Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Iceland: Day 1

It seems like everyone is traveling to Iceland these days. We just got back from our second trip there and are already talking about what we will do when (not if) we return. People wonder why we love the country so much, and it is easy to understand once you have been there.

Iceland is populated by 300,000+ badasses who can handle the harsh elements that come with living in the far north. These resilient individuals are also obviously part elfin, as the Icelandic populace is by far the most attractive race I have ever encountered, despite the fact that they are descendants of brutes. They are a people who have withstood isolation and desolation, and whose creativity and adaptability have allowed them to live on a deserted island for hundreds of years. They have mastered Ayn Rand's ideal of civilization, as each individual plays a key role in sustaining community; in fact, when a community of thousands was threatened by volcanic destruction in the 1970's, all lives were saved when the whole town pitched in to help get families to safety. I just can't see that happening here.

In conclusion, we love Iceland and Icelandic people. But mostly it is super cheap to travel there in the off-season.

Day 1 in Iceland begins with a plane ride from Seattle. The flight is about 7 hours, which is not too shabby when you remember how long a trip to Europe from the Pacific Northwest usually takes. If you are lucky, you can sleep through the plane ride and wake up at 6:00am for your first day in Iceland. Of course, I can never sleep on planes. I ordered a mini-bottle of wine, hoping it would get me tired enough to sleep, but the only thing this masterful plan accomplished was giving me a sufficient buzz, which made me think that doing Sudoku puzzles with a buzz was a good idea. Lesson learned: Sudoku and wine do not mix, and not even wine can put me to sleep on an airplane.

It is a good thing I could not sleep though, because we got to see the Northern Lights from the plane. It was incredible. We were literally flying next to them. I will never forget the experience.

After we landed and checked into our hotel, we decided to explore the city a bit so we did not go straight to bed at 9:00am Iceland time. Here are some pics from our first outing. 

Our first stop was the Seabaron, which serves the best lobster soup in the world (according to the NY Times and my husband).

No trip to Iceland is complete without visiting Harpa. 

The building is just as stunning as I remember from our last visit, except now there are beautiful birds on display.


I appreciate how much art is valued in Iceland, and how unique displays of creativity can be found on every corner.

This is a simple, but beautiful, display of bottles.

And of course the Old Harbour is a must-see.

After taking our obligatory first-day jaunt, we napped for a couple hours, then woke up to visit the spa, eat pizza, and consume copious amounts of Duty Free Icelandic liquor. Unfortunately, most of the pictures from these events were taken via Snapchat, meaning I have nothing more to share here.

Stay tuned for more...

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