Stillness. Complete stillness save for the hissing of steam somewhere off in the distance. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a place this devoid of sound. A few months ago my girlfriend and I decided to plan a trip to her native country so I could meet her family and see all the places she’s adventured. Consequently, we landed in Iceland for a few weeks before heading to Denmark to visit even more family and childhood haunts. As many of you know, I spent several years growing up in Alaska and Iceland reminds me of the Last Frontier in more ways than one. It has a lot of wide open wilderness. There are more animals than people. The weather is cool and inviting. The feeling of isolation is quite surreal.
Iceland is unique for more reasons than its difficult language and steam vents. My favorite part was the fact that every town had a pool. And each pool was geothermally heated so it didn’t matter whether it was raining or chilly or whether the sun was out, the water was always comfortable. However, each pool was different in regards to size and how many slides it had which made us “need” to try as many as possible. We even got to swim in Iceland’s oldest pool, a basin of water walled in by concrete on three sides with the rocky mountain completing the fourth.
Everything is quite expensive compared to prices in the United States, which I’m used to. Most things cost about four times as much. After a recent financial crash, Iceland’s money has grown stronger and with the current boom in tourism, the country is doing quite well monetarily!
Crime rates are surprisingly nonexistent. Young children can always be seen riding bikes down the sidewalk or chatting in groups on the local playgrounds unsupervised. It reminded me of what a typical neighborhood in the mid-1900s would have looked like in the U.S.
Although the only way for you to truly experience what it’s like to be in Iceland is to actually visit the country itself, I’m linking my two Facebook albums on here so you can see my pictures of our trip.
As a bonus, I’m also going to link a video I put together of a 15 mile hike across the Eyjafjallajökull volcano which disrupted all of Europe’s air travel for a couple weeks. You can watch that trip here: https://youtu.be/g8qMRyEBnQ4