generating plant, with open steam-pipe off-line and generators in background, with steam rising from vents all around. To Viti 1:49: deep green lake with ice on one side and a literal ice-snow bank on other side: people used to swim here, and saw postcard of them later. To 2:01. ONE steam explosion in 1728 caused this enormous crater. Break 2:30-3, not knowing what to do, nothing to eat, nothing really to look at except the "miraculous" stop of lava 25 yards from church which is impossible to photo in one shot. Take pictures of black and white sheep. At 3:12 three pictures of RIFT from Eurasian plate looking toward American plate. To hike in Black Castle Labyrinth 3:35. #242 gyrfalcon that had Steini literally creaming in his jeans, and Jim got two or three shots of it in flight, while Steve got one blurred one at 3:51. Back to BUS, climbing to top rock to try to get overview with people, but not visible on small screen. Is it possible to magnify IMAGE on screen? Back to bus at 4:21, "thirty-minute hike" morphing into 46-minute hike. TIRED!! Tomorrow bus at 8:30, moved up from 8AM. Pee with relief at hotel at 6PM. Steve agrees to go to what most call "Westermann's," but which turns out to be called Fridrik V. He wants to rest, so we both lie down and chat to 6:42. I put on blue pants. To restaurant at 6:50 and he accepts the four-course meal with a bottle of Perrier, while I take the wines, the first good white one, then a beer with the mussels, and they don't even print all the appetizers: curried cod, salted beef, unsalted beef, maybe lamb slice, salmon with caviar, "something like Italian prosciutto" as she called it, and other thin-sliced meats for the ONLY meats in the meal! Little did I know! But the mussels in beer for the second course were truly delicious, the mixed fruit sorbet a miracle as we'd just talked about how infrequently we get it, AND they poured TWO more helpings of the German semi-sweet wine, which I ALSO said was unusual, and two more pours of the RED with the COD, which was VERY unusual, and it wasn't THAT good even using 3/4 the butter in the tureen which Steve didn't touch. Three kinds of bread: multi-grain, wheat, and curried, all three of which I had two of, while not particularly liking the too-sweet (I said, "It tastes like fermented raisins") Spanish dessert wine with three ice creams: caramel tasty and distinctive with mostly strawberries beneath, chocolate intense with melon balls underneath, and Grand Marnier not as strong as could be, but with a nice compote of apple and pear and other fruit below. Bill of 10,180K, on Visa, and Steve later figured his was something like $89 and mine like $135. Chef came out with final courses and accepted thinking about serving us a four-course (FIVE is usually meat-based, not four) meat-based meal tomorrow. Steve agrees to take me to Fedora's on 6/9, Monday, at 8PM, when Fedora comes down from her nap to everyone's applause. MAN summer camp is Wed 8/20-Fri 8/29 for $800, and Steve will TRY to get me into his 10-man cabin which only has 8 so far. Dine to 9:54, just over 3 hours, and to bookshop to spend 540K for 3 postcards and 3 120K US postcard stamps, over $1.50 per stamp! Up the stairs to the front of the church to look around and digest, down to room at 10:15, bed 10:33 with alarm set for 7:35AM, hopefully a LOT of sleep. To sleep quickly.

THURSDAY, 5/29/08: 4:06AM: Wake from dream and go to bathroom with worst pain in lower right neck (and right middle-torso, maybe even a pained liver) I've ever had. Take two aspirin, pee, and start typing dream at 4:09AM, finishing at 4:24AM and crawling painfully back to bed. 6:15-6:32AM: Wake with grotesque dream, find that Steve is showering, so I start typing on my bed. Eventually he comes out, I ask, "Are you up for the day?" and he says, "No, do you want to use the bathroom?" And I do, finishing the dream and this section by 6:35AM, pee and go back to bed. Must doze, because he wakes me at 7:35, having breakfasted, and get [start file 2 at 5:51PM 5/29/08] back for bag and shoes, and on bus 8:30. 9:40 over same route in VERY low clouds, even IN fog at one point, following two other busses, to Husavik for pee in information shop, leave at 10:03. #251 left cleft Asia, right cleft America at 10:59. 11:09 start walk in Sleipnir's hoofprint, 3.5 x 1 km in size, sheer cliff-faces of 100 meters. To #263 to 11:50, tired again, walking to green lake and trying fruitlesly (but I DID!) to get photo of trout swimming in algae-green water. #264 dead snipe 11:52. Bus goes 11:57. Skulaghrder lunch 12:10: mushroom soup, not as good as first, hot rolls and butter, and tea. Bus goes at 1:05. 1:40 to Husavik again. Phallus Museum 500K, and having seen 6-7 whale penises in glass vials, I've about had it, to 2:23. Husavik Museum to 3:10, bored by Maritime, annoyed to pay 500K, boring talk by archivist showing off his provincial stuff, some old rooms and souvenirs, pretty bad contemporary art, I don't take any free coffee, and I leave before Steve does to get to church. #270 Husavik Harbor, #271 church 3:20. #273 town view 3:24, and inside church before. Bus goes on dot of 3:30, I decide I MUST get $150 with Amex today, last of 7-day grace period. About 10,000K? But DINNER was 10,000+K. Get 15,000K! Luggage at door tomorrow at 7:30, leave 7:55 on local bus for plane to Rekyavik. #274-275 two falls from bus at 3:56. To Akureyri 4:35, to ATM for both of us to get money; Steve stops in bookshop to get two TINY chocolate bonbons for 220K, I stop in Fridrik V to make sure our 4-course meat dinner is on. I say we're there 6-6:15, then we go to used bookshop where we find nothing, he goes off while I type 5:15-6PM, catching up as Steve snores in bed. Bells ring just before 6PM on my watch. Leave 6:15. Scallop/seaweed/roe/rice; sushi; dried beef pre-appetizer, then as menu, with alterations, and NO note made of the wine served with the cheese, which really didn't go, but who cared. Out just 3 minutes short of 4 hours, down to dock for a bit, back to hotel 10:30, totally stuffed. Finish this at 10:36, delaying packing until tomorrow, when luggage has to be out at 7:30, a wonderful 9 hours from now, but I can't POSSIBLY go to bed with my now-enormous stomach at 10:38PM. Actually CLOSE suitcase with EVERYTHING in by 11PM! Only dop kit to put into shoulder bag and clothes and jacket to put on and I'm ready to go!! Finish this at 11:02AM, ready for whatever! Bed at 11:11PM, ordering a wake-up punch at 7:15AM. Though full, I fall asleep quickly, merely starting Actualism and going to sleep surely before 11:15PM.

