IcelandNovember 9, 2012
Ten things about Iceland:
1. People in Iceland were really sweet. They speak English and it’s not your run-of-the-mill attempt. Full conversations were had with no one stumbling over their words – unless I was trying to say….
2. Icelandic place names are difficult. Remember the volcano that disrupted air travel in Europe? I saw it. I tried to say it. It is not alone in the long word category.
3. Icelandic air does a great deal where they allow a European layover of up to a week, free of charge. Side note: It was cheaper for us to fly to Iceland than to Newfoundland. The fact that I can’t find a flight to Edmonton for under $500 these days is indicative of air travel prices in Canada.
4. Vegetarians beware. Meat is everywhere on menus. Fish and lamb appear to be the most common – for good reasons (surrounded by water, covered in sheep). We cooked for ourselves quite a lot and had to be careful not to come home with horse meat. We did manage to try minke whale, dried fish, lagoustines, oversmoked lamb, and other more standard fare. Orgle tried hakarl (fermented poisonous Greenland shark). It stunk of ammonia in a vile way.
5. It is a beautiful country. It really is amazing to think of all that grows out of what is essentially lava rock. And lava rock comes in different colours and formations.
6. I miss outdoor hot pools. I wish they were here. Unfortunately, there is not a seemingly endless amount of hot water bubbling under the surface – making outdoor heated pools prohibitively expensive.
7. I pride myself in finding nice, affordable places to stay and in Reykjavik that was no different. We had a cute little studio apartment right in the heart of the city at Ranargata 23.
8. I’m not good with time changes. My sleep patterns there were not good and my lack of even dozing on the plane set me back as well. Maybe between Newfoundland, Australia and Iceland, my body clock has been all over the place these last few months.
9. It’s true: Greenland is ice and Iceland is green. Yes, if you’ve gone through my Jokulsarlon pictures, you’ll see lots of ice, but that was just one place in over a week of visiting. In fact, during the time we were there, the weather was colder in Alberta. It did snow, very lightly and very briefly, one day – but it wasn’t even a dusting.
10. There is a Big Lebowski-themed bar in Reykjavik.
Alas, the only disappointment may have been the cloud coverage nightly. No northern lights were seen.