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Thursday, February 16, 2012

216

Ask Someone Who Recently Went to Iceland

Did you see any of the things that are in this beautiful video?

Not really! Because, as the internet presence Iceland Wants to Be Your Friend explains, "This is my North. It is different from my South," and I stayed only in Reykjavik, in the south. It's beautiful, though, isn't it?

What's the deal with dudes there? Are they... "friendly"? And/or are they all drunks?

They're very friendly and good-looking! Definitely not drunks. And there's a really charming and dry national sense of humor I wasn't expecting. But yeah, guys there are great. Women, too! I met a girl on Twitter who took me out on a Saturday night, because she was nice, and she and her friends were all awesome and beautiful. (Everyone speaks English and doesn't make you feel bad about it.) And I met an Icelandic rapper at an amazing Icleandic hip-hop bar/cafe who offered me a joint 10 minutes after meeting him (he's one of the guys in this video) (I declined, but he was also nice!), and I met a guy on the street at 2 a.m. (they party until 6 a.m. on Saturdays) with a toilet lid around his neck who turned out to not be very drunk at all, and was in fact incredibly nice and smart, and later took me on a platonic driving tour of the neighborhoods around Reykjavik, including a stop at their version of the White House, and we talked about hot yoga. A lot of them are blonde.

How many days do you have to stay before the winter darkness starts to seem normal?

It never quite felt normal, but I like darkness, and it added to Iceland's fairy-tale-ishness, if that makes sense. Standing in the window watching the sun "rise" as a gray glow behind the severe little homes and apartment buildings (I saw the actual sun only once in five days, but that was fine!) was kind of neat. But I guess like two days? I don't know. I liked that it was different.

Can you get a decent sandwich? Or is it all like puffin meat with extra mayo?

You can definitely get a decent sandwich — hot dogs are the thing to eat there. I hear. This is where I admit that I ate mostly nuts and skyr (Icelandic yogurt) while I was there. And salmon. And beer. But many things looked delicious, and all the people and guidebooks say they are.

DID YOU SEE THE VOLCANO EIJURKMSHEOOØVÄL???

I did not. :-/

Why is everyone going now? Is it really cheap or something? Are we exploiting the collapse of their economy?

Ah! You're probably thinking of the Team Iceland trip that Hairpin pals Lindsey Weber and Bex Schwartz also took recently, and which they took many wonderful photographs of, and I actually have no idea! That was pure coincidence, I think, but maybe it's something in the water or in the air or the lingering, bewitching smoke from EIJURKMSHEOOØVÄL, or the sideways magic of internet publicity campaigns. But everyone should go! It's kind of cheap, but not really! My hotel was really inexpensive, and excellent ($270 for four nights — very clean, very comfortable, very quiet, VERY centrally located: Luna), and the flight wasn't bad ($500ish), but once you're there, food/booze/travel/items are all about the same price as they are in, say, New York, sadly. But that's okay.

Does Bjork greet you at the airport and sing a song? Is it the poppier stuff or some of that weird shit she's been doing more recently?

Actually what happens is they open the airplane door, and each passenger jumps off onto the back of a little Icelandic horse that then rides in slow motion through a geothermal pool, with the mists all around, and elves scurrying into the shadows, and the horse leads you to a castle made of stone and moss, and that is your hotel! No, but there's a music-video channel called Nova there, if I recall correctly, and I just left it on in my room the whole time, and they played some really great stuff. They love Azealia Banks there, too!

What are Icelandic drinks like? What about Icelandic cigarettes?

Icelandic drinks are good. They drink a lot of beer, although not much wine. (But they have it, if you "need" it.) The best meal I had there was at Fish Market, and it really was unbelievably good (salmon etc.), but a glass of Barefoot Pinot Grigio (!) was like $14. WHAT! That was actually just a weird thing, I probably shouldn't even be mentioning it, because it's not indicative of too much else. But drinks are generally pretty expensive — roughly $5 to $8 for a beer. But you don't tip anywhere, so that's nice.

Also there's a national drink called Brennivín that I'd been prepped for — "sometimes called 'Black Death'" — but I didn't come across that. Or, I didn't until the last night, when I was at a bar listening to a blonde guitarist do acoustic Otis Redding covers, and a guy invited me to come sit with him and his friend, and I was like why not, and it turned out the first guy was the bar owner, and we chatted for a while, and I was like "do I have to try the Brennivín?" and he was like "no, but here," and he gave me a tiny shot of it, and it was actually pretty tasty. But then he was like, "although you should definitely try this," and he poured another tiny shot of this ... candy liqueur, I don't remember what it was, but it had a pink, sort of cartoony label. (Anyone?) It was the most disgusting thing I've consumed in recent memory.