FRIDAY, 5/30/08: 4:09AM: Haven't I woken at this time before? Get up, vaguely hung over, and sit and pee and type two lines when Steve knocks on the door. I get up to a wet floor and apologize, saying lamely, "Shit, I seem to have peed on the floor." He looks at my eyes under my mask from his eyes under his mask and enters the bathroom while I put on my bed-light and type before he comes out. Back in and type this to 4:16AM before going to file 8 and trying to remember a few details from what now seems a mostly forgotten dream. Mop more of the floor with the bathmat as I can't remember any more dream after a brief sentence. Got to take two more aspirin to settle an actually aching gut! How can I survive on the Spain-France trip with tasting menus on three or four consecutive nights? Shit some, fish out two more aspirin, and stupidly (rather than frustratedly or mysteriously or even oddly) pee some more, typing this in disgust with myself until 4:28AM! Up at 6:06AM to record another dream and Steve is in the john. Are we getting into a synchronized wake-up mode? Stop typing at 6:16AM, ready to shit again when Steve's finished toweling himself off from his early-morning shower. Had different yellow-dash mympths earlier this morning, and then some minutes later white-dot random arrays, visual differences caused by being in the far north with almost no sunset? Or lingering effects from my second-night hangover? Or just age? Now Steve's starting his shave at 6:20AM, but I'm reluctant to ask him to vacate the bathroom for my shit. Still awkwardly snuffling and blowing my nose from my constant cold, though thankfully my coughing has diminished to only two or three coughs per day. Will troubles never cease? As well as discouragement with my knee-ache climbing on and off the steep bus steps and my fatigue after the shortest hikes? And my constant nodding-off on the bus during long rides? 6:15AM demand to be shaken awake when he leaves for breakfast at 6:45AM, which he will undoubtedly do, and he rattles my foot at 6:49AM, and I think I had in fact dozed off again. Dress and down for breakfast at 7:15AM. He used up every last shampoo packet, so all I could take was the nail file. Look through Steve-recommended "Guest" book to 7:08, happy to see Fridrik V amply advertised. Bag out at 7:10AM. Up from breakfast 7:40, people already leaving for bus, though Steini is still in the breakfast room talking with two other men. He stopped by the table I joined late (in the middle of telling Maureen [I think] about why I live in NYC) to say there'd been a SECOND quake of 6.2 at 3:45PM yesterday, near where the first one of 3.1 had been, which is where we'll be tomorrow, but everyone keeps saying, "Oh, maybe Geysir will go up when we're there." Steini mentions his concern about bridges, but says they're all built on shock absorbers for protection against quake damage. "Yes, we're still going there," he assures the four of us. I finish this at 7:47AM and get down to bus. On bus 7:54AM. To airport, through "old" part of town, slowly, to 8:02. Get seat 3D, presaging a window. Board Fokker, just behind whirling engine at 8:35. Move out at 8:42. 45-minute flight. Off 8:43. #275-277 at 8:46. 3-4 pictures on landing at 9:26. On bus 9:38, my bag out FIRST. Bus goes 9:45. #287 Nesjavellir 10:40, Lake water heated by underground water that's too full of minerals to be used for heating by ITSELF. Start walk to viewpoint on rocky path 11:35. #297 MISSED bird 12:10. Familiar cliff-side Thingvallir walk, no motion I could see! #300 lady-drowning pool 12:23. On bus, TIRED, 12:28. To Restaurant Lindin 1:01PM. Arctic char, tomato-vegetable soup, veggies, sea-salt for fish, tea, and outrageous 1150K for mediocre layered chocolate mousse. Rita (in Icelandic) bird-egg last night is Kittiwake! Out at Geysir 3PM. Couple of Strokker eruptions more or less caught, to bus 3:47. Down to 1587 pictures. To Gullfoss 3:58, getting wet, good pictures, comments as I get to bus last at 4:38, EXACTLY 40 minutes, after I climb DOWN 104 steps, see falls, back up 104 steps to balcony, down 104 steps to parking lot, to edge, to bus. Dinner at 7:45. Bus goes 8AM tomorrow. Hotel Ranga at 6:02, switching single bed in 2 with no drawers with Jim and wife in 16 with copious drawers and ludicrously large bathtub without a shower curtain for the shower. Unpack and sort stuff to 7:03, finding my third shirt is SHORT-SLEEVED! But will wear it to dinner ANYWAY! Shower (getting everything wet) to 7:28, then type in bathroom to 7:38 so as not to disturb Sleeping Beauty, which I do as we start to dinner at 7:39PM. Dine with Jim and wife: they order a bottle of wine, so no expense is too great for them. I have a Carlsberg for 600K and Steve a "Magic" for 350K for which we pay in cash to simplify bill. Pork is OK, but we wait a long time for it, as we do for unidentifiable pudding dessert to 9:57, stuggling to talk about TV programs, their house remodeling, my indexing, Steve's cars, and the trip so far. Steve wants to walk, so I put on shoes and sweater and join him, birds calling at riverside, sun still shining on a distant snow-slope, and small grass dotted with clover blossoms. In because it's cold, and glance through the April 21st "Forbes" magazine about the world's largest corporations, HSBC at number one. To room 10:57 and undress for bed just after 11PM, just settling to sweat under the duvet rather than taking it apart. Then get up to take forgotten night pills. Sleep after SEEMING (?) to feel bed rock with a mild quake, but as I still feel it and Steve doesn't answer my "Do you still feel it?" I go to the bathroom and fill a glass of water to see surface unshaken.

SATURDAY, 5/31/08: To bathroom at 5:03AM, sweaty, but bathroom heated, with AWFUL sore right neck-muscle. Type last night to 5:13AM, then to file 8 for dream fragment. Take GREAT care not to pee on floor, finish typing at 5:15AM, drink water, and get back to bed, still tired. Up 7:15AM MYSELF, Steve saying NO one mentioned aftershock last night about 11:15PM! I get late to breakfast at 7:30AM. Breakfast light on fruit, hot chocolate (seasoned with coffee flakes), and cereal (corn flakes with a bit of meusli). Type this at 7:47AM, warm in room in old flanned shirt which will have to last rest of trip. Steve now asks me if I incorporated the aftershock into my journal. To FRONT bus seat on left 7:55. Bus goes 8:06. To #335 Seljalandsfoss 8:25-8:45. Next to Skogafoss, to #341 to 9:20. Lupine to #344 to 9:33. Folk Museum 9:37-11:20. BATTERY dies, and my "precharged" batteries are NOT! Buy new ones from gift shop for 480K. #368 Myrdalsjokyll Glacier ATOP Black Peaks, invisible(?) at 11:46. Pictures from troll-boat, bird cliffs, and German Sailor's Monument by 12:12 to #378. 12:20 to cafe in gas station. Asparagus soup/bread and butter 695K, apricot Skyris 140K and licorice (which turns out to be filled with COCONUT, ugh) 135K = 275K. To 12:46 to wool factory, closed Saturday, hardly anything under 9990K, even on the bargain-level second floor. 2380 (1380?) left 12:54. Pack of licorice 200K, Mars bar 80K which I gobble greedily down. On bus 1:13, onto Duck 1:30, which goes 1:40, off at beach 2PM. Great waves, rock-holes, cliffs, a seal head cresting a wave without my being able to photograph it, gulls going, says Steini, after herring, and GRAND setting which I LOVE until we have to leave beach at 2:23. #416 rhubarb 3:11. #417 oystercatcher on nest 3:15, on leaving boat-house after good hot chocolate and dough balls with my eating a phallic one on two cameras, scandalizing Julie and Jim and wife. Arrive Solhaemejokyll (Sun-Home Falls!) 3:43. Many pictures, getting wet, but getting rainbows, and battery dying AGAIN. Back on bus 4:18 to #440, borrowing 4 AA batteries from 80-year-old, but never having to use them after 4:56PM "Battery empty," but take one more picture of THAT falls, and bus goes at 5PM. Dinner tonight 7:45, Tomorrow luggage out 8:15AM and bus leaves 8:45. Skogafoss to #458 to 5:32 with OLD batteries still working! Give 4 back to guy. Leave at 5:35 to hotel. Whale-watching day-after-tomorrow (Steini leaves Saturday, we get replacement guide, and orientation tonight at 7:15, which it is almost now!) Whale tours 10AM and 2PM. To hotel room at 6PM, pee, review almost 300 pictures WITH DEAD BATTERIES, getting 4 from Steve gratis, to 6:53, exhausting! Start typing 6:58, and finish now at 7:14, time for meeting. That goes from 7:20-7:45, with Steini giving us three sheets of information about who's meeting us where and when, and where we're going, and I find that we're getting back to NYC more like 2PM than 6PM: don't know where I got that idea, unless from the six-hour flight. Steve takes a photo of me on the "lady's legs" barstool, and we go downstairs to dinner, with my chicken pretty good, another 600K Carlsburg beer, and a raspberry mousse dessert with a fruit-based tea cooled with water. Back up at 9:40, starting the impossible job of packing, finding the air-itinerary sheet, and finishing stuffing everything but my dop kit and a few sundries into my black bag by 10:25, when I start typing this. Still have to brush my teeth and write postcards! Wash face, brush teeth by 10:44PM and he's in BED! So I leave everything else and get to bed at 10:55PM, having taken the duvet out of its casing, and adding the ornamental cover as additional warmth. Get to sleep quickly.

