Reykjavik and the Golden Circle
I remember being furious as I sat on the bus from Kevflavík airport to Reykjavik, Iceland. The barren, rocky landscape was a stark contrast to the lush beauty of Kent, where Steve and I had just spent a week.
Steve had been to Iceland before and he’d extolled the virtues of this small island nation. And while the view from the plane had been promising …
… on the ground, the landscape had seemed drab. I couldn’t believe that I’d voluntarily left Britain for this gray place.
I would later learn that Iceland is a beautiful country, full of wonderful and unexpected contradictions. But first, some handy traveler’s facts:
1. Don’t bother trying to learn Icelandic. It’s an impenetrable language (waaaay more troublesome than German). Plus, most Icelanders speak impeccable English. A few pleasantries will do.
3. Bring your cash. Although Iceland’s economy has been struggling, food and lodging are still comparatively expensive. (Your best food bet: Fill up at the hotel’s breakfast buffet and then try to hold out until dinner.)
4. Bring your charm. Next to the Swedes, Icelanders may be among the most attractive people on the planet.
5. Bring your camera. Reykjavik is a beautiful city. Better to show than tell on this last point:
But—maybe not surprisingly—the countryside is even more lovely. Steve and I spent a king’s ransom on the Golden Circle Tour, with no regrets.
Our day started with a horseback stroll through the mountains. (More to come on the Icelandic ponies; they more than merit their own post.)
Then we visited a breathtaking waterfall …
… a super-punctual geyser ….
… a sulphurous river …
… a volcanic crevasse …
… the coastline …
… a receding glacier …
… and a dormant crater.
And along the way, we also managed to hike to the top of The Pearl…
… and watch the daily flights come in from the mainland.
But of all the things we saw and experienced, Steve is still waxing poetic over the Blue Lagoon. (Who knew that a geothermal power plant could be so relaxing?)
As for me, I’m still waxing poetic over the changing of Iceland’s seasons. The frost on the leaves reminded me of my home in Minnesota …
… and the vast, open spaces reminded me of my childhood in Peru.
Maybe the saying is true that you can’t go home again. But, as foreign as Iceland may have seemed at first, it came pretty close to capturing all of the homes I’ve ever known.
I hope to go back soon.
This post is dedicated to my friends dancingbeastie and knotrune. Thanks for being such faithful readers—and for encouraging me to keep writing!
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