A Travellerspoint blog


To keep promises or not

When I come back home from my trip to the country I have visited for the first time people always keep asking me weather I liked the place. What was the most striking experience I had? Were there any interesting people on my trails? Was the country adequate either for solitary or family travelling? Many kinds of questions I face when talking to people and if I know the answers I give them true ones however, there is always the last question that comes at the end. 'When are you flying back there?' or 'are you going to visit that spot again?'. As I am always certain that that kind of question comes up sooner or later I am certain to the same extent that my answer is always the same. Having very confident face expression my reply is 'I never visit the same place twice'. People nod their heads with understanding and if not I add a short comment to my statement 'well, there are so many beautiful places around the world so it would be a waste of time to go the same place more than once'. Those who did not nod their heads with understanding at my first reply do nod now hearing that comment.

However am I really right saying that? Is that promise really worth and clever to make?

Last June I flew to Iceland for a few days. I was extremly lucky to experience a full week of sunny and unwindy weather and these who have been to Iceland know what I am saying. It is a beautiful country night and day and I am saying that on purpose as at that time of the year you leave a bar after midnight and it's still bright outside. Iceland has a lot to offer to visitors from its unique natural wonders and ancient heritage to omnipresent tranquillity.
Visiting mainly Southern part of the country I finally reached the place considered by many to be Iceland’s finest waterfall - Gullfoss. What really striked me while I was on my way to see Gullfoss was the landscape that doesn't reveal its greatest wonder whatsoever. I mean you could not simply expect to see the waterfall there - to me it was so surpising that all of the sudden and from nowhere the great Gullfoss waterfall appers in front of you to appeal to your visual senses.

When I was leaving the place my attantion was drawn to number of small stone towers. The towers made of small stones that people placed one on another. The maximum tower hight I observed was the tower made of five stones. 'What's the point of building such towers' I thought to myslef and when that question was running through my head I saw a person who approached the spot where those towers were built and started building his own. As you might assume I could not resist myslef from asking the guy the sacramental question 'what those towers are for? and what's the point in building them?'.
The guy gave me a short explanation to my simple question. The custom says that if you wish to come back to this place / vist that place again you have to build a tower like that.

Well, having not known why I approached the spot naturally (without even thinking of it) where the towers were built and I built my own one. With a great care I placed four stones one on another I got up then and stared at my tower with a smile on my face.

Since that time I have thought more of going to the same place more than once. I have thought of the way we all build our memories while travelling. There are many factors that influance the way we see the world and for instance our two vists to the same place might bring absolutely contradictory memories.

PS. I have also encountered the same stone towers in Norway

Posted by tomik 13:19 Archived in Iceland Comments (0)

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