Twelve years ago, I visited Iceland by myself. At the BSI bus terminal in Reykjavik, I purchased a Ring Road Pass and proceeded to circumnavigate the island. Because of the desolate nature of the island’s interior, virtually all of the population is clustered within fifty or so miles of the coast.
It was a difficult trip, as the osteoarthritis pain in my left hip was approaching its apogee, so I was able to walk, haltingly, only with a cane. (The year after, I had an operation which erased twenty years of agony as if never existed.) Back then, I could walk all right: It’s just that standing up from a sitting position was excruciating.
Still, I loved the trip—even though Martine did not join me for some reason I have since forgotten. This summer, I am planning on going once again. And once again, Martine may not join me, but this time because she is in pain from fibromyalgia.
In preparation for the trip, I have taken again to reading the “Daily Life” column on the website of The Iceland Review. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Edward Weinman (pictured above) is still writing columns for them, and that he has written a noir mystery novel called The Ring Road.about an ex-detective from San Francisco who gets stuck on the island in a cataclysmic volcanic eruption. It’s a tale of murder, prostitution, cannibalism, witchcraft—all the things that Iceland is noted for. (Insert a smiley here.) For my review of his book on Goodreads.Com, click here.
I had met Ed and his fellow staff members of The Iceland Review in 2001 when I hobbled east on Laugavegur to their offices. It was a brief, but pleasant visit, which I enjoyed and remembered all this time. I wish Ed and all his fellow writers well. Perhaps I’ll drop in on them again, if my trip comes off as planned this July.
One interesting little coda: Exactly one week after my return to the U.S., the flight I was on to L.A. was commandeered by Al-Qaeda and flown into New York’s World Trade Center.