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Turning elf tricks

Monday, September 3rd, 2007

Iceland is known for it’s connection to the magical world of elves, sprites, trolls, ghosts and just about any other mythical backyard being you can think of. I haven’t had the chance to meet any of these beings during my stay but did come across an amusing letter in the Reykjavik arts and entertainment newspaper on this topic:

Dear Editor,
I recently read an article in a Swedish newspaper that said that in Iceland it is possible to meet with elves, or as you often call them in Iceland, ‘the hidden people’. I have long been fascinated by elves, ever since I saw the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I am a big fan of Legolas.
I would like inquire if it is possible to book an appointment with an elve when I come to Iceland, preferably in its natural surroundings rather than in a display booth? Where should I turn? Do you pay by the hourly rate, and are discount rates available? Also, is there a bar in Reykjavik frequented by elves? I would love to meet one outside of their working environment.
Thank you so much for your time,
Vaxjo, Sweden

Dear Goran,
Thank you for your letter. Several people will claim they can put you in touch with elves. I am not familiar with any specific website that makes this sevice available, but you might want to seek out Salarrannsoknarfelagid, ( an association of Icelandic spiritists. I am not sure what elves charge for their services, but I would imagine that they follow similar rates as taxi drives, with a starting-fee of 450 ISK. Elves would most likely attend the live music venue Organ, since their interest in music and dance is very well documented. I would say that is your best bet to meet an elf outside of work.
Hope this helps,

Last Week in Iceland

Saturday, September 1st, 2007

My last week in Iceland

It’s been an amazing final week up here in this glacial valley of Skagafjordur.

On Tuesday the foreign team, AKA non-Nepali boys took a mission up to the hot pots of Saudakrokur. These beautiful little pools are situated on a point overlooking Drangey Island, a meeting place for millions of migratory birds including puffins. There is some debate as to whether the ocean here is the Arctic or North Atlantic. Since oceans don’t really have borders and I’m on the north coast of Iceland, I’m going to say it’s the Arctic, which means given my rather short dunk I’ve swum in all the world’s oceans.

On Wednesday we got a day off to hike the tallest peak in the valley. It was clear, allowing us spectacular views of the massive Hofjokull and Langjoskull glaciers.

On Thursday our boss Maggi surprised us with an impromptu shotgun shooting competition.

Friday’s rain brought out the adrenaline in some of us and we went creek hunting, hoping to kayak some waterfalls. We missed the window on this creek, but Chris and Yuji had nice runs of Reykjafoss. I’m a pansy and opted out.

Then came today with my last run of the East River, and oh what a fun trip it was. The rain’s brought the river up to a fun level and I got a five load of big Icelandic electricians keen for a wild ride. I specifically asked them what kind of run they wanted down the most difficult rapid, the Green Room. There were plenty of hoots and horned hands so I figured that after the second drop I’d head back up steam into the hole and see what happens. Here’s what happens:

One of the larger guys didn’t have a good time of it, however. In the case of large men in one-size-fits-all life jackets you never know what’s going to happen when you add this combo to churning, boily white water. In this case the dude stayed down a long time, in the green room, as we call it. By the time he hit the surface he had reasoned he would die. His brain at some point told his lungs to take a big old swig of oxygen as is the case when one’s panicked. Unfortunately for Ollie or whatever his name is, he hadn’t reached the surface yet and exploded from the swirling waters a sputtering, vomiting mess. By the time the flip was cleaned up and I reunited with my crew he just stared me down with his blood shot eyes and washed out face and said ” you bastard.” It’s all fun and games until somebody thinks they almost drowned. Rafting is over, my time in Iceland has come to a close. It’s time to go back home.

The Swearing Swedes

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007
The thing I've enjoyed the most about rafting in Iceland has been the opportunity to meet people from all over Europe. We take a regular mix of Swedes, Norwegians, Finns, Danish, Dutch, English, and Spanish aside from the Icelanders that ... [Continue reading this entry]

The Cinnamon Challenge 2007

Sunday, August 19th, 2007
Can YOU eat a spoonful of cinnamon straight up? I bet you can't.

First Mr. Doyle-Kelly gives it a go.

... [Continue reading this entry]

Jesus saves…beer cans

Monday, August 13th, 2007
Jesus preaches to the masses Jesus carries a heavy load Jesus blesses YOU! ... [Continue reading this entry]

Danny’s big day off

Friday, August 10th, 2007
We've been working hard. I haven't had a day off in six weeks. We either go rafting or work in the shop fixing our aging dry suits in a haze of toxic glue fumes. When Maggi or ... [Continue reading this entry]


Tuesday, August 7th, 2007


No I´m not typing erradically, this is actually an Icelandic word (one of the three I know) that describes the big party weekend in early August.  It´s Monday evening ... [Continue reading this entry]

The Russian Extravaganza: Three days on the East Glacial River

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

The East Glacial River (Austari-Jökulsá)

The East Glacial River is a blast to raft and pumps just big enough to give kayakers a run for their money too. It is one of the best rivers in Europe and definitely ... [Continue reading this entry]

A night out in Blonduos

Monday, July 30th, 2007
At midnight they arrive.  You never know it´s midnight here which is made obvious by the fact that me and Chris the Cannuck are on our way out the door to play frisbee and watch the sunset. Two girls get out ... [Continue reading this entry]

The Vikings, Icelanders

Monday, July 30th, 2007
"Don´t we get gloves?" The guy looks at me with bloodshot eyes and my eyes can´t help wandering to his tossled blond hair that looks like it was styled by the corner of a sofa. He reeks of ... [Continue reading this entry]