When I was younger, my mother, with my sister and yours truly in tow, would visit Germany almost every summer, to catch up with her side of the family. More than once she wound up booking us with Icelandic Air, because flying from New York to Reykjavik to Frankfurt with them actually wound up being cheaper than a direct transatlantic jaunt with Lufthansa would have been. Go figure.
Anyway, we’d come in for a landing in the small hours of local morning, but thanks to the perpetual daylight of Icelandic summer, we could see the countryside we skimmed on our final approach. It was oddly beautiful — a rocky and achingly empty landscape, overhung with gray mist, but colored with lichens in every hue from green to ochre. I always thought that I’d like to go back and hike it someday, and perhaps I will yet.
I was reminded of all of this by running across a story about Reykjavik electively going dark, albeit briefly, to afford its inhabitants a better view of the night sky. A dome of stars undimmed by light pollution is a beautiful thing, and I tip my hat to any city with good sense to embrace that sort of wonder. (As a bonus, they might even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights. Lucky devils.)
Those Icelanders, they’re all right.