Reykjavik

You know when you get frustrated and/or too excited for intelligible typing and you end up just letting your fingers run amok across the whole keyboard? No? It’s like this:  dungznerhjbzkdjnd. Or this: fjárfestingarfyrirtæki. WAIT JUST KIDDING THAT’S A REAL ICELANDIC WORD. Here, I Googled it for you. Lazy.

This illustrates my point that most Icelandic words look like the baby got ahold of the iPad. Make sure you get all the babygoo out of the charging port–I hear it voids the warranty.

I digress. Upon our arrival in Iceland, well after 10pm, Land of the Midnight Sun came immediately to mind as it was broad daylight outside. There awaited about an hour long taxi ride to our hotel, and I was thrilled to watch the ocean go by. I have never seen anything like the landscape of Iceland. It is in our nature as humans to draw connections between things in search for a sense of familiarity and comfort…next time you try something new, pay attention to that part of you that says, “Oh, this reminds me of _______!”  To my delight, I struggled to find any accurate comparisons–I thought  of the texture of the moon, with the knobby clumps of moss you’d find by a mountain stream, dotted with tall fluffs of that purple stuff 90’s troll hair is made out of, all situated around big pools of glasslike water reflecting the gray sky. I kind of expected a troll to come lumbering across the field, munching on a boulder. And then there were the cairns, but not the cutesy ones you make on top of Camelback mountain to hashtag on Instagram. These were otherworldly.

The snow caked mountains in the distance had no peaks, just sharp angles rising to (seemingly) flat plateaus. I assume this has something to do with the comparatively recent tectonic and volcanic activity on the island, but you can google that one yourself if you feel like nerding out on geology. To my left was a rocky black beach meeting the sea from which I prayed a Narwahl would breech. I kept a close eye out for that legendary tusk, but no luck. As we neared the city and the badlands started to even out, I thought this strange new world was normalizing…until the most vivid rainbow I have ever seen appeared out of nowhere. We could actually see where it met the ground (Spoiler: the pot o’ gold thing is myth.) My big grin made the cab driver laugh, and he proceed to tell us in extremely broken English (and nerve wracking hand gestures) about…something. We think it was a story about a woman who was a singer in Iceland, and maybe she played a guitar, and then he just kept saying “bye-bye”. Cool story, bro.

Eventually, the most expensive cab ride of my life came to and end, and exiting the cab we were greeted by our own breath clearly visible in the evening air. I had a sudden yearning for the North Face jacket hanging in my closet in Phoenix, but the following days turned out to be sunny and quite warm–perfect for walking through the city and seeing some of these little treasures:

 

All in all, Iceland is worth the fjárfestingarfyrirtæki.