There are a billion reasons to travel.
I won’t list all billion here because my blog is not the cause of anyone’s eyestrain! I want you to use your eyes for very important things - like booking a trip to Iceland. Pronto!
Iceland is the kind of place that imagination and research can’t do justice. When I read up on Iceland, I learned the Gulf Stream moderates the temperature so the island’s northern location doesn’t mean sub-zero misery. But I had no clue what it was like to spend an afternoon in a sun-hail-rain-snow-sun-storm. I didn’t know that going up a few feet, really just a few feet, could change the world from dry to snow-covered and stormy. Without making the trip, I wouldn’t have learned that the weather is changeable and brutal and beautiful and works to form not only the character of the landscape but of the people. As we walked the streets of Reykjavik, sun smiling on our faces and hail biting our cheeks, our guide told us that “… Iceland doesn’t have weather, it has examples of weather.” He also told us that there isn’t any bad weather, just bad clothing. (My damp, loose weave wool mittens that begged the wind and rain to turn my hands blue proved his point.)
These people can really roll with change … except when they can’t.
If you live in Iceland, 50% of the calories you consume are imported. That must take some planning. While the geo-thermal power is impressive and gives heat and electricity to the majority of the country, it doesn’t make it cheaper or easier to buy a car or a camera or any of the other goods and services that come cheap and easy to someone living someplace other than Iceland. Lots more planning!
So go to Iceland! Expect the people to be lovely and happy to see you. And expect a quick “No” if you ask for something that strays outside the norm. (In our case, it was a late-night bottle of wine in the hotel bar and the need for a detour around a snow-closed road that caused a reflexive “No” but we worked it out.)
And when you’re there, order a margarita (or two). You’ll enjoy them because the food and cocktail scene in Reykjavik is alive and well. Eat a lot of lamb and fish and absolutely have dinner at Dill and Grill Market (both in Reykjavik). Dill has a tasting menu with wine paring and is an experience you’ll never forget. Grill Market has amazing food served in a very cool space. I had “Red Fish.” It was described as a very ugly, angry fish that can make you sick if you come in contact with it while it’s alive. But they promised me that when they cook it, they get the ugly out and it’s delicious. And it was.
If only we had another few nights in Iceland I feel sure we’d have seen the one thing we missed: Northern Lights. For now, I have to settle for pictures on the Internet. But I feel pretty sure I’ll be back someday so I have another chance.
Thanks for reading - If you go, you should also expect to be blown away by the landscape. I hope you enjoy my pictures!
I think what I liked best is that the people seem to have their priorities straight!
And they have a sense of humor! Reykjavik is full of street and public art.
And the landscape is like nothing you’ve ever seen.
And finally, one of my favorite signs ever!