Ermergerrrghd. I’ve been All Over The Place the last few weeks (months?). I’ve been settling into my parents’ place in London and prepping for yet another schlep to finally move into my grad school housing in two weeks. On my way over I stopped in Iceland.
My itinerary, for those interested was:
Day 1 - Make it to Akureyri Iceland. Ride Icelandic horses along the fjords for three hours with Anita, the lovely Danish girl I met in the lobby of my super awesome hostel. Scout out some awesome veggie soup and warm up in a simple cafe watching the sun set.
- Learn: I’m not so great on horses but Icelandic horses are extremely well trained.
- Favorite: Picking blueberries while letting the horses take a break, and watching whales playing in the fjords at the same time. Perfection.
Day 2 - Recover from jetlag, kinda. Overcome totally irrational but very crippling fear of flying in small aircraft and take the tiniest of planes to Grimsey Island. Cross the Arctic Circle! Meet 18 members of the Icelandic Coast Guard (hey hey heeeey).
- Learn: Maybe there is something sweet about living with only 70 people on an island. Maybe.
- Favorite: Receive a certificate for Arctic Crossing signed by the pilot which was of course, the most exciting part of the day.
Day 3 - Tour of Lake Myvatn. Spend day touring Godafoss wateralls, gorgeous Skútustaðagígar pseudo-craters and crazy lava formations at Dimmuborgir (Dark Castle) with a girl from the Czech Republic, her Dutch boyfriend and our guide, a cool Icelandic dude with an awesome ‘stache.
- Learn: A lot about Icelandic history.
- Favorite: Floating on my back for two hours in the creamy teal Mývatn Nature Baths thinking “Friday I was at work, hahahahaha”.
Day 4 - Fly to
civilization Rejkyavik. Check into another pretty awesome hostel. Walk around downtown which took approximately two hours (lolz). Grab a mocha, relax. Hang out with All the Canadians at the hostel and allow one night of expensive beer drinking at a bar down the street. Eat Icelandic late night and crash.
Day 5 - The Day I Met the Most Interesting Man in the World. I went on a 13 hour day tour with an Icelandic freelance journalist and a Venezuelan Israeli photojournalist. We were driven by a lovely young Icelandic woman, Flora, and led by our brilliant Kenyan guide, Seppy. Yes, Kenyan guide in Iceland.
- Learn: There are brilliant people in the world doing incredible things. Seppy is one of these. Seppy is a Kenyan who studied and grew up in Malaysia and Japan. He’s a documentary filmmaker, safari guide, and came to Iceland with his wife to study the sagas before continuing to a PHD in Norway. Fuckin’ awesome.
- Favorite: Seeing a stunning part of Iceland often missed - Kerlingarfjoll and also Thingvellir, the site of the world’s oldest parliament and UNESCO world heritage site. Also, spending the day with such a creative and inspiring group of individuals. I learned so much stuff.
Day 6 - Westman Islands tour. Wait in the wrong area for pickup and almost miss the bus. Make the bus (yay)! Take ferry ride to the Westman Islands. Marvel at what the earth can do.
- Learn: The largest elephant in Iceland is in the Westman Islands.
- Favorite: Listening to our boat tour guide play smooth jazz on a saxophone in an ocean cave…because what was that?
Day 7 - Shop. Head to the airport. Fly to London!
Iceland photo spam to come, I make no apologies.