I’m in Iceland right now, but this photo was taken on an earlier trip. Seljalandsfoss is one of the most famous waterfalls in Iceland, and deservedly so. Those majestic 63-meter falls are quite photogenic, with a trail that runs right behind the cascade. No wonder it swarms so thickly with tourists you can barely see the water.
But right around the corner is a second fall, Gljúfrabúi. Harder to say, easier to see. Hardly anyone knows it’s there. It has cut a channel back into the rock. Visitors follow the stream back to the hill, then walk through a rock channel into a cave. The waterfall has carved out a doughnut-hole in the roof. You can climb up on a big rock in the middle, look up at the open sky, and feel the fine shower of waterfall spray on your face.
Yeah, okay, I just toured it. But damn. Wouldn’t it have been nice to be a coal baron in the 1890s?
Most modern homes on this scale disgust me, and know the money that built this one was just as corrupt. I would totally live in Craigdarroch Castle if I could, though. In fact, I have often thought that I would be a really good Lady of the manor.
This one time I was in Reykjavik and Sin Fang was playing an unadvertised show in an art gallery to promote a friend’s artwork. The performance was good but the sound was shit and that night I stepped outside of my own life and got to be a cool insider, leaning on an art gallery wall with my wine in a plastic cup and criticizing the mix. It’s the sort of thing that only happens (to me, at least) when you travel.
image from Gratisography
One of my favorite things about freelancing is that I don’t have to commute. I always feel that beginning my day with the rush of making myself presentable, finding everything I’m going to need for the day, getting out the door and to the bus stop on time to spend 45 minutes in traffic uses up most of my energy for the day.
Once each week, I do work in an office downtown, and that once-weekly commuting day reminds me how much I love freelancing. Last week, it also reminded me of an experience I had forgotten in the haze of travel exhaustion and jet lag when I got home from Iceland in July. Continue reading
Because every tourist in Iceland has a picture of Gullfoss.
Fifteen years ago, I spent three months in India. Before I left, my husband gave me two gifts – a really nice pocket knife, and a Petzl headlamp. Both proved invaluable. Although the knife was later stolen, I still have the headlamp, and I still use it. It has accompanied me to multiple continents. I’ve used it on night hikes, to find the bathroom at state campgrounds, and harvesting vegetables from my back yard late in the season. It’s one of the best gifts my husband ever bought me. He ended up buying one for himself, too.
But when we were packing for our recent trip to Eistnaflug, the heavy metal festival in a remote fjord in Eastern Iceland, I pulled both headlamps from the pile on our bed of things to be packed.
“You don’t think we’ll need them?” he asked in the voice of careful doubt men reserve for moments when they suspect a woman has lost her mind.
“We’re not going to need them,” I answered.
When I left the room, he put them back in.
“They don’t take much space,” he said, tucking his headlamp into his backpack as I pulled mine back out and put it in a drawer.
Spring is ticket season. Season ticket season, that is. I’ve already talked about the temptations of season tickets to Seattle Opera, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Seattle Children’s Theatre. The truth is, I will try to attend as many performances by each of these worthy organizations as I can, but I did not buy season tickets to any of them. What did I ultimately spend my own money on? Continue reading