ice and elves

In the words of Beirut, “It’s been a long time, long time now,” hasn’t it?

I do apologize for the radio-silence over the past week and a half.  I have been globe-trotting with Mr. Nate and am still recovering from the jet lag (Mr. Nate has, of course, already bounced-back…lucky duck).

Where did we go?  Where didn’t we go.  Actually, we didn’t go to a LOT of places. We did go to Iceland and Holland.

Everyone asks, so I’ll just tell you now that the trip to Iceland was influenced by none other than the deluge of ads on the Metro advertising geothermal pools, volcanoes, and turquoise-blue water.  Holland (Amsterdam, to be specific) was chosen because it was a cheap flight from Iceland.

We did and saw lots in both locations, and I really want to share some highlights with you here, so I’m thinking I’ll start with Iceland today and catch you up with Holland soon.  Sound good?

Other than snippets about their economic collapse, I knew nothing about Iceland prior to taking off for Reykjavik two Sundays ago. While there, though, I learned a bunch, thanks to some fantastic tour guides and lovely townies.  So, if you’re planning on visiting Iceland (and I recommend you do), here’s a quick and dirty rundown of some interesting facts:

  • The Icelandic language has more letters than ours does and many of them look funny.  This is because every letter makes a very specific sound.  So there is no such thing as a Northern or Southern accent in Iceland. Everyone pronounces every word the same.
  • Everyone in Iceland learns English and is good at it.  The only thing you will be able to pronounce is “Takk” (like “talk” without the “L” sound), which means “thank you.” Don’t try to say anything else. You will butcher it and possibly offend someone.
  • The weather in Iceland changes constantly due to its location in the North Atlantic and the fact that it’s the size of Kentucky.
  • It can get really cold. But it can also be freezing but beautiful outside. Icelanders call this “window weather” (as in, it sure looks good from inside my warm house, but it would take a pack of Vikings to get me to go out in this cold weather).
  • An Icelandic pancake looks much more like a crepe than an American pancake.
  • Over half of the population believes in elves.

And, since you’ll want to see some sights, might I suggest:

Kerid, a volcanic crater.

Gullfoss, the “Golden Waterfall.”

The geyser fields.

Thingvalla, the meeting place of the Vikings and the place where the Eurasian Continental Plate meets the North American Continental Plate.

Thingvalla and beyond from the top of the volcanic cliffs (note the clouds in the distance–those made up a blizzard happening just over the mountains).

Gorgeous, no?


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