SUNDAY, 6/1/08: 3:56AM: Wake with a dream, which I go to pee to type. Finish typing a rather inadequate summary at 4:04AM, not having pissed on the floor, right neck still sore; worried about my waning stamina. Constantly counting the days left, though Steve said about my hatred of packing, "But we've only been gone a WEEK!" Wake at 6:38AM with a need to pee, but Steve's shaving, so I wait until he finishes and knock on the door to interrupt him. He figures to leave for breakfast even before 7AM, so I ask him to "knock me" by 7:45 if I'm not at breakfast by then. He fusses, I rest, tired, counting days and trips, wondering if the end of the MAN summer camp might conflict with the beginning of Spain, and finally get out of bed to find that it's 7:16AM already. Up reluctantly and type this to 7:21, then start into the day. Shit and wash face and dress, and just about to leave for breakfast at 7:34 when Steve comes in to "poke me," (somewhat early, as I'd asked for 7:45), and then his breakfast partners made sure he'd "poked me" as he told them he was about to do. Sit at my solo corner table with cereal, hot chocolate, and fruit, and very dilute apple juice, and Maureen and her friend join me and we chat, and then I leave at 7:56, having re-established that the bus leaves at 8:30, and Steve's out somewhere when I get back to room to turn on lights, finish this by 8:02, and determine to start on postcards. WRITE 3 cards to Rita, Avi, and Fred, and ADDRESS 3 cards to Shelley, Sherryl, and Charles to 8:21AM, then decide to get to bus to claim rotating seat. On bus, right FRONT, since my right SECOND seat is already TAKEN at 8:27, and it's DEE who whistles! Bus leaves 8:13, off at Hekla information center at 9:09. Great displays, photo eruptions, and to bus at 10AM to look at camera book to 10:06. WARM out. Bus goes 10:11. OLD batteries seem to be working at 10:53. Stop in Selfoss. Ice creams priced at 250, 190, and Steini gets mini-little for 150K, and I have only 120K; he says, "Try it," and she gives me a BIG amount, WITH chocolate that solidifies from liquid to solid on the cold Dairy-Freeze surface, served with a big beautiful smile. Leave 11:12, colder out. Off in Eyrarbikki 11:30. To shore, to town, taking pictures, seeing sign for Marine Museum and House, #465 Main Street at 11:43. To Raud(h)a Husid(h), which last word must mean Restaurant, since it ends many eatery names, at 12:05, near window, fish soup with replacement from tureen to 1:03, ending with tea. Sneak into house and to top floor for two indoor shots, getting suspicious glare from caretaker when she tells someone else it's 500K to visit house, to 1:23. Must return with bus to Selfoss bridge across river because local bridge too weakened by quake to take the weight of our bus. Leave 1:30. We meet in hotel lobby 7:45PM for short walk to tonight's farewell dinner. To Memorial Church 2:31, buy 400K ticket for elevator to top for windy photos, where no one even checks to see if we have ticket, and I'm sure some came up free, so my "pay/no pay" evens out somewhat. Leave at 2:57, passing Perlan; told that National Museum opens only 11AM Tuesday. To Centrum room 119 right off lobby at 3:30, open bags and can't decide what to do while Steve fusses before we leave for his Flea Market, getting there quickly at 3:45-4:30, lots of junk, and he seems to have no system for looking for his automotive books and won't ask any dealer if they have anything. One cute kid minds one shop and a few handsome very tall men pass with women tagging along. Out to pier for incredible Exotic Fish exhibit to 5PM: they'll throw all of them away tomorrow and get new stock for next year's Seaman's Day exhibit. To room at 5:25, getting two envelopes for our gifts to Steini, to whom I decide to give $120 US when Steve says he has lots of cash and can lend me $60 so I don't have to make any more ATM withdrawals. A note says he spells his name Steini, and I take socks off with stuff spread all over bed and rest my weary body until about 6PM, when I finish a New Yorker and do sudoku to 7:35 when Steve gets up from his long nap and we get to lobby 7:45 to put our names on e-mail list and leave at 7:55 for very close Einar Ben (as I remember) fish house for everyone to have an enormous lamb shank with a sweet sauce that tastes like berries but is reputed to be gussied-up beets, which Steve says can't be, with mashed pea-pods (as they taste to me) in the shape of a squashed asparagus stalk, and potatoes with the enormous shank. I get Maureen's red wine and drink Steve's also in addition to mine, taking some of wife's fabulous molten chocolate cake with two cups of Lemon Zinger tea, the first cup of which curdles, the second does not. Back to hotel at 10:40PM after Steini and girls sing and say farewell and everyone else gives their envelopes, I find their outdoors public john charges 10K while Steve says a public one in Union Square charges 25 cents for 15 minutes (but only for ONE person). Put everything from bed to desk and get to bed just after 11PM, despite stuffed stomach.