And Icelandic cigarettes. If you go to Iceland and someone asks you to bring them home a pack of Icelandic cigarettes, and you go into a store to ask what kind of "local Icelandic cigarettes" they have, and the very sweet young man working in the store explains, without a glint of cruelty, that there are no local Icelandic cigarettes, only imported ones, because Iceland doesn't grow too tremendously much tobacco, it being Iceland and all, and you feel like an idiot, WELL let me spare you that experience, because that is what happens.

Wait, all you did was go to bars and talk to guys?

No! I also went to the Blue Lagoon, twice, and floated around for hours with fancy Icelandic mud on my face. The second time I went — en route to my flight home — the sun came out and shone through the mists, and the water is this pale, opaque blue, and it's slightly cooler than a hot tub, and it feels like you're at either the end or the beginning of the world, and ... I don't know, I think I'm just going to trail off like a wisp of steam. It was wonderful.

I missed out on pretty much everything else (didn't see the Northern Lights, didn't go to the geysers or waterfalls, missed the Golden Circle), but it was a working vacation and I messed that part of it up, a little. But that's why I have to go back.

Anyway, this airplane napkin kind of sums it all up.

Tags:

travel, iceland



216 Comments / Post A Comment

area@twitter

This was exactly the kind of thing I asked for in the thread earlier this week! HOORAY travelogues by awesome ladies. Thank you Edith!

I would like to just live in the Blue Lagoon. Can that be my office? Can you show up every day with a waterproofed iPad and conduct business in a chair made from rocks and take breaks to submerge yourself in the seawater? Because that sounds like heaven.

bangs
bangs

@area@twitter Me too! Iceland's pretty high up on my travel list.

miwome

@area@twitter Yes! This is great! More of this, forever!

I was already dying to go to Iceland and now it is EVEN WORSE.

area@twitter

@miwome Blue Lagoon Pinup! (Bring your own Icelandic pony.)

miwome

@area@twitter Are there Icelandic bronies, do you think?

area@twitter

@miwome We can only hope.

whateverlolawants

@miwome Oh god do I hope so.

punkahontas

FYI: My husband saw Bjork on Henry St. in Brooklyn Heights recently. She was wearing that crazy coat they made fun of on The Soup a few days earlier, and he said it was even weirder in person. OH, BJORK!

Ophelia

@punkahontas Aaaah! Bjork was on my street! I feel slightly cooler by association now.

liznieve

@punkahontas Ha, yeah, I have actually seen her in the TJ's on Atlantic, standing in (sorry, "on," weirdo east coasters) line, with a handbasket full of cookies. Yup.

Jon Custer

@liznieve ONLY NEW YORKERS SAY THAT. It's so stupid!

punkahontas

@Jon Custer Do you think people say it less now that ON LINE means a different thing?

I really want to see her! Maybe I should start wearing my glasses when I'm running errands. Though it does seem like she would sort of stand out in a crowd...

miwome

@Jon Custer Thank you, yes, just the New Yorkers! Up here in Boston we prefer prepositional clarity!

@punkahontas My dad's from NY and says "on line" and when I was a kid I allllways wondered about that, like, how do they know which you mean, you know? Then I discovered that once upon a time there was no internet and I became too busy thinking about computers that filled entire rooms.

slutberry

@punkahontas But with smartphones you can be on line while in line!

grumblegrumbledamnkidswiththeirsmartphones

Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood

Edith does everyone talk like a Sigur Rós song?

Edith Zimmerman

@Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood Yes.

Tuna Surprise

Iceland is for beginners. Next up, Faroe Islands. Summer 2012 - all are welcome.

http://www.faroeislands.com/

redonion

@Tuna Surprise Oh and now I am planning a theoretical trip to the Faroe Islands, taking a boat from Iceland.

miwome

@Tuna Surprise Sigh. My ex did original research on Faroese folktales and orthography. He's the only ex I ever miss even a little bit.

nyikint

Sounds great! I'm glad no one gave you the cold shoulder, if you catch my drift.

loopywombat

@nyikin I'm glad to hear that no one had an icy demeanor.

nyikint

@loopywombat Well, booze IS always the best way to break the ice.

frigwiggin

@nyikin Or to break the glass! (Okay, I admit I've just been waiting for a chance to link to that. I've been aware of Black Books for almost a week now and there's no going back.)

