the day i arrived could qualify as the longest of my life. the flight was overnight but i couldn’t sleep, because they sun didn’t really go down, and it wasn’t night to my bodyclock. i arrived in iceland at 6.30 am, took a short nap when i got to the hostel, and spent the entire day exploring the city.
reykjavik is really cute! it’s not a stunner of a city; i’m not blown away by its beauty, but it’s really charming and kind of quaint! i never thought i’d find tin siding so attractive, but iceland does it right (not rusty; great colour matching, like mint green & cobalt, purple and white, yellow and red, etc)
maybe this is silly, but i was expecting to feel more culture shock. sure, some things are very different (the money! it has crabs and dudes in pointy hats!) but the air smells familiar and the city is easy to navigate. people are friendly and nearly all of them speak english (notable exception: super hairy dude who hung out by me in the thermal pools and kept talking to me even after i said ‘sorry, i only speak english!’). one main difference is that i have seen a few people blowing their noses into the street. what’s up with that? EWWW.
reykjavik is/feels so small! i have run into the same people a few times, or seen the same car (this hilarious van that says ‘ford: don’t expect much’). although the houses are kind of crammed together, shoulders touching, there are no really tall buildings. the tallest i’ve seen is maybe 4-5 stories. it gives this place a small-town feeling.
i met up with an internet friend and she took me on a tour of some rad stuff, like a geyser named geysir, thingvellir, gulfloss, etc. i haven’t spent a tonne of time outside the city, but the bit i’ve seen has been spare and lovely. there are long vistas uninterrupted by treelines, because what little native forest that existed (at least here in the rek. area) was used for building material/fuel by the first settlers.
listening to all the icelandic-english accents has been dreamy. i love the way they sound, kind of whispery and full of shhhhs. people are generally fairly attractive and there are a tonne of bright coppery-redheads and lots of blonds, too. fashion here is pretty stylish, supertrendy in that 90s revival way. i think some of my vancouver friends would lose their shit in the shops here! i haven’t bought a tonne of stuff…a pair of galaxy tights and an icelandic wool sweater. i nearly caved and purchased some beautiful wool thigh-high socks, and i yet….
vegetarian fare here isn’t super impressive. there are quite a few restaurants who have offerings that are appealing, but eating out here is fairly expensive (nearing $20 for a meal) so i’ve been self-catering. i’m going to hit up a vegetarian restaurant tomorrow as a treat, though! looking forward to it.