While this is probably the most politically stable country I’ve visited in the last 2 years, it may also be the most counter-intuitive December destination. However, the decision to begin my winter break by venturing to Iceland solo in mid-winter is not ungrounded.
Although the sun only shines from 11:22 am to 3:31 pm, these are the sights one can see during the day are phenomenal, both bare and snow-covered.
After agonizing over what gear I should bring, (thank you Erin and Reba for being patient with my excessive packing and re-packing), I arrived 2 hours late due to weather delays.
Out the window, four men heaved to push the exit stairs to the plane against the icy ground it had frozen to. You can imagine how horrified I was when I was told that my luggage was left in Baltimore. Four others as well. Do to the fact that the discount airline was so new they had not yet established a baggage scan system which left room for greater error.
I bounced between baggage service aids for help. Employee: You are with WOW Airline? Yes?
One noticed that my baggage stub indicated that I had a backpack, which apparently was not classified as ‘luggage’ but an ‘oddly shaped item.’ Protocol for oddly shaped items was to toss them between the claim aisles. Thank god. It was there.
I was so relieved that my bag had been found that I barely cared about the missed waterfall bus tour.The sun came out just as I was leaving. Found this gem of a picture taking place just outside my hostel. The canceled excursion gave me leisure to wander– which I will never turn down.
Side Note: I am in love with the graffiti. If I could describe Icelandic street art, harmonious fusion between viking-based inspirations and contemporary minimalism. Below is just one example.
Met up with a 2 hour walking tour (with only two indoor stops). Although most of it was spent braving the wind, the content and delivery was so well done that it was well worth the cold toes. The lake below was last place before my camera died. (The battery ran more quickly in the cold.)
Fun Fact: According to our guide, a local history graduate from Reykjavik University, a Horse Exhibition was held on the frozen lake last year. The lake burst, and all the horses fell in. Fortunately, the lake was only head high and all the horses were able to be rescued.
Notes from Today:
- Reykjavik: (pronounced Rek-ya-veek with an emphasis on syllable one + a rolled ‘r’)