Iceland (Days 1 – 5)
Sorry, for the random, immense, post with most likely many typos. There has been a lack of internet at our hosts house, so I am able to upload it when I can. Pictures will be uploaded as soon as possible.
Okay, so there has been a lack of blog posts in the last month and a half. I have moved out of Florida and moved back into New Jersey. Today, my friend, Jason, and I will be leaving on a four-month sojourn throughout Europe starting with Iceland.
There are many thoughts going on through my head. It is probably most easily described as nervousness and excitement. Of course, I am still packing. There are definitely a couple of rules to packing for a long trip.
1) Cardio – Endurance
2) Have everything you want to bring in a big, organized pile before you pack it into your backpack.
3) Remove half of whatever you organized
5) Talk to your travel partner and find out what they are bringing
6) Just don’t forget your passport and credit cards
7) Last but not least, keep stirring the sauce
Day 1 (8/1/2010):
Day 1 consisted of getting to Jay’s house, getting dropped off at the airport, getting on the plane, and getting to Iceland at 5AM the next day.
My only comment, I saw Jay’s ridiculously huge backpack. I think he may have missed rule number 3.
Day 2 (8/2/2010):
We got to Iceland at 5AM. We realized that something was wrong when everyone was wearing long sleeve and pants, while we were wearing short sleeves and shorts. We got to the customs and the first thing Jay was asked by the officer was, ‘Welcome to the beach.’ We got outside and realized how chilly Iceland was.
When we reached downtown Reykjavik, everything was quiet and dead. We found out later that it was a national holiday and all the Icelandic went away on vacation. We were fortunate enough to stay with a couchsurfer named Kris, near downtown Reykjavik. He gave us hakarl, the fermented shark. It had a very sour taste, but was not as bad as I thought it was. He also made a great Icelandic dinner that is like a mashed potato with onions and some sort of fish.
Kris took us to the public hot pots (tubs) at Laugardalslaug. The tubs consisted of 5 or 6 different temperature tubs very similar to the Japanese onsens.
After a very refreshing dip in a couple of different tubs, we headed to get Icelandic subs at Nonnabiti. I got the pan-fried lamb sub that included fried onions, lettuce, tomatoes, red stuff, and their special sauce. It was the perfect meal after the hot pots. The sun did not go down until 12 AM that day.
Day 3 (8/3/2010):
Kris’ roommate Bjork was kind enough to take us around and see Iceland. She took us to her old house where there were beautiful waterfalls, the freshest air, and the incredible scenery. Both Jay and I drank from the creek.
We were also given the opportunity to check out the Perlan (the Pearl) and an artificial geyser near it. The Pearl itself had a rotating restaurant, which we did not eat at but had a very beautiful 360 degree of beautiful Reykjavik and its surroundings.
Jay and I were dropped off at a colossal church with a statue of Lief Ericson. It was a very colossal church with a huge organ within it.
Kris took us to get Icelandic hot dogs at Baejarins Beztu where Bill Clinton and Seinfeld also had one. They added fried onions and a couple of sauces. In all, it was a good hot dog.
We mistakenly walked into the Prime Minister’s house and were questioned by the security guard. The PM was in the house and the guard was not very happy with us. We were asked to leave immediately.
Kris, Bjork, Jay and I went to see Inception at an Icelandic movie theatre. The strangest thing that occurred was that there was intermission in the middle of the movie. Yes, you read it, mid-movie, it stopped; the people went out and had cigarettes, went to the bathroom or bought more snacks.
What a day.
Day 4 (8/4/2010):
After careful (semi-reckless) planning, we figured out couple of things to do in the next three days.
Today, after eating Skyr, which is the Icelandic version of the Greek yogurt, we bought our tickets to the Blue Lagoon. A 40-minute ride from Reykjavik, the ride itself was beautiful with an amazing view of the Icelandic landscape.
Before even going into the lagoon we stopped by for a lunch buffet. The lunch buffet included pickled herring and salmon, smoked lamb, minke whale, and other strange items. Needless to say, it was one of our splurge meals, but it was most definitely one of the strangest things I have ever had.
The water at the Blue Lagoon has a milky white look to it. They also provide a white silica gel that you can put on your face, which is supposed to be good for your body. After spending 3 hours there, vegging out in the water, we headed back to Reykjavik.
Of course, we ended the day by going to the sub place.
Day 5 (8/5/2010):
After waking up at 6AM, we headed back to the BSI bus terminal to take our first daytrip outside of Reykjavik. Our first stop was Pingvellir, where many of Iceland’s historical events occurred.
From there we headed to Geysir, which is the original spouting hot water, and all other geysers in the world are named after. After climbing up a beautiful area, we had a great overview of the landscape including the geyser.
Our last stop was Gullfoss, which is one of the best waterfalls within Iceland’s many waterfalls. It was a spectacular and overwhelming view.