After a few days in Reykjavik we thought we’d see some of Iceland’s sights and headed off towards the area known as the Golden Circle.
First stop was the Kerio volcanic crater. It was ok, I suppose, in a big hole in the ground sort of way. Probably the most noteworthy aspect to it was that the lake at the bottom wasn‘t full of old fridges and discarded supermarket trolleys. I suspect that it might not have been the same story had it been in the UK.
Five minutes later we were off to Haukadalur to see the geysers. The best one, somewhat imaginatively named Geysir, goes off twice a day. There were a few people stood around it waiting, but they obviously had far more patience or much less stuff to do than we did. We left them to it and settled for seeing the less spectacular but much more frequent Strokkur.
Strokkur erupts regularly every six minutes or so and was pretty impressive. Although not quite so impressive as to warrant staying a further six minutes to see it again. I was actually more taken with the boiling water that just bubbled out from various points along the pathway. That seemed weirder.
There’s a big waterfall nearby too, Gullfoss. We followed the signs and so ended up in the car park some distance away. Those in the know just turn off early and park up at the bottom, near the falls. For perspective, it’s miles better than High Force but crapper than Niagara. Does that help? I suppose that’s why I don’t write slogans for the Tourist Board.
Anyway, enough of the nature stuff. We were staying at a place called Laugavatn and I’d noticed that there was a women’s game taking place on one of the evenings, forty kilometres away in Selfoss. You can‘t pass up that sort of opportunity and so I drove over to have a look.
It was a thousand Kronar to get in and there was one big uncovered stand with about seven hundred seats in it. The other three sides were just grass, although it was raised up to give a decent view. I reckon that there were probably around a hundred and twenty spectators, most of them in the stand with a few dotted around the grassy areas.
Selfoss were in maroon and white, with visitors IBV in all white. There weren‘t many decent scoring chances in the opening half hour, with both sides happy to keep the ball when deep before trying to walk the ball in once they got anywhere near the opposition goal.
My initial impression was that IBV’s Shaneka Gordon was the pick of the players. She had a good first touch and got extra points for having a Marvin Emnes haircut.
For Selfoss, their American centre half Tiana Brockway was doing most of the organising. At one set piece she urged “Everyone pick a man”, which is a bit odd I suppose.
Five minutes before half-time Elisa Vidarsdottir floated in a direct free-kick. I don’t think she was going for goal, it looked more like an over-hit ball into the box to me. Whatever. It eluded everyone though before clipping the underside of the bar and bouncing down somewhere near the line.
The lino (who looked about twelve years old) flagged for the goal much to the fury of the home keeper who raged at him non-stop for the remainder of the half. I hope she knew his Mam. Or, even better, was his Mam.
It didn’t take Selfoss long to get back on level terms though as a few minutes after the restart a cross from the right was knocked in at the back post by Eva Eliasdottir.
The game opened up a bit as the half went on with Tiana Brockway putting a shot over the bar for Selfoss and then IBV’s Vesna Smiljkovic breaking clear only to be tackled outside of the box by the home keeper.
The visitors took the lead after seventy minutes when Marvin Emnes chased a through ball and sidefooted past the Selfoss goalie from around twelve yards.
It was all Selfoss after that as they pushed for an equaliser. There was a goalmouth scramble where it seemed like everyone except the other keeper was kicking away at something. I’d no idea where the ball was and I doubt many of the players did either.
The hosts had one final chance at the end but whoever swung a leg at it blazed it over the bar. It was at this point that I learned that even the Icelandic players swear in English. The win for IBV didn’t mean a lot to the respective fortunes of the two middle of the table teams, but it was a pleasant evening out in the inevitable picturesque surroundings.