The history of Iceland and myths about Iceland are expertly intertwined at the Saga wax museum in Reykjavik featuring a 30-minute audio-tour. Bring a jacket because the waxen figures are kept chilled, but the tour is worthwhile. At the end of it, we couldn’t help but ask ourselves how anyone on earth would be willing to inhabit such an inhospitable place (not the museum, but Iceland, the country), with such a brutal and unforgiving history but then again, as we were walking through the refrigerated museum we had jetlag and it was 70 degrees outside at home in Nebraska with four extra hours of sunlight to boot.
Normally, we’re not Museum People, but this was about our speed on Day 3 of our Icelandic sojourn. The island takes some getting used to in the winter months when the sun comes up late and goes down early. I tried to be spry, but could hardly summon the energy to put on my underwear in the morning after a shower. The museum definitely felt like an adventure as I fought off the natural inclination moment-by-moment to go into hibernation.
It might be hard to care about Iceland’s history without the wax figurines which is part of the genius of the Saga Museum. Iceland is almost as removed from world politics as Canada. Without regular interludes by its petulant volcanoes, Iceland would be completely exempt from news coverage all over the world, but the Saga Museum, through its life-like reconstruction of the past complete with audio and a chilly atmosphere does actually demonstrate the Icelandic ripple that was made in the history of the world by its settlement.
Which was, of course, interesting, though I couldn’t appreciate it fully until I’d taken a nap and eaten something really fattening.