Greetings from Iceland! In two days we’ve already seen so much it’s difficult for me to get my thoughts down on paper (or onto my blog). We flew into Reykjavik (Dallas to Boston to Reykjavik) which made for a long day of travel. We checked into our hotel around two a.m. Since it was still light outside, it didn’t feel so late. Plus, it was only nine p.m. according to our internal clocks.
Day One was spent exploring Reykjavik with no real plan. No plans are often the best plans. We were drawn to Hallgrimskirkja—the Church of Hallgrimur. This stunning Evangelical-Lutheran church towers over the center of town. A trip to the top of the 73 meter high tower provided a bird’s eye view of the city with the sea all around. The whole thing was super easy, too. Walk inside, pay 800 ISK (which is about $8), and ride the elevator up with zero wait. In other words, the exact opposite of the ordeal that is the Empire State building.
Another highlight from Day One was visiting the Settlement Museum. This museum provided great historical background on Reykjavik and is built around an actual dig site which appealed to the wannabe geologist in me. Unfortunately I took no pictures.
Dinner at Messinn was a highlight, too. Arctic Char = delish.
Day Two was a day of diverse terrain. In the span of a few hours, we saw our first glacier, soaked in a natural hot lagoon, and walked across lava fields.
My pictures in no way do the day justice.
Oh, and we stood on the edge of the Eurasian tectonic plate and looked at the North American tectonic plate.
My impressions of Iceland so far…
- What a clean, eco friendly place! The air is some of the freshest in the world. The water, filtered through lava rocks, is pure with no treatment. The entire island is heated geo thermally from natural hot springs. It doesn’t take long to figure out the whole country feels alive with hot steam escaping from cracks and crevices and cold water bubbling across lava fields.
- There’s a mystical, magical feeling to this land steeped in Viking history, old architecture, a sun that never quite sets (not this time of year anyway), birds that sing and thrill all night outside our balcony windows.
- The seafood! Pulled straight from the ocean, it couldn’t be more fresh.
- I love the bright, light, minimal Scandinavian-style decor everywhere. Colorful houses in Reykjavik remind me of those from a Monopoly game.
- I’m fascinated by the bathrooms. So far, every bathroom I’ve visited (and I never pass up a bathroom) is straight out of Architectural Digest. And, there are two flush choices—regular and extra strong for those big jobs. LOL.
- The flowers blooming in Iceland now are the same ones that bloomed in Fayetteville in February. Tulips and daffodils. And growing conditions must be ideal for dandelions because they are abundant, growing on long stems much like daffodils.
- The weather changes every couple of hours.
- No tipping is expected anywhere. When a restaurant runs your credit card, there’s no place to add a tip. Instead of living off tips, employees are paid a real wage. What a concept.
What can I say? I take pictures of toilets and weeds.
Off to enjoy Day Three now. Later!
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.