MONDAY, 6/2/08: 7:12AM: Record dreams 4:09-4:29, 6:34-6:39, and up permanently to type to 7:14AM and dress for breakfast. Breakfast to 8AM next to two English-speaking Japanese young ladies with very interesting conversation, and she ended up spelling out "learned" for me for my knowledge of travel. Fuss with packing for TODAY'S walk (batteries), and tomorrow's shoulder bag (magazines and sukoku book for leisure, extra 2-gig disk, fish-oil pills in pill box) and bought three more stamps and handed desk clerk six postcards to mail (which they got by Friday!). Put rubbered shoes into shoulder bag by 9:15, having met Helga, who probably won't be here Thursday, though since we only get back at 6PM we'll hardly need her. Still divided opinion as to whether the National Museum of Art is open on Monday or not, but we have others to see anyway, and Helga said the Information Kiosk should have had the best data. Brush teeth thoroughly and take toothbrush and paste to Greenland, along with Valium and Ambien, about which I panicked when I found two EMPTY containers in my dop kit, sure that someone, of course not Steve, TOOK them, but then found "my supply" in my "airplane bag" and added them to a small baggie with toiletries I'm taking to Greenland. Watch TV, most on pay, until 9:46AM, about ready to put most things away, using lip ice with great relief, before starting museuming. Leave at 10AM, #490 at the 821(plus or minus 2) Settlement 10:02-10:32, then City Hall to 10:53. #495 whalebone carvings at 12:02 in Icelandic National Art Museum, which IS open on Monday, only 300K for seniors, and Steve's warned not to take photos, and I'm warned as I take about the fifth or sixth photo in the relatively empty museum. To the cafeteria for lunch at 12:30 after a very effective series of exhibits that fill us up on Icelandic history on the second floor, and more contemporary history, especially a series of photographs from the last century, which we watch completely for 1991-2000, and I say I want to watch 1901-1910, so we do, constantly interesting for about 50-60 photos, and then order a 530K tuna sandwich and 270K Viking beer in the glass-walled dining area, eating until 12:50. #499 Thor wrestling with Age in the outdoor sculpture garden by Einar Jonnson at 1:22 in the slightest rain. #500 tupilaks at 2:20 in shop on "shopping street" after we revisit the Memorial Church, which has no stated denomination, but no one's on the organ, and then we walk down to a shop where a very beautiful blonde seduces Steve into buying a 13,000K tupilak (Greenland carving that he says he'll claim he bought in Greenland, but now has it in case weather prevents our actual going). To Culture House 2:40, after mistaking the restaurant of the same name across the street for it, and entrance is only 200K for no photos for great manuscripts dating back to 1100AD, with facsimiles of some even older in Oslo, and nice darkroom exhibits, and then upstairs to a dynamite (ha!) Surtsey exhibit with a graphic display of increase of species invading barren island over the years, and projected to 2200AD. Film one set of photos of Surtsey emerging from the ocean, and THINK I film the second, even more spectacular, set, but I turn out to have taken only two still photos. Back to hotel at 4PM, Steve having said he was tired and I figured left ahead of me, but he comes in at 4:10 and we lie down to rest till 5:50. I get out my long johns, sweater, scarf, heavy gloves, and decide I really have to empty out plastic bags to pile everything in my shoulder bag with maybe an additional bag as carry-on for the flight tomorrow to get all my warm clothes, including shoes, since woman in shop said areas were VERY wet and snowy there now, hoping her husband is even able to fly back this evening, and pile things up to 6:03, wash my face, apply lip ice while Steve buffs shoes to 6:13. We find a taxi down the road, which goes a circular way to Perlan Restaurant for 1480K, for which my 1500K is perfect, and up to balcony to circle the views of a cloudy Rekyavik until 6:35PM, then in to window-side table in the revolving restaurant where they WILL accept our 10% off coupon, and Steve agrees to the tasting of a mediocre salmon and cucumber and sauce first course, a delicious coconut ginger cream soup with two giant tasty shrimp, the best course of the meal, followed by three enormous cylinders of lamb, with good roasted and onioned potatoes, a few green beans, and lots of bread and butter, with four generous glasses of wine, even a taste of the Gewurtztraminer for Steve, which he says isn't bad, but lets me finish the rest as we barely complete one revolution of the restaurant by 9:06, my 10,000K bill reduced to 9000K, and they'd phoned for a taxi that comes at 9:08, and we're back quick for a toll of 1300K for which Steve (I KEEP wanting to type KEN!) pays OVER 1500K, "Because I'm a nice guy," but I refrain from saying, "But you'll SPOIL him for his NEXT client." He wants to take a walk around the block, seeing two friendly cats and a run-down sculpture present from Estonia to Iceland on its independence, and back to room at 10:08 where we talk to Paul and Linda from Connecticut for a bit, saying goodbye, even though we may see them at breakfast, and I'm in to room and decide to leave shower, breakfast, and final packing (and leaving of most stuff in the storage room here) until Steve gets up at 6AM for his morning ritual, and we don't meet our driver until 9AM. Bed at 10:22PM, while he's still fussing in the light, and I go to sleep quickly.

TUESDAY, 6/3/08: Wake at 3:49, approximately, since TV says 3:55 (and it's actually 14 minutes fast, so it's actually 3:41), and pee and type dream and get right back to sleep. Type second dream 6:20-6:26 with Steve already in bathroom, so I catch up with these notes which I didn't do since 10AM yesterday, finishing, relieved, at 6:57AM, ready for shower. GREAT shower: upper spray, temperature and volume control, rinseability of soap, to 7:18. Steve: "Sky is brilliant bright blue!" To breakfast at 7:25 and back for pills at 7:30. Nice goodbye to Maureen and Jim and wife. Back to room with BIG BLACK BAG for inserting with everything in my shoulder bag, and start packing with TV on at 8:09AM. Pack stuff, totally filling black suitcase with stuff being left behind, and packing the black laundry bag vertically in my shoulder bag so I can LITERALLY carry it as one item over my shoulder. Looks ridiculous, but there it is, finished to rough draft by 8:33AM. Check bags at 8:40 into unlocked room without any receipt at all, ASSUMING it will all be safe (and it wasn't: got an e-mail saying someone TOOK mine by mistake, but it was returned later that day, he assumed I'd gone back home, and asked for the next plane to return it. Pack this into back pocket of shoulder bag at 8:32AM, not to be used, unless at airport, until Greenland. [And it wasn't!] Sit in lobby 8:50, saying goodbyes. Ride to airport confused and DELAYED; he thought we were to go to Keflavik, not local airport. Ride we eventually get takes only 9:13-9:19AM. Check in by 9:22, all by Julie. Call to Gate 4 9:24. Security REALLY goes through Julie's stuff by 9:29, and at 9:34 sit in lounge after emptying my water bottle by drinking it. 10:04 still in departure lounge with many GREENLANDERS, as Steve points out. Finally board at 10:18, lucking out with seat 2A, bag stuffed under feet, having dragged jacket, dropped New Yorker twice, and taking up some of Steve's legroom in seat 2B. 1:45 flight. 