Saaoirse

@figwiggin Blaaaaaccckkkk Booooooooooks. I work in a bookshop in London, and it is so much like that, especially the bees.

nyikint

@figwiggin AAA that's so great - it's both ridiculous and amazing! Is it bad that I want to try it out now?

This adds to the wine consumption options (party planners, take note):
1) Wine lollipops!
3) Eyeballs.
3) Alcohol-soaked tampons
4) Food
5) Uh, drink it in a glass.

PS: That was a tenuous transition, figwigs!

frigwiggin

@nyikin That is what I do best on the internet, nyikies: change the subject.

Speaking of subjects, there is an alarming lack of grapefruit news out there on the internet, but at least there's this.

nyikint

@figwiggin Thanks for the link!

Speaking of sugar (and by extension, salt), I'd quite like to point to this video on brinicles.

frigwiggin

@nyikin Ooh, I saw that on Frozen Planet. Speaking of the ocean, a fire? At a Sea Parks?!

Liz McClendon@facebook

It IS the cheapest place (as far as I can tell) to fly to on that side of the ocean, which is why my boyfriend and I are hoping to go at some point! That and fairy-tale-ishness. He's learning Icelandic. Craziest. Sounding. Language. Ever.

Whitmans Sampler

But what did you wear??! I'm going in a few weeks and have no idea how to pack.

Edith Zimmerman

@Whitmans Sampler Lots of sweatshirts and jeans and boots. New York-wear? They dress up in nice clothes on the weekends, so bring something pretty, too. It's not very cold there, either. Like, sort of damp but pleasant. Constantly like 35 - 45 degrees?

Tuna Surprise

@Whitmans Sampler
I went last January and dressed like I do in NYC winter. Leather boots, knee length coat (puffy coat if you've got one), gloves, hat. The hat was important because some places were quite windy. Underneath the outerwear was sweaters/jeans/warm socks.

Whitmans Sampler

Thanks, doods! @Tuna Surprise, did you go outside of Reykjavik? I'm going up north and wonder if I have to buy one of those parkas that looks like a sleeping bag. Please say no.

Tuna Surprise

@Whitmans Sampler
Yes. I went out into the wilderness and was just fine (if you consider just fine spending $25 on a knit cap 'fine' because you forgot to bring a hat). I did layer up with a fleece underneath the coat.

Neve Garrett

I love this waaaay too much. The lagoon! The moss! The fairytale-ish-ness! I am definitely pretend-going very soon. Or -- maybe? -- really going.

iceberg

@Natalie Eve I am intrigued by the concept of pretend-going, please elaborate!

Neve Garrett

@iceberg @Edith Zimmerman I guess kindof like the way my booodseees are pretend-healthy, if that makes sense. It just makes me happy to go with it! But after I pretend-go to Iceland, I am actually absolutely going. Northern Lights, elves, fake-but-real sea monsters, here I come! Eeeedith! I can't wait.

Lisa Hanawalt@twitter

Wait wait why didn't you try the hot dogs?!

Edith Zimmerman

@Lisa Hanawalt@twitter I don't want to talk about it.

leastimportantperson

@Edith Zimmerman If it's because someone told you how hot dogs were made when you were way too young to process that information, I feel you :(

Lisa Hanawalt@twitter

@leastimportantperson Yes sure they're made with pigs' lips, but every bite is like a delicious meat kiss

area@twitter

@Lisa Hanawalt@twitter yeeeeeeeeeessss. Come to me, delicious animal tubes. In my kitchen all your sins are absolved.

frigwiggin

@Lisa Hanawalt@twitter I don't even like hot dogs (for reasons other than piglips, because the weird parts of the animal are always the most delicious), but I want to needlepoint-sampler this sentence, frame it, and put it in the kitchen.

Alexa Villaume@facebook

@Lisa Hanawalt@twitter The hot dogs were my favorite part about going to Iceland. Delicious in ways you couldn't imagine a hot dog to be delicious. They have two (yes, two) special "hot dog sauces".

Lisa Hanawalt@twitter

@Alexa Villaume@facebook TWO sauces? You're killing me!!

Lisa Hanawalt@twitter

@Alexa Villaume@facebook Now I'm just reading Wikipedia's list of "Hot Dog Variations." Because I'm a dog dressed up as a person.

