In a state of Trepidation.
In a state of trepidation!
The last few days have been hectic enough. Have I got everything I need? Can I pack all my stuff into those small pannier bags? Am I taking too much stuff?! Now its Wednesday the 9th of June and I'm sat at home listening to Sigur Ros, writting my first blog of many on my trip to Iceland. Surely I should be more worried about Elves, Trolls and Volcanoes?! If you search for Icelandic elves on google, you actually come up with about 610,000 results, which is almost double the population of Iceland. Both the Icelandic trolls and elves aparently treat humans as they wish to be treated themselves, but can be malicious in nature.... I can only hope the human Icelandic population is as worthy. I will inform you if I have any meetings! haha. As for the volcanic activity in Iceland I think we are all pretty knwledgable. However I was very excited to read that Jules Vernes book, 'A journey to center of the earth' was based on Snæfellsjökull (Snow-fells glacier) a volcanoe to the north west of Iceland. This brought a smile to my face, and thought to my head, that maybe fire-retardant tyres are not a must.
The aim for the next few months for myself (Tom Cartledge) and two of my best friends... is to spend our summer exploring Iceland by bike. We shall be sleeping in a tent most of the time and utilising contacts on the much loved website of couchsurfing.com! Not only are we doing this crazy 1000 mile cycle for the benfits of our minds and bodies... but to aid others by raising as much money as we can for three charities based in England. St. Michaels Hospice Harrogate - http://www.saintmichaelshospice.org. Shelter UK Homeless Charity - http://england.shelter.org.uk/donating?appeal=1012200&gclid=CPyCvZG2k6ICFYts4wodtToQjg. And our justgiving pages are... www.justgiving.com/cyclingaroundiceland and www.justgiving.com/cycling-around-iceland-shelter.
. And also to educate you, the readers, with the ocassional Icelandic word or phrase which will be useful anywhere around the world!
So what do we know about Iceland already?! Maybe that it's a very volcanic country. The people their speak an old nordic language known simply as Icelandic. Iceland has a very small population, based mainly in the Reykjavik capital area. Iceland is home to the original geysir (Haukadular), and maybe that it used to be ruled by both Norwgian and Danish monarchies. However I'm sure you don't know that if you simply type 'Iceland' into google.co.uk, the top hyperlink has nothing to do with the country but the the chain of supermarkets in England.
I really hope to dive into Icelandic culture over the next few months, and find out more and more about this beautiful looking country and it's proud culture. So now, am I in a state of Trepidation? Only slightly... would be answer to that one!
Basic Icelandic pronunciation.... good luck.
* a = like a in father
* e = like e in test
* i, y = like i in little
* u = like German ü in für or French u in tu
* ö = like German ö in höher or French eu in neuf
* æ sounds like eye
* ð = like th in weather (voiced th)
* þ = like th in thorn (unvoiced th)