I just got back from Iceland. I’ve been obsessed with Iceland for over 15 years now and have desperately wanted to visit, but I suppose I hadn’t had the same overlap of opportunity, means, time, etc until now.
One thing that I was not expecting: the food in Iceland is amazing. Absolutely amazing. Like, anywhere you go. It doesn’t matter if it is a fancy restaurant, a truck stop in the middle of nowhere, a tourist trap, a dive, etc. All food in Iceland is amazing. It is like all the cooks went, “Yea, I know I’m a cook in a truck stop in the middle of nowhere and people are going to have to stop here no matter what, but dangit I’m a cook so I’m going to do my darndest and cook the best I can!” Even the gas station hotdogs were pretty darn good. It is amazing! How can the food be so universally good? I wonder if it is because it is all so fresh and free of hormones and preservatives, or if everybody just really takes cooking seriously, or some combo. Either way I’m not complaining.
I also think that Iceland has the perfect weather. For me. I usually have a problem with feeling far too warm, and basically any time it gets over 75F I melt. Whenever I was outside, the temperature was perfect and I felt super comfortable. Now, I don’t like it miserably cold like way below freezing or anything. But it doesn’t really get miserably unbearably cold in Iceland. It doesn’t get as cold as New York or Minneapolis, for example, because it is warmed by the gulf stream. So I actually found the weather extremely pleasant. Especially after we’ve had what seem like endless heat waves in California >:(
I liked the wilderness explorations as well as hanging out in the city. We structured the trip such that the first half of the trip we would do wilderness stuff, and then the second half of the trip we would just wander around Reykjavík and look at the shops and bars, etc. There are several backpacking trips that I am really interested in, which would require going back in the summer.
Back in college, I actually started teaching myself to read and write Icelandic so I could read the sagas, but I only knew how to read and write it. I never learned to speak or hear it, and on this trip I have realized that the pronunciations are all completely different from how I had imagined they would be. There’s a lot for me to learn in order to speak it. So now I think my goal is to be able to learn enough of it to have very basic conversations by the time I go back again for my backpacking trips. I’ve already got most of the noun declension down from the reading/writing, so now it will be about ear training and pronunciations.