36 passengers, maybe 3-4 empty seats, one next to Julie allowing her a window. Move 10:29, off at 10:33, taking pictures through #512. #514 Keflavik Airport doesn't show at 10:39 even though I see it when trying twice more. #517 westernmost Icelandic glacier 10:53. Cute mini-breakfast (TINY bits of ham and cheese) roll, crackers, candy bar, orange juice, tea, and Sprite, much from Connecticut and New York State. Over at 11:23, exactly halfway. 11:32 SOLID clouds below. 11:37 change watch to 9:37AM. 9:50 triple-layer clouds, 28 minutes to go. 9:55 start down into solid cloudbank. 10:08 see a HILL! #526 on landing at 10:14, dramatic colored houses against black-and-white mountain backdrop after ice plates fill all water, some tinted bright blue. Kulusuk Airport photo 10:20. Helicopter at 10:40? Onto copter at 10:54, facing sideways! Goes at 10:57, French couple facing other way, former owner of Hotel Angmagssalik willing to sit in windowless center (between windows) middle (between front and back) seat. Soar up over ocean and we're on the wrong SIDE: coastal ridges on RIGHT, though we do see the suburbs of Kulusuk, some dramatic islands, and what looks like a long dark stranded ship by an iceberg, but our hotel [start file 3 at 4:05PM 6/3/08] guide says there's nothing out there. Land 11:06. Into car 11:13, then stop to pick up French couple. Get to hotel to be told lunch is at 12, town-drive will be at 1:15 since there are NO other tours available because harbor is locked in ice from the hardest winter in years, which deposited TWENTY METERS OF SNOW at the Kulusuk Airport, forcing it to close for a number of weeks while they got rid of the constantly replaced snow; dinner at 6, and we're transferred from one-key room 46 to two-key room 56, which is down the hall to the billiard table, up the stairs to the hall, down the hall to the lounge and take the stairs down to the right, then go to the end of that corridor, where my key resolutely won't work until I see the flash of flowers on Steve's card and realize that I should NOT put in my card room-number up, but FLOWERS up. Oh. Unpack in room 56 to 11:41 into two half closets and a very high desktop, opening two windows in the over-(diesel)heated room. Huge lunch of tiny shrimp, lots of salmon, rather grainy faux lobster, a tasty pickled something, fresh lettuce, two asparaguses, two bits of Brie, a pile of purple cabbage atop some roast beef, some slices of what some called corned beef and others pastrami, and maybe a few other things I forgot, with wonderfully cold clear water and a slice of pumpernickel bread and two slices of toasted white bread---so WHY did I lay down after lunch feeling as if my brain had gone blood-dead? Eat 12-12:50, lie down, drag myself to lobby at 1:12, the last one there after peeing, and driver takes us three on a tour of the town, now called Tasiilaq to distinguish it from the larger county of Ammassalik (as opposed to our hotel Angmassalik), of 1800 people, where some of the surrounding smaller villages live 90% without running water, as one edge of this town has to endure. 3000 in East Greenland and 56,000 in West Greenland, where Nuuk is capital and I guess what's left of their government by Denmark is handled. We go to the Museum, which is open, to take a few pictures of some intricate whale-bone carving, then climb a hilltop to look over the surroundings next to an orange signal which lights when winds greater than 30mph are predicted, one of which blew away the school's roof and one house. It starts to sprinkle a tiny bit; however, the sun also manages to shine here and there. Stop at the Information Center cum Souvenir Shop where they give out two VERY nice brochures, and I'm tempted to buy a three-foot long local calendar for 2008 for only 50DK, or just over $10, but I resist; though Steve cannot resist two more tupiliks and even wants to go back. Back to hotel at 2:40, tired enough, but decide to continue up the hill to see what we can see because the range across the frozen bay is suddenly bright with sun, and it's so warm that a kid in the soccer field below is playing shirtless. Streets are dry, we only walked through about a twenty-foot stretch of snow on our way to the top of the rock near the church, which we also visited and photographed. Sit and look around, hearing the huskies baying in the distance and watching a crow land next to four local huskies in between us and the back of the hotel. We sit below the water-storage "house" above the fresh-water lake from which the water is pumped. Houses are heated by diesel, no thermal energy here. I sit on a rock and feel paralytic getting up when we leave at 3:45, and Steve wants to continue down the hill, but I return to room to pee, start typing 3:50 so he won't have to hear and I won't have to worry about catching up, and finish now at 4:24PM, tired, but mountains across are bright with sun, window is cracked at the top for ventilation; I had to pile up 1) my quilt bed-top, 2) my pillow, and 3) my duvet to get enough altitude from my chair to type at our VERY high table. Most people walk, there are at least two taxis, and I spot Steve walking down a fairly near road, and coincidentally a jaunty-jeaned young man bounces out the back door of the house he just passed to seemingly follow him: lucky dog! I suppose he's aiming for the waterfront, though I don't envy him the slog back uphill. Two people were atop the snowy peak to the right of the hotel, but we both were quite sure it was NOT something we wanted to do. The red helicopter took off back for Rekyavik about 3:30 as we were sitting on the hilltop, and now I stop at 4:30, quite typed out, stuff piled nicely on two shelves and delighted that we don't even have to wear SWEATERS outdoors. Steve comes in, we compare photos, he naps, I read New Yorker, and end up taking the red helicopter in #570 at 5:33PM, dogs barking in background, and try to lie down a bit. Do sudoku. Leave for dinner 5:57PM. Order a bottle of Mateus Rosé for 185K, $35 I guess, but divided between two meals, and it DID taste good. Salmon and scallops and spinach flavored with peach, and a good marzipan dessert. Read two newspapers with ludicrously long Finnish words (taking a page from Steve as a sample), and get back to room at 7:24PM, feeling very much that my clock is still back at 9:24PM, but Steve's out for a walk and I have a meal to digest, so finish a sudoku. Take shirt and pants and shoes and socks off at 7:30 and still feel warm enough. Eyes close finishing a sudoku at 8:39, so, realizing it WAS 10:39PM in Iceland, decide to go to bed. Take night pills. Ludicrously light out, even though sun has actually begun to SET behind a mountain, and curtains give almost NO light prevention, and Steve wants his side uncurtained to allow fresh air in, so the facemask is indispensible. Type this to 8:50PM and get to bed, having taken the cover off the duvet but put the cover-quilt at the foot of the bed if it gets colder at night. At least the soccer player is no longer shirtless. AND told Steve I was going to KEEP Greenland time for the last day in Iceland, because that would mean only a TWO-hour time difference to "recover" from. Actually to bed at 8:52PM. 9:01PM: Taking MORE thought about time-changing, I realized that in NEW YORK, preparing to go to Europe, I go to bed an hour EARLIER each night, so to ease the change from EUROPE to NEW YORK, I should be going to bed LATER, not EARLIER; therefore the best thing to try to do would be to go to bed at 10:30PM THIS time, which would be 8:30PM in NYC, rather than going to bed around 9PM, which would be 7PM in NYC, MUCH much too early. Read New Yorker, not following it terribly closely, until 9:57PM, which I decide is late enough. Steve seems ready for bed too. So 10PM here is 8PM in NYC, better than it was before. I type this, take off my glasses, and get to bed "for good" at 10:04PM. Asleep quickly.