Bittersweet

@Lisa Hanawalt@twitter: "Delicious meat kiss" sounds like a high-quality, vaguely surrealistic porno film.

Tragically Ludicrous

@Lisa Hanawalt@twitter Icelandic hot dogs are so good and kind of different and I wish I was eating one right now.

Alexa Villaume@facebook

@Lisa Hanawalt@twitter After reading that wikpedia entry I want to plan an around the world trip that's all about eating regional hot dogs

Tragically Ludicrous

@Alexa Villaume@facebook I had hot dogs in Copenhagen too at the insistence of my Danish friend and they were also good! Man, I want a hot dog.

Lisa Hanawalt@twitter

@Tragically Ludicrous I ate hot dogs at the beach in Argentina and they had potato chip crumbs on them! Let's all go on an international hot dog tour.

Tragically Ludicrous

@Lisa Hanawalt@twitter I have to admit, I kind of miss the Seattle hot dogs with the cream cheese? I JUST LOVE CREAM CHEESE SO MUCH. Man, not enough hot dogs in this country (the Netherlands).

Alexa Villaume@facebook

@Tragically Ludicrous I was in Seattle last winter and frequented the Japanese hot dog stand. Amazing! They sold just regular ol' hot dogs but with sushi-like things as toppings.

brakattack

I'm scared of adventure and spontaneity and things that fun, interesting people do, so the idea of traveling solo is incredibly intimidating to me. But Edith makes it sound so fun and easy! I want to do that! Is traveling alone the same as going to the movies on your own? Like, once you get over your fear of hanging out with yourself in a public setting and just do it, you realize it's the best thing ever?

phlox

@brakattack It is totally not a big thing! Except you have to pay for the hotel room by yourself, which bumps up the price somewhat, but you are free to do exactly what you want with no regard for what anyone else wants to do. There was a lot of discussion of this in another post about travel - maybe that one where old people said young people should travel.

bangs
bangs

@brakattack It's not bad at all. Sometimes you meet the most awesome, random people, and sometimes you just hang out by yourself, which can also be nice.

I also recently did the "organized tour" thing for a logistically difficult vacation (hiking in Patagonia) and that can be the way to go too.

bitzyboozer

@brakattack So. Sometimes I fantasize about taking solo vacations and how awesome it could be, BUT I have this thing where I am a big introvert and I'm not sure if it would be a great therapeutic experience that would get me out of my comfort zone or if I would just feel awkward and miserable the whole time. Any fellow introverts have experience with this and want to weigh in?

Edith Zimmerman

@bitzyboozer Yes yes! We ran a feature on this a few weeks ago! How the Internet Changed Solo Travel!

bitzyboozer

@Edith Zimmerman This is very helpful! Don't know how I missed it, thank you.

amuselouche

Edith. You did not address the most important question: DID YOU GO TO THE PENIS MUSEUM?

amuselouche

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icelandic_Phallological_Museum

area@twitter

@amuselouche @Edith Zimmerman Next trip, right? NEXT TRIP.

iceberg

"platonic driving tour" <3<3<3

also I would like to go via shaggy little pony to the elf-castle-hotel, please.

dinos

Did the terrible liquor taste like salty menthol liquorice? It was probably Opal.

Lucienne

@dinos Is it weird that I would probably like this? My Viking ancestry is showing!

Kirsten Hey@facebook

"Their version of the White House"? You do know Iceland has arguably the world's oldest parliamentary democracy? The White House is the version, not the original.

Edith Zimmerman

@Kirsten Hey@facebook Ah, shoot. Yes.

atipofthehat

@Kirsten Hey@facebook

Yes!

And, at the Althing in the early days of Iceland, a person who had been wronged would seek allies, then ask the assembly to hear the case. And if, after days of intricate legalistic argument on both sides, this plaintiff lost, out would come the axe and the head of the party in the wrong would go rolling away.

Zachary Little

Totally re-conceptualizing my vacation now (changing it from "doing nothing and going nowhere" to "DEFINITELY GOING TO ICELAND YES")

Clarence Rosario

Is the skyr different there? Because I just cannot get behind it here, and I'm one of those jerks who likes the whole Greek yogurt thing.

Edith Zimmerman

@Clarence Rosario I haven't actually had it here yet! But I hear it doesn't compare. (Although to be completely honest it just tasted like delicious Greek yogurt to me.)

