I’ve been in Iceland for a couple of days now, and all I can say is WOW! It’s everything I expected and then some.
I’ve been quite busy with work so while I’ve toured Reykjavik and the surrounding areas, I hope to start doing bigger excursions tomorrow. In the meantime I figured I’d share my initial thoughts based on my first couple of days:
1. I can’t stop smiling…
There are some places you always dream of going, and for me Iceland has been at the top of that list for a very long time. I had the biggest grin on my face when I walked through the arrivals hall, and it hasn’t worn off yet (well, at least as long as I’m outside my hotel room). It’s just perfect, from the weather to the landscape. Wow, wow, wow…
2. Iceland is f$%*@#^ gorgeous!
From before I even landed, my eyes have been glued to the countryside. I’m not exaggerating when I say it feels like a different planet to me.
I went to the Blue Lagoon yesterday, and while it’s touristy and way overpriced, it was one of the coolest thing I’ve ever witnessed (with one major caveat, which I’ll write about below).
The Blue Lagoon is closer to the airport than Reykjavik, and the drive was stunning. I went to the Blue Lagoon in the evening, and as we drove back I witnessed the sunset from the bus. Usually sunsets make me think about life and/or sad, but in this case I just smiled nonstop at the beauty.
3. Iceland is f$%*@#^ expensive!
I’m not sure whether Iceland is more gorgeous or expensive. It’s a close race for sure.
The below broccoli dish yesterday cost me over $50USD.
I’m pretty sure I’ve spent about $100 on cappuccinos since I got here, and I really haven’t had that many…
Iceland makes Zurich look cheap by comparison, in my opinion.
4. The locals seem removed
I’ve only been here a couple of days so don’t want to judge a country’s people, though this post is about sharing my initial impressions. But let me contrast it to Portugal, where I just came from. I didn’t really have any expectations as to the friendliness of the locals, though found them to be extremely friendly, almost suspiciously so. It really caught me off guard.
Maybe it’s just that the locals in Portugal exceeded my expectations so much, but by comparison I haven’t really felt like the locals in Iceland have been friendly or especially “warm” (I mean, they do live in Iceland, after all). 😉
On one hand I’d probably be miffed as well if my country was totally overrun by tourists the part of the year where it’s actually pleasant out, but at the same time that’s also how a lot of locals make a living, so…
I’ll see if it gets better, though so far I’m certainly not feeling like I’m going to be invited to anyone’s house for dinner on this trip.
5. I don’t do well with public nudity/locker rooms
I admit it. I’m a total American when it comes to this. I went to the Blue Lagoon yesterday, and I spent about half an hour hyperventilating between “witnessing” the locker room and actually changing.
I’m a bit of a prude and a total germaphobe. I can usually handle a locker room. But a locker room with literally over a hundred people in it is more than I can handle. There was just a lot going on, and none of it pleasant, so…
As far as my germaphobia goes, stupidly I didn’t bring flip flops — I figured I could rent them, since you can rent swimming trunks, bathrobes, etc. And that turned out to be one of my biggest challenges of the day.
The floor of the locker room is flooded with water, and there are urinals, and I don’t know how good peoples’ aim is, and…
Let’s just say I feel like I overcame a fear by the time I left….
Iceland bottom line
Love, love, love it so far, and can’t wait to see more!