We made it to the land of ice! I landed in Reykjavik this morning at 6:30am (2:30am NJ time) and found myself in a country that is easily the most unique place I’ve ever seen. We boarded a bus from the airport and drove about 30 minutes into downtown Reykjavik where we are staying this week. We got to our hostel just long enough to drop our bags off and then we were out the door to a cafe across the street for breakfast and a welcome meeting. Breakfast was a yogurt type thing similar to Greek yogurt and toast with cheese and jam! (This might satisfy some curiosity about the food here because I was certainly clueless about what is eaten in Iceland before I arrived). At our meeting we went through our itinerary for the week and it is safe to say we are in for some serious adventures, it’s going to be a great time. Reykjavik is a really cute city with lots of colorful buildings and cobblestone streets but the real kicker to this place is everywhere you turn and look out at the horizon you can see mountains covered in white snow in the distance. When we drove over this morning, the clouds were so low and full it was a gorgeous view to just see untouched land and mountains with low gray clouds sitting right on them. I also really love that we are close to the coast because the contrast of the mountains and the ocean is stunning.
Anyways, after we left the cafe we walked down the street to the Icelandic Parliament building and went on a tour. It was really funny that we could just walk into a high importance government building with zero security and go in and out of all of the rooms where Icelandic government officials meet regularly. (Although I did get kicked out of a room where I was looking around and shouldn’t have been OOPS). But basically I learned that these people do it right when it comes to color schemes: every room in the parliament building was painted either a deep red and gold or various shades of blue and green complements. It was SO pretty and had a fantastic architecture structure all around. I also got to see the youngest member of Parliament to ever walk this frozen ground, some 20 year old chick who walked into the building all official and what not, she was super cute and it was really weird to think that a girl my age is doing a job like that. After our tour we went outside and met with a lady who was leading us on a 2 hour walking tour around the city. This was really cool to see the most prized places in Reykjavik and also gave me a better sense of direction around the city (although Julie and I have gotten lost several times since lol). It’s really not that big and I’m wondering where all the people are because its pretty quiet too but how many people actually live in Iceland right? After our tour we had some free time for about 4 hours. Pretty much all of our group decided to go back and take naps but Julie and I wanted to keep exploring so we walked over all of creation to find the bank and then I spent another 15 minutes figuring out how much Krona equaled a certain amount of dollars because basically 1 US dollar equals 117 Krona and let’s be honest I’m not doing that math in my head :). We then found this awesome photography store with tons of cool pictures and paintings and spent a decent amount of time talking to the photographer and picking out our favorite pictures! We also ventured into a cafe and had some late lunch and took a break from walking. It has been really interesting to figure out things like paying for your food bill and converting your money because it is really different from home.
We met up later as a group for dinner and then had the night to ourselves! Which leaves me here writing this as it is 10:45pm and still daylight. Really really weird. The weather has been on and off too between rain and mist and clouds but we expected all of that coming into this. The locals also don’t go out until midnightish so there is no way we are making it that late tonight but apparently night life in Reykjavik is quite interesting so I’m sure we will check it out at some point this week. We are having a great time and definitely making the impression that we are here to live it up! Julie and I are going to plan out what we want to do for all of our free time so that we can make the absolute most of this trip.
Tomorrow we will be doing more touring of Reykjavik and then we will be getting into some out of city excursions which are shaping up to look really awesome (think glacier climbing, hot springs massages, Vespa renting, etc) 🙂 Goodnight from Iceland!