Stella@twitter

@Clarence Rosario

Siggi tastes like death. After I came back from Iceland I made a grueling cross-city trip to find it, and regretted every second of it.

I miss the real Icelandic Skyr so much. Omg - pear flavoured Skyr. I miss you, pear.

dinoterror

@Clarence Rosario OMG PEAR SKYR. I went there and ate like two tubs a day. So. Fucking Good. And I'm right there with you: Siggi's is a false Skyr prophet that leaves a gritty taste in your mouth.

meetapossum

Everything I know about Iceland I learned from that Michael Lewis article in Vanity Fair. But I imagine they're not still blowing up cars in the middle of the night?

feartie

@meetapossum Is that the one that argued that Icelandic people were mostly idiotic fishermen? I didn't think that was very good. Pretty uh...xenophobic, I guess? Maybe there's a better word for it.

meetapossum

@feartie Yeah, there was definitely some questionable statements in it, but I still thought it was a pretty thorough explanation of the banking crisis there.

Carrie Hill Wilner

@meetapossum no, no, they were really smart fishermen! They were just idiotic BANKERS.

whateverlolawants

@meetapossum Ooooh! A few years ago, an Icelandic man told me about those cars blowing up. I'd forgotten all about it.

BoozinSusan

WELL, I just spent the last five minutes listening to Icelandic rap per the YouTube link to the joint guy's music video, so I'd venture to say my day is complete. Edith, you're inspiring Iceland-focused-wanderlust all over the place! Am so going.

OhMyGoshYouGuys

Just asked my best pal if she wants to go to Iceland when she's done with her master's program. Iceland 2013!

Hayley Rose Maurer@facebook

Iceland is the perfect place for a honeymoon. My husband and I rented a car and drove all along the southern coast. We saw geysers and glaciers and volcanoes and black sand beaches. We also spent 3 days and Reykjavik and ended up scoring some tickets to Bjork at their new concert hall (which is a must see. so beautiful). The people were so nice and smart. Also, an answer to why so many people are going now probably has something to do with their big push on tourism in the last few years. Since their economy collapsed, they have been putting a lot of money towards increasing tourism to Iceland. There are tons of travels agencies just for Iceland that have great deals and are incredibly accommodating. Everyone should go to Iceland, it really is such a unique experience.

pizza

Perfect timing! I leave for Iceland tomorrow.

martini

@pizza Yes! Iceland is the best. You will have so much fun! Are you doing any driving around?

pizza

@martini Right now I don't plan to (I live in NYC so driving isn't really a thing I think about), but who knows!

whizz_dumb

You don't tip people there? That would feel wrong for a while.

iceberg

@whizz_dumb It feels annoying TO tip if you come from somewhere where it isn't common, too! Like, I was just used to people getting paid to do their jobs and not needing extra. However: people angling for a tip usually give better service than people who know they're getting paid anyway, in my experience.

whizz_dumb

@iceberg Just when you think you're a unique individual another thing reminds us how we're conditioned by our societies. Well you can't train me like some sort of domesticated pet, because I'm wild maaan. #OccupyYourself

Megasus

@iceberg Not in mine, but my main experience with this was Japan, where you're expected to provide good service anyway.

iceberg

@whizz_dumb #OccupyYourself made me snort-giggle at my desk. Not pretty!

miwome

@whizz_dumb http://manarchistryangosling.tumblr.com/

bitzyboozer

@whizz_dumb This is the case pretty much throughout Europe (and it varies, but in many other places too) and I still feel like a jerk every time I just leave the change from my bill. I try to tell myself that it's the norm here and I'm really just throwing my much-needed money away, but it's so ingrained that it still makes me feel like a bad person.

whizz_dumb

@bitzyboozer I haven't been able to travel much, to my chagrin. Do fellow workers over there get offended if you try to tip them? "What, you think I want a handout from you??? Do I look like a beggar? Psh, stupid American."

Jon Custer

I had a stopover in Iceland once, and I went through customs to go smoke. Outside was pretty, but kinda bleak. Then again, this was the airport.

Also, I think my friend might have dated that Icelandic rapper briefly. Small world!

charizard

Welp, I think this has just singlehandedly determined where I'm going on vacation this summer. Watch for a check in the mail from the Icelandic tourist bureau or something.

datalass

Does the landscape look as much like a George Ault painting as it does in the video?

Daisy Razor

"all you did was go to bars and talk to guys?"