WEDNESDAY, 6/4/08: Type dream 12:38-12:42AM. 4:01AM: Wake to simple daylight filling the room. Pee. Try to remember another dream, but can't. Eight meals left; sleep: tonight, here again; tomorrow, Centrum; day after tomorrow, HOME! With DARKNESS! 6:23AM: Pee again. Try to type dream. Type imagined possible dreams to 6:29AM, also trying to shit, but can't. Breakfast only at 7:30AM; what to do now? Bed last night at 10:04PM and sleep quickly, so even with dream-typing I've had about eight hours' sleep. Steve has bathroom ventilator-hum going forever, and I'm up at 7:11AM to JUST be able to see sun quite high in sky to RIGHT out window, where it had set (and risen again as it crossed mountain valleys) on the LEFT last night. "No rain," I say cheerfully as Steve leaves bathroom momentarily, leaving the door open and the hum humming. When he leaves, I ask if he's finished; when I says yes, I say, "Then shut the fucking humming off." He didn't like it, but he did it, and then when he went in next he didn't turn the light on at all. I deodorize, put on shorts and socks, wash face, comb hair, and get out at 7:30AM to find him, thankfully, finishing clipping his nails into the wastebasket. Now at 7:33AM I guess we'll dress and go to breakfast. Breakfast 7:53-8:30, Julie almost finished when we join her. I pour what turns out to be COLD water into my hot-chocolate mix, take cereal, then have a piece of toast with butter and solid honey that may have started fluid, and two slices of self-sliced cheese and four of salami. We get the "guide" from the kitchen to say 1) there's someone in the hotel's gift shop now, 2) helicopters are scheduled all day today ferrying people from Kulusuk back and forth from here and West Greenland, so there's no chance of a helicopter tour for us today, 3) the ski lift hasn't been operating for a few years, the club ran out of money, and 4) he'll call the stamp printing press and find if they'll take a tour of three at any particular time, and comes back to the shop to tell Julie that we could go down anytime between 9 and 12, and she suggests we meet in the lobby at 10. The shop wanted 75DK for a simple slick-paper map, Steve suggests 24x30", for $15US, so we BOTH decide we don't "need" it. They WILL sell the 2008 large-scale calendar for 50DK, but $10 is too much for something to fold in half: by far the best bargain were the two free brochures from the Information Center. I get down to the room to find a stubby Greenland woman re-inserting my filler into my duvet-cover, and get my jacket to stand on the balcony while she finishes: she obviously didn't understand that she should tell me on the balcony when she left: Steve told me she'd gone, and I finish this at 9AM exactly, waiting for the printing-press "tour" and Steve's trip to the market in the hopes of finding a full-size Greenland red-and-white almost-Zen-circle parted horizontally into two contrasting fields of red and white. I settle into sudoku. Sudoku to 9:53, and get ready to meet Julie at 10AM for our excursion. To a great postal-service tour, eventually buying 149DK, about $30, of Greenland and Islands (including Faroes and Åland Islands off Finland) booklets, and go into grocery store, try to find NEW grocery store and fail, and struggle back up steep hill to hotel at 11:49, and go to lunch, winded, at 11:56AM. Big hot lunch to 1PM: chicken breast, veal meatball, curried egg salad, scrambled eggs, marinated herring, two great cups of hot chocolate, and lots of talk. Back to room, Steve dozes and snores, helicopter flies back and forth, fog settles over the mountain tops, I finish one issue of New York magazine, then Steve gets up for one last stab at buying a full-size Greenland flag and I type this to 3:15PM, ready for earplugs against the constantly whining neighborhood huskies. Feeling very lazy, but at least not tired. Now back to "mild" sudoku, becoming bored with TOO easy "easy." And I stand up to pee to see that it's begun to rain. Feel like taking a Valium because I feel so FLAT of affect, though flying tomorrow to Rekyavik and the next day HOME! Start sudoku 3:26PM. Home in less than 48 hours! #574 of fogging-in mountains at 5:04PM, Steve having returned triumphant with a $67 Greenland flag. 5:51PM: Wash for dinner, clouds lower around mountains, but kids still playing soccer in the sodden field below. Not particularly hungry, I must say; enjoyed four melting licorice pieces in my mouth (where else?). Get a window table where Julie complains about the CONSTANT chatter among the visitors who came on the flight from Rekyavik with us but stayed in another hotel last night and moved near her this afternoon and have CHATTERED CONSTANTLY and pounded down the stairs near her apartment. Leave after finishing my wine, there being no dessert because, as the cute waiter explained, "You had soup this evening." The packaged ramen-like noodles were salty enough, to which I added more soy sauce. Tough beef roast and potatoes, no broccoli, and lots of water with pills. Back to room about 6:45, and chat with Steve about automotive collectibles until 7:28PM when he leaves for a last walk. Skies are clearing, making leaving tomorrow look almost certain, but as Steve said, "Shit happens." Would not particularly care for another day here. Eat more licorice, and prove that the water-pot works, while Julie rather stubbornly refused to let us see if we could find a switch that might turn on her TV and water-pot. Try TV now. 8:34PM, something on Montserrat Volcano, a piece on some building destroyers NOT related to Pope, but nothing of great interest. Steve's packing. Read more of the last New York magazine, but just get plain tired, so I brush teeth, prepare morning pills, take night pills, re-introduce sudoku to Steve, who remembers he's had an introduction before, and at 9:24PM I type this, rationalizing that it's already 11:24PM in Iceland, where I'll be going to bed tomorrow night hopefully after midnight, which will make it after 8PM in NYC, maybe letting me get to bed after 9PM (and DARK!) on Friday night at HOME! Bed at 9:35PM. Sleep quickly, but dream 1) comes at 11:18PM. Take stuff in, pee, and finish typing dream at 11:29PM, setting 2) up already for the next dream tomorrow morning. #576: Midnight glow 11:35PM.

THURSDAY, 6/5/08: 2:30AM: Type second dream, after peeing, to 2:38. Up to pee at 4:36AM and type third dream. Type to 4:48AM, tiring of typing dreams on this next-to-last morning of this vacation, hoping it'll seem a long time before the trip to St. Petersburg takes place in early July. TIRING to travel so much, and still the question of the timing of the MAN Summer Camp unanswered. Get off the john and drink yet another glass of water in this very dry air (which makes it seem not as cold as it may be) of the room in the hotel in Greenland on this last morning here (unless the weather prevents our leaving today). 6AM: Yet another dream, and up to flutter fingers at Steve, about to enter the bathroom. 6:05AM: Sadly remember nothing of the details of the dream, very adventurous, I had just before I woke. Still clear enough out, though cloudy: no idea how to spend the 85 minutes before breakfast or the hours before our OWN helicopter flight out of here. Enough leisure is ENOUGH! Steve leaves bathroom at 6:25; I take a Valium to shield myself against what may happen today; and for ABOUT ten minutes I struggle to shit, eventually depositing two "small hand grenades," clearly more than an inch in diameter (so why can't I relax enough to get fucked by what would clearly, in most cases, be "objects" of lesser diameter?), but only about 3-4 inches long. I flushed the two of them at one time and the water level rose high, the solid matter disappeared, but toilet paper and suspicious "threads" of fecal material remained. Flushed two or three more times before the last of the paper finally disappeared and the water level quickly returned to its normal low level, so I DIDN'T feel that I had to warn Steve to use the PUBLIC johns if he wanted to be sure not to give the final "coup de grace" to our room's toilet, through no fault of HIS own. Out to frankly discuss all this with an extremely tolerant Steve, and then catch up with this subject by 6:55, ready to put on my pants and attack the packing problem. Steve insists breakfast starts at 7AM, so we go to the dining room to find Julie NOT there and the loquacious Japanese in full talking-force, so Steve agrees with my suggesting we delay our breakfast to 7:30 or even 8AM, to avoid foreign jabber. Start packing at 7:07AM. 7:24AM: Pack INFINITELY better with "good" stuff easily nestled in shoulder bag and "cold-weather" stuff in a neat pack in the white Tele-Post bag which can be stored in the overhead rack on the two upcoming flights. Now to a sudoku? Start for breakfast at 7:33, the loud Japanese still jabbering, Julie particularly intolerant. Start with hot chocolate and cornflake/meusli cereal, then a slice of toast with butter and honey with a triangular cheese, two slices of two different cheeses, four or five slices of salami, and back for another slice of toast with a glass of apple juice for my pills. Back to room at 8:10 "to get away from the noise," and when Steve returns he reminds me that our group of 24 obviously MORE than annoyed doubles or triples, alone with our raucous group, being just as offended by US as we are by the current Japanese. Do this by 8:16 ready to brush teeth and return to sudoku. Do that, and at 8:49 Steve reports that guide said we should show up in lobby at noon for ride to helicopter to Kulusuk. By 10:16AAM I'm tiring of sudoku, so might go to New York magazine. 11:25AM: finish last New York magazine---hadn't done the puzzle yet! Ready for noon departure, quite early, and Steve suggests he knock on Julie's door to make sure she knows we're to meet at noon, but I say I'm sure she knows, and then say he should do as he wants. 