Iceland and Greenland

Much of the action in d4 takes place in these two little known Northern regions and I had a fascinating time researching them. A couple of Scandinavian beta readers were kind enough to help me with accuracy and local color, one going as far as to share her personal vacation photos with me. No, I’ve haven’t made it to either location yet, but I will, and hopefully soon.

Below are the six links in the book that show more about these two beautiful locales.

Chapter 4.
See a slow sunrise in Reykjavik at panoramio.com/photo/61495573.

Photo by Clavius_Rork

Baldur Hákonarson was the first of the clients to make time to meet Ariel, his new personal support engineer from Ullow. At least Ariel assumed that he had made time, because his executive assistant had sent Eoin a calendar invite for Ariel to present an update to his board of directors a week after she started. Eoin accepted and cc’d Ariel. So that was how this was going to work.

The company bought her a ticket to Reykjavik, and Eoin showed her where to find the last presentation that had been given, and suggested she start editing it immediately. He needed time to review and approve it before she left. Ariel poked around the specs in the contract and made a few cursory visits to the tech people before she began to carefully craft her message of progress. It was lucky that delivering technical content in an understandable format was something she did well.

A week later she arrived in Reykjavik at 10 a.m. to a night sky adorned with a faint glimmer of dull grey light in the south. She was met by a limo driver, and by 11 a.m. she was setting up her presentation in front of three very well dressed older businessmen and one older woman in a suit that showed her to be of equal stature. The small boardroom was on the top floor of an extremely modern office building, and a beautiful, slow, low-angle sunrise was now erupting through the glass windows off to the south.

Chapter 6.
Learn more about Greenland at greenland.com/en/about-greenland and even plan a fantasy or real vacation from this website.

See beautiful photos of the northern lights here

See beautiful photos of the northern lights here

“So you want me to drop this idea of taking out our clients most influential direct reports?”

“Not at all,” Eoin chuckled. “Up to now I’ve been content to let my client’s private business stay private, but I have to admit that your curiosity is starting to rub off. I want you to plan a vacation to Nuuk. It’s a town of sixteen-thousand, for heaven’s sake, so you ought to be able to find out where in Nuuk Mikkel keeps his people. Don’t be too obvious. Go see the northern lights and ride a dog sled before winter ends. You need to get more acquainted with the north anyway.”

Then, as she looked at him puzzled, he added. “You’ve got a nice direct way about you. You’re not threatening. Go meet the lady that runs the answering service. I bet you can come back from Nuuk knowing more about Mikkel Nygaard than anyone here does now, and I promise that I won’t ask questions about your expense account next month.”

As Eoin turned and left, Ronan gave a little whistle. “Wow. No questions about your expense account for a whole month?”

Fergus added. “I’ve always wanted to go to Greenland.”

“It’s February,” Ariel muttered back. “I bet you wanted to go in July.”

Chapter 7.
See a photo of Iceland’s giant Vatnajökull glacier at icelandsuperjeeps.com, an exciting site offering tours of the glacier. 

glacierThe work portion of the trip would all be at the end, so Ariel tried to enjoy the beginning of her little vacation. She packed a few good books and her warmest clothes, and delighted in a window seat as she watched the late afternoon sun set on her way into Iceland. She found a favorite song on her mp3 player and listened to the pretty shimmer of Ellie Goulding’s voice singing “Lights” as the giant Vatnajökull glacier gleamed beneath her when the plane dipped below the clouds. Ariel thought that perhaps she had never seen anything so beautiful as the various shades of blues that glistened off of the ice in the light of a sun moving low in the winter sky while the song played softly in her mind.

She joined her group at the Reykjavik airport for the evening flight on to Nuuk. The small band of mostly Icelandic travelers was quiet, but friendly, and she felt thankful to live in both a time and place where a woman could easily travel alone. Nuuk was just a quick stopover, and the next morning they boarded the pint-sized plane for Ilulissat, the main tourist destination in Greenland.

Ariel stepped off the plane to her first view of the barren rocks mottled with bright colored lichens that make up the tundra. She had never set foot inside of the Arctic Circle before. Tiny flickers and flashes erupted as her boot touched the ground.

My premonitions are stronger here, she noticed with surprise. The cold dry air? The earth’s magnetic field? There had to be a reason. She added it to her list of things to try to figure out later.

Chapter 16.
Spend a little virtual time at the Blue Lagoon Spa by visiting www.bluelagoon.com. You can even find the current menu for the beautiful LAVA restaurant.

Blue LagoonAriel passed on the mussels appetizer and opted instead for the butternut squash soup, seeing as it looked like there was going to be a lot of seafood coming her way in the main course. She sat alone at the end of the table, quietly enjoying the hot puree and marveling at how soup was always soothing, no matter how humble or fancy its name or its ingredients.

The rest of the guests were mingling as they nibbled. She’d been keeping to herself since she arrived at the beautiful restaurant on the cliff, and she’d silently watched as Baldur made his rounds greeting everyone else effusively with apologies for having been detained in Reykjavik. She suspected that he would greet her last and put on his most extreme show, daring her to counter him in any way. It would be a victory lap of sorts for him to make her play along, and she was trying to figure out what she could possibly do to avoid giving him the satisfaction.

Chapter 23.
Learn more about and see the northern lights at period8magnets.wikispaces.com/how+does+the+aurora+borealis+form%3F

auroraThe Siarnaq who met her plane seemed older. He gave her a long hug through his parka and hers, with all the insulation between them sufficient to buffer any exchange they might have had on a summer day. She had learned that his home was in Ilulissat, but he had relatives in Nuuk and normally stayed with them when he was in town. Not this time though, and he preferred not to go to the hotel. A friend of a friend had offered them his small apartment on the edge of town for the night, and that would have to do.

As they drove away from the town’s lights, the aurora borealis began to put on a show. Often an undulating green curtain, tonight the northern lights reached high into the sky with the greens fading into blues, purples, pinks and reds and the curtain movements slowly giving way to what looked like multicolored feathered wings filling the sky. Siarnaq smiled as Ariel stared out the car window with her mouth open, and he reached across the front seat and put his gloved hand over hers.

Chapter 28.
seydisfjordurMake a virtual visit to the pretty Icelandic town of Seyðisfjörður by visiting visitseydisfjordur.com.

Ariel thought that the beautiful small Icelandic town of Seyðisfjörður would now always be one of her favorite places on Earth. As Toby’s rented speedboat made its way to the barren, snow covered docks in the deepening afternoon twilight, the many wooden buildings stood out in the remaining light, beaconing with the offer of comfort.

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