All of my favorite vacations match that exact description.

tortietabbie

But did you ride an Icelandic pony? DID YOU RIDE A PONY?

tortietabbie

@tortietabbie True story: I am desperate to do one of those riding holidays in Iceland where you ride a little pony all over glaciers and shit, but I am too fat. Not shaming myself, just the truth. But, damn, I love those little ponies.

Edith Zimmerman

@tortietabbie No. But I am allergic to horses. But, your avatar. YOUR AVATAR!!

tortietabbie

@Edith Zimmerman Oh noooo! Saddest face ever! :(((

amateur hour

@tortietabbie :( I hate it when my weight gets in the way of shit I want to do. Like, hang gliding. I really want to go but I need to lose some weight to get under the maximum weight requirement. I want to be able to do whatever I want! Anyway, I think you should make that icelandic pony trip happen!

miwome

@tortietabbie OMG it's FAT PONY! I LOVE FAT PONY! He eats all the flowers, huzzah.

Nutmeg

Iceland REALLY wants me to visit it, as far as I can tell from all the ads on the T. I don't drink but I do smoke a lot of cigarettes so as far as I can tell I would be able to successfully blend in with Europeans.

Megasus

OMG I WANT TO GO NOW!
But the most important question you left out is: Did you see any Wildings/Jon Snow/White Walkers?
(j/k I think filming already wrapped there.

redheaded&crazy

@Megan Patterson@facebook Jon Snow is married to the watch anyway! A loss for all womanity.

although he did break that vow for a red head .... I see an opportunity here!

Megasus

@redheadedandcrazy Well that and the threat of breaking his cover. AND PEER PRESSURE.

redheaded&crazy

@Megan Patterson@facebook this is okay with me because I am The Best at PEER PRESSURING!

MrsLlama

ICELAND IS AMAZING.

I went on a girls' trip with my bestie a couple of years ago and it was all blue-lagooning, pony-trekking, glacier-driving, skyr-eating, crazy-partying, midnight-sun-WEIRDNESS. It was/is amazing. We met so many awesome dudes and went to crazy dance parties.

I am dying to return.

AND on the way there we were like "oh I wonder if we'll meet Bjork, har har" and then on our plane ride back...WAS BJORK. In coach. Wearing a white caftan and silver running shoes.

laurel

@MrsLlama Pretty blond Icelandic PONY TREKKING! (and all the other things too.)

Nora Chance

My husband and I got married in Reykjavik in 2002. It was one of the few European countries that didn't have a residency requirement for marriage. I don't know if that's still true. Anyway, we went to City Hall and this nice public official lady did the ceremony. In Icelandic. Not two hours later, some extremely ill timed fellow slipped me his phone number in the Reykjavik Library. Too late, sir. TOO LATE!

Lisa Ring

WAS THE PINK STUFF QREAM?! I hope it was Qream.

Edith Zimmerman

@Lisa Ring If an Icelandic bartender had told me I had to try this special drink he keeps for special occasions, and he pulled out a bottle of Qream ... I don't know. Lisa, I sincerely don't know what I would have done.

laurel

Is the heat in the hotels geothermal? Can you tell in any way that a heat source is geothermal from inside a building? Is there like a little volcano on the thermostat?

Edith Zimmerman

@laurel One thing that was gross is that all the showers smelled like sulfur. But I think most hot water is geothermally heated? I think? There was a little button on the shower that sort of mystified me, and there were settings like "36, 38" that I didn't really understand. Least helpful answer ever.

laurel

@Edith Zimmerman Not unhelpful! Interesting! 37C is 98.6F so maybe those numbers were a target for microadjusting your shower to body temp?

teaandcakeordeath

*Needing* wine is a real thing. I'm even doing it now. Ta-da!

thatsrealbutter

Did you go to a Bonus at all? My favorite souvenir was the hot pink shopping bag with the yellow pig with a black eye I got from Bonus. Someday when I'm rich I'm going to have one of those wooden boxes filled with Icelandic mud and a giant metal spoon that they have beside the pool at the Blue Lagoon.

Edith Zimmerman

@thatsrealbutter YES I DID! I went a bunch, actually, and just wandered around the aisles. It was great. The produce sections are all just giant walk-in freezers/coolers, which seems so brilliant.

thatsrealbutter

@Edith Zimmerman Grocery shopping in foreign countries is really the best. It makes me envious of things like food in tubes! Why don't we have food in tubes?