11:38AM: Steve leaves for lobby, so I type this and follow him. Read all magazines, only sudoku and proofing files to do while waiting for two flights today. Into van at 11:52, getting handed TWO box lunches, because "We only had two marked down." Julie says she doesn't need one. To the helipad at 11:58AM, check in at 12:01PM. Supposed to leave 12:40, but I do sudoku and chat and others fuss about getting seats on flight, and finally the copter revs up and we're called out in rain, and I make a point of making a beeline to the RIGHT side, where the pilot obligingly opens the door, takes my plastic bag for the luggage space, and I keep my shoulder bag in my lap for my camera. Steve gets stuck in the middle and REFUSES to move to sit next to me, so the guide ends up there. Off at 1:03 and fly away from Tasiilaq, but low, below clouds, all the way, affording colorful (I hope) shots of deep-blue ice ponds in ice sheets, and even blue underpinnings of thicker floes. Camera goes off twice, but I get a couple of communities, too, and keep wiping window and smiling down at increasingly open waters. Land at 1:12, and into terminal, rain almost stopped, at 1:16. Check in, present passports, I ask for a window seat but the clerk says there's one available in front of me, but I'm afraid of NEW people getting on, so Steve lets me have his 9A boarding pass. At 1:25 I notice that our flight, originally scheduled for 2PM, is now scheduled for 3:55, presumably because of bad weather in Rekyavik. Couple says they STAYED a couple of nights in Kulusuk before going to Tasiilaq, so at least we know there's a place to stay if the weather, which looks increasingly bad, prevents our return to Rekyavik today. The flight, for unknown reasons, became slightly bumpy toward the end, even though we didn't ever ascend into the lower levels of the fog. Steve buys his fifth tupilak, and even Julie buys "an even more expensive one." Type this in a corner, preparing for a long wait, until 1:39, then decide to break out lunch. Mediocre ham, cheese, lettuce, and cucumber on white bread, a little cardboard orange juice with a telescopic straw, and a LOVELY Toms Guld bar, 90 grams, with good chocolate and nuts. Then decide to start proofreading file 1 at 1:54PM. That takes to 2:30, a real time-passer, finishing the wonderful chocolate bar. Now to file 2. Finish that at 3:01, airport now filled with yammering (to use word from New York magazine puzzle) Japanese. Now to this file 3 at 3:02PM. 3:08: our plane lands! Stop proofing and start boarding at 3:22. Pee as others line up for security, which goes quickly. Through security, only laptop out, by 3:27, and finish proofing file 3 and this by 3:31, eager to board. Start proofing DREAMS 3:32PM. On line for security at 3:36, having only to take out laptop. Board 3:41, last row. 1:55 flying time. Move 3:46. All three of us have windows. Jacket off, camera out. Off at 3:48. To #591 into clouds at 3:50. Above clouds to blue sky 3:57. Get apple juice, then box lunch at 4:07, which I delay until I finish proofing dreams, CAUGHT UP, and then type this to 4:12, multi-layer clouds above and below. 4:36: GOOD box lunch: four slices of good ham in small roll with mustard and butter, potato salad with salt and pepper, orange juice, crackers with the rest of the butter, the Polish Prince Polo candy bar, followed by tea with more creamer and sugar and a lovely chocolate, probably the same thing we'll get for lunch on our flight back tomorrow. Clouds thinning somewhat below, and I think the Captain just announced that we'll be in 11EC Rekyavik in an hour, which would make us early, but two hours later than now, at 4:39PM, so I change watch to 6:39PM. Still three layers of cloud below at 6:51PM, wondering how late I can stay up tonight. Start sudoku, and start down at 7:24, HOT in back of plane. Land at 7:37. No car by 7:50. Gal phones emergency number of Iceland Travel at 8:05 and guy says, "I'll call you back in a few minutes." I optimistically think he'll show up: after all, our flight was late, scheduled for 1:55 flight; however, Julie reminds me of fuss when our car didn't show up when we LEFT for Greenland. Decide to take a taxi at 8:07, when the "emergency phone" doesn't answer and the mobile phone is LACKING a digit, which the hotel clerk can put in as a "2." We get to hotel, get room 306 which has a SHIT hand-held shower under a garret-type slanting roof, and unpack a bit at 8:40, writing this to 8:50, Julie saying she WON'T join us for dinner, but may see us at breakfast at 7AM tomorrow. Have no idea how I'll pack everything. Repack to 9:25, CLOSING black bag! (But DIRTY CLOTHES must go in shoulder bag.) Leave for "dinner" 9:32, think we find the hotdog place, right across from Einar Ben, and I get a chili dog with a caramel milkshake for 760K, giving him 1300K and getting 540K back---getting rid of 3 coins to gain 4 coins! Back to hotel, after walking around the block with Steve, at 10:10, blowing my nose, closing the bathroom window, and typing this to 10:17, only 18 hours from NYC. Bed at 10:30PM, sleep surprisingly quickly.

FRIDAY, 6/6/08: 12:04AM: Wake with dream and go pee. 5:12AM: Wake with dream and pee. Type to 5:22AM, vaguely ready to nap a bit more and start my last day here, which would get me home in just about twelve hours. 6:32AM: Don't seem to get much sleep after 5:22, since I lay and think, and Steve seems to be up at his usual 6AM (ghastly, since it's 2AM NYC time), complaining not only is the shower hand-set awkward, but the low ceiling prevents standing upright and "the water just goes all over." I close his opened window again and observe that there is NO sink water-temperature between too hot and too cold. But at least we're up and functioning and packing before breakfast at 7AM and a probable double-check that our ride to Keflavik IS coming at 7:30AM as it should. Take Valium 6:35. Type to 6:36AM. Seem to finish EVERYTHING by 6:40AM. Down to try for early breakfast, and at 6:47 the same clerk from last night, who's on for one more hour so he can help us if our ride DOESN'T come through, says, "Let's hope for the best." Breakfast buffet starts early at 6:48. I have scrambled eggs, two slices of bacon, two rolls with butter, a scoop of cream cheese, five or six slices of salami, and a glass of apple juice, a glass of orange juice, and THREE cups of wonderful hot chocolate, finishing with two orange slices, a big slice of casava, and some grapes. Julie absolutely refuses to take Ken's offer of $5 for her 1000K taxi ride last night, though she DOES confirm that we found the right hotdog stand. Breakfast to 7:30, pee to 7:34, and out to curb to wait for car. after checking with desk that driver's cell phone doesn't answer, nor does Island Travel's emergency number, but then he DOES get through to driver, who's "driving around Rekyavik and will be here in a few minutes." 7:40AM: "He's on his way." He arrives 7:51, assures Julie someone will pick her up at 1:30, and he keeps saying he's worked with Odyssey for 3-4 years and this has never happened before, taking down our itinerary number to check, and not really responding to fact that the last digit of his mobile phone was missing. Through barren territory, relieved by patches of Alaskan lupine (pronounced lu-PEEN here), saying mountains to south are on this same peninsula, and if it were clearer we could see the next peninsula north. To airport 8:34, on check-in line 8:36, check in by 8:45, with trouble scanning the edge of my passport. Through security, belt off, computer out, to 8:56. Buy Amarula for 1699K, take rest of cash (check slip later) to bank and get $50US with a pack of 39K change. Pay Steve back his $60. Get 110K from Steve for $1 and buy a pack of chocolate-covered licorice for PRECISELY the 149K I have, for the first time in AGES coming back with NO local currency (unless I stashed away some earlier) at 9:18. Steve looks for ice cream: none. Shop a bit and start 15-minute walk to gate 31 at 9:31, pausing for a small shit 9:37-9:40. Passport stamped 9:42. To gate and find we're still on schedule for 10:30AM and finish this at 10:02, babies clustering around and whining and shouting. Great. Hope none are near my 28F right window. Earplugs in and Scientific American out at 10:05. Stand in boarding line 10:07. Board 10:14, babies in back. SHOE falls into seat in back; stewardess retrieves it with a look of mild distaste. Move back 10:36, estimated flight 5:25. Off at 10:45AM, in at 12:10PM NY time? Get poured just a glass of Sprite! 11:24 start 5/11 doublecrostic. Over GREENLAND 12:10-12:15, #590s. 12:45 on line to pee, to 12:53. 1:25PM coast of northern Canada! 1:47 upper Canada #600s. 1:55 BATTERY signal is red, then OK. Finish 5/11 puzzles 1:59. 2:10 to go. 3:10 finish 4/13 puzzles. BUMPY air! Land at 4:01, JUST as I finish 4/27 crossword. FINALLY dock at 4:19 after long wait for planes taking off. Off plane 4:24. To immigration line 4:29. Through immigration 4:34. Into taxi with Steve 4:45. To 101 Clark at 5:40, taxi driver turning off meter, which Steve argues with him to turn back on, at which point driver deducts $2.50 for the second turn-on fee, drives him home for $52.50, Steve tips $6.50, which comes to $59, so my half is $29.50: I owe him $9.50. Ron's not on the desk, so I can't get my mail. At 6:02 change my watch to 2:02PM. Check e-mail to 2:30, Steve to 2:33, and get three phone messages: 1) Arnold, 2) Leon for a Saturday night dance that I call to turn down, and 3) Jodie, who calls back (just after I cum 3:15-4PM, having a wonderful long-lasting pre-orgasm with absolutely no emission) and takes my orders for Monday-Wednesday meals to be delivered Tuesday. Get mail at 4:07, actually go through all of it by 8:30PM, but nod out after finishing part of second New York magazine puzzle, having had dinner of soup. It gets DARK by 9:15PM, what a blessing, and I get to bed at 9:29PM, having no trouble falling asleep in perfect-temperature room.


