It’s the second Friday since we arrived home from Iceland, and Emma, Maguiña, and I are eating dinner together. We also did this last Saturday, but with the addition of Emma’s boyfriend, Julius. Anyways, we’re sitting there eating, and I get hit with a question from Emma asking when I’m going to write a blog post about Iceland. I cringe a bit because of how corny the situation is, but then Maguiña echoes her question too. In fact this is the second time I’ve gotten this request from Maguiña. So here’s to you two cheeseballs, dying to read my mind about (part of) what I thought about Iceland. Even though you already know what I think 🙂
One of the things we said we’d do, per Maguiña’s request, was watch The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, as Maguiña said it takes place in Iceland. We started watching it tonight after dinner, and then some bit in the movie said Greenland rather than Iceland.
That is an accurate reflection of our time in Reykjavik.
It started with us not reading the fine print of our budget airline tickets and them asking us to pay a hefty tax for an extra carry on bag for being “too big”. Then we missed our stop where we were supposed to get off to find our Air B&B. We ended up waiting at some random bus stop in a blizzard, freezing to death with huge backpacks and a small pink suitcase. And after crossing the Icelandic tundra in the dark evening of 6pm by foot, we eventually made it to our accommodation with all of our fingers and toes intact. The following afternoon we tried to get to the Blue Lagoon spa via public transport, just to be dropped off in a residential neighborhood, thanks to Google Maps. Emma asked a man leaving his apartment if the Blue Lagoon was close by, and he looked at us confused and replied “There’s a pool not far from here”. The list goes on with our “stupid mistakes”, one being us getting into the back of a car of three Irish guys promising to take us to see the Northern Lights that night. Luckily we weren’t murdered and our bodies chopped to pieces left to freeze in the middle of God knows where, but that’s a story for another time. Lesson of the evening kids: stranger danger is real. But as you are reading this post right now, you already know that it has a happy ending. Clearly we are not dead, and nothing majorly traumatic occurred. Catastrophe avoided.
Traveling always comes with literal and figurative bumps in the road, but never had I come into contact with as many as with this trip. Sometimes it felt like we spent half of our time being lost, waiting, or in a bus going to a far away land. But it was worth every second of it. This was my first time traveling with more than one friend, and we had a fantastic time trolling around trying not to slip and die, plenty of laughs, sarcastic comments, singing, and heated discussions to really get a more dynamic picture of who we are in relation to each other.
If you were to briefly describe us together, it’s probably fairly comical. Emma is the charming one, Maguiña is the silently intense watchdog, and I’m the neurotic over prepared mom. We all spend a few days together stranded on a winter island for no particular reason with no personal space looking like two marshmallows and an oompa-loompa, in a cozy cabin belonging to an Icelandic woman and her mother. But hey, it’s all gravy, baby.
Iceland itself also kind of mirrors our mishaps. Not saying that Iceland is a mistake of a country, but rather its just incredibly bizarre, in the coolest of ways. As a geothermic sustainable gold mine (also very expensive), the Land of Fire & Ice has been appropriately nicknamed. And the history and language are just as strange, as Icelandic could be considered a form of Old Norwegian, mixed with Danish and other Celtic languages. Additionally, Icelandic lacks a range of dialects, as its history of people constantly moving around the island has made it difficult to create regional distinctions. They have interesting delicacies, as dried fish is a common snack, and we found a recipe for cooked puffin. How could you eat a puffin! (Says the hypocrite who eats every other animal) However, our main goal of seeing the Northern Lights never happened…so I guess it just means we’ll have to go again soon sometime!