I Want To Go To There

I am planning on stopping through Iceland for a few days once I am done studying in Moscow... EDITH YOU JUST MADE ME SO EXCITED

Steph

Blue Lagoon twice?!?! You luck Edith you.

I went to Iceland 3 or so years ago and it's still one of my favorite trips ever! My friend and I rented a car and drove around the Ring Road (the biggest and umm, only highway in Iceland). It was in June so the sun never set the entire week we were there. So freaking beautiful.

Any One Ninja Plot

Yay! I am going there this summer and I was all nervous about it (first vacation by myself and first time in another country, period) but this all makes me so much less nervous!

nik
nik

I'm going there next month, on a solitary working vacation, just like Edith! I haven't been this excited about a trip in a while (and I'm always ridiculously excited about trips.) SLOW MOTION HORSIES WHOOOO

dddddiane

candy/cartoon label liquor = OPAL. most disgusting thing ever.

iceland has treated me well. i even had emergency surgery there, once. and their english is very good, but to a point - when quizzing me about all my various organs and their respective state of health prior to surgery, the icelandic doctor asked, in all seriousness, if i had any recent problems with my "vah-gee-neh?"

AMS
AMS

yes please, more of these interviews with people who have been to interesting places, thank you.

ArgosMama

I have only ever stopped in Iceland on my way to the Netherlands, but the thing I remember most about stopping there is if you arrive as the sun is rising it looks like the plane is landing on the moon. It is so beautiful looking. Also big props to Icelandic air who seem to be the most friendly inexpensive way to get anywhere in Europe.

reykjaviking

I'm an American ex-pat living in Iceland. IcelandExpress stopped flying to the US, but Delta will be flying seasonally from June-September. Last year, Delta offered round trip tickets from JFK for around $500-600. WOW Air and Easy Jet will be flying to and from Europe, beginning this summer, which will hopefully create some price competition with IcelandAir, which can be prohibitively expensive.

It is so worth the trip to come here, but I'd really recommend, if it's in your budget, to rent a car for at least a day or so and just drive, north or south. The southern route along the Ring Road is breathtaking, where you can see black beaches, glaciers, waterfalls, and will even pass Eyjafjallajökull. Kex hostel recently opened in the downtown Reykjavík area, which has kind of a Brooklyn vibe to it, and reasonable rates (for Iceland).

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@reykjaviking F'real, EasyJet? I live in the Netherlands, and that would be awesome. I want to go back to Iceland so bad.

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@reykjaviking So Kex Hostel is cool? I'm really hoping that it is.

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LOVED ICELAND ZOMG.

Was there in December, can't wait to go back. I *loved* the short daytime hours, because most of those hours, the light is GORGEOUS, plus it means you can sleep in and still be in Thingvillir to see the dawn.

trappedinabay

When I was in Iceland, I met Jónsi Birgisson! He was just hanging out on the street, talking to some dude. I waited for him to finish his conversation for, like, EVER - standing around, looking in the same shop window, trying to act nonchalant. When he was done I pounced and got his autograph in my copy of Lonely Planet Iceland - except that weirdo just signed "Sigur Ros" with a funny little flourish, not his actual name. But whatever! Iceland is awesome.

gfrancie

I think ever since IcelandAir began servicing Seattle, and doing a lot of advertising, it has become the new fun place to visit. We ended up on their airline one Christmas when there was a snowstorm in England (where we were going) and our BA flight was canceled and IcelandAir was one of a few airlines that could make it to England. (they had flights that arrived when it was daylight & Heathrow was operating at the time) We were in awe of how good they were that we decided that when we were flying to Europe in the Spring that we would stop in Iceland for a bit. The midnight sun was bewildering but interesting. (though difficult on our kids) I want to return again.
There is this really cool yarn/knitting shop there where women around Iceland are able to sell/market all their handknitted goods. So you know you are getting a really good product, it supports the economy/cottage industries and they also sell some really lovely yarn.

The hot dogs weren't bad either.

trappedinabay

@gfrancie - I went to that shop too! Came away with a lovely set of bowls made out of very thin, dehydrated slices of dyed beets.

brista128

Kayak said one roundtrip ticket with be $7000!! I guess I will have to postpone my trip to see this building -- http://www.flickr.com/photos/38048552@N02/6757224095/in/pool-1612756@N25/

trappedinabay

@brista128 - Whoa! When were you trying to go? My tickets were definitely not that expensive.

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