SAT,5/24: Fly JFK-BOS 5:24-6:02PM (0:38). Dine at "Dine Boston," pretty bad. Fly BOS-REK 9:50PM-6:48AM (4:58). Traveling with Steve Hayes.
SUN,5/25: Bus tour of downtown Rekyavik. Breakfast in Rekyavik and lunch at Hamar Icelandair Hotel. To Summit House, Harbor, nap, then Deilbartunguhver (steam place) and Snorri's hot bath with Geir Waage talk. Buy two books. Hraunfossar and Barnafoss Falls, then back to hotel for dinner. Bed 10:56PM.
MON,5/26: Almost recovered from cold. To Borg, Botin fish-soup lunch in tiny place, windy rainy walk on Snaefellsnes peninsula. Itinerary mentions Budir, Arnarstapi, Djupalonssandur. Shark at Hildebrandor Shark Museum, and Fossatun Restaurant dinner with Iceland Melodies background for dessert. Bed 11:28PM.
TUE,5/27: Bus toward Akureyri, stops at Laxfoss, Grabrok Crater, Stadarskali, Gauksmyri horses, falls at Kolugljufur Gorge. Potturinn og Pannan (Pots and Pans) lunch. Sod church at Vidimyri. Akureyri Botanical Gardens, Cathedral closed, and to Hotel Kea. Dine at Bautinn's Restaurant, walk town, bed 10:25.
WED,5/28: Bus to Laufas Farm, Godafoss, Lake Myvatn tour. Lunch in Sik/Sil Restaurant. Namafjall Hubrik (boiling mud), Krafla steams, and Viti lake. Black Castles at Dimmuborgir; back to Akureyri and first great dinner at Fridrik V.
THU,5/29: Bus to Husavik, Hljodaklettar, Asbyrgi for Sleipnir's hoofprint and green lake. Skulaghrder lunch of soup and rolls. Husavik for Phallus Museum and Husavik Museum for Maritime, archives, rooms, and contemporary art; church; bus to Akureyri, via two falls, for ATM, used-book shop, second Fridrik V dinner.
FRI,5/30: Fly Fokker from Akureyri to Rekyavik 8:43-9:26. To Nesjavellir, then familiar Thingvallir, Restaurant Lindin lunch of Arctic char and soup. Strokker eruptions, Gullfoss falls wets me, to Hotel Ranga south of Hella for dinner.
SAT,5/31: Bus to Seljalandsfoss, Skogafoss, Folk Museum (where my batteries die). German Sailor's Monument, gas station lunch, wool factory, to Dyrholaey Duck for southern waterfront and hot chocolate and dough balls, Solhaemejokyll (Sun-Home-Falls), Skogafoss rainbows, Hotel Ranga dinner downstairs tonight.
SUN,6/1: Bus to Hekla information center, Selfoss, off in Eyrarbikki for shore, town, Rauda Husid for fish soup, then sneak into Museum House, return by way of Selfoss bridge because of 6.2 earthquake yesterday, To Hallgrimskirkja, riding elevator to windy top for photos. With Steve to Flea Market, then Exotic Fish exhibit at waterfront, rest, to Einar Ben for farewell dinner, bed at 11PM.
MON,6/2: Easy morning, to Settlement Museum, National Museum of Art, their cafeteria for tuna and beer lunch, then to Einar Jonnson outdoor sculpture garden before revisiting Memorial Church; Steve buys a tupilak, to Culture House for great Surtsey films, back to hotel alone, dinner at Perlan Restaurant and walk around the block for an Estonian sculpture and a cat; bed at 10:22PM.
TUE,6/3: Fly Rekyavik-Kulusuk 10:33-12:14 (watch back two hours). Helicopter Kulusuk-Tasiilaq 10:57-11:06: coastal ice and more ice, canceling tours. To Hotel Angmagssalik to unpack in warm room and have huge lunch at noon. Drive through town 1:12-2:40: to Museum, climb a hilltop to look over surroundings, stop at Information Center. Look over town from hilltop, read magazines and do sudoku before dinner, with a half-bottle of Mateus. Bed, eyes closing, 10:04PM.
WED,6/4: Up at 7:11AM, have breakfast, go to hotel's gift shop, arrange for a stamp-shop tour from 10AM, buy stamps, go to grocery store, and to lunch, winded, at 11:56AM-1PM. Rest, read magazines, do sudoku, take photos, dinner 6-6:45, chat with Steve, watch TV, bed at 9:35PM, have dream, type, photo glow.
THU,6/5: Up 6:25AM, typing lots, reading lots, enjoying doing nothing. Breakfast 7:33-8:10, waste time, to helipad 11:58AM, helicopter Tasiilaq-Kulusuk 1:03-1:12, taking pictures. Flight delayed. I eat lunch and proofread files until we board plane to fly Kulusuk-Rekyavik 3:40-5:37, with a good box lunch; change watch to 7:37. No car; take taxi to Centrum. Hot-dog and caramel milkshake dinner, walk a bit, type, read, can't fight it: bed 10:30PM.
FRI,6/6: Up at 5:22; take Valium 6:35. Big breakfast, buy Amarula, cash money, pay Steve, fly Keflavik-JFK 10:45AM-4:01PM, over Greenland and northern Canada. Do puzzles. Taxi 4:45-5:40PM. Change watch to 1:40PM. Order meals. Bed 9:29PM.  RETURN TO TO JOURNAL 5/24/08.