A good friend of mine keeps asking me “Do I just wake up and pick a country to visit?  I guess I do!  Back in January, I decided that I wanted to visit Iceland.  I had no idea if it was part of Europe or North America.  Clueless, uh (lol)?  On top of that, I invited four other people to take this journey with me.  Go figure!

Anywho, people started “recognizing” Iceland in 2010 when they had a volcanic eruption that caused enormous disruption to air travel across western and northern Europe over an initial period of six days in April.  Can you imagine the expression and statement? “Iceland, huh?” “Where is that?”  Soon afterwards, the tourism just exploded (no pun intended) especially with flights from the United States to Iceland.

During my visit, I learned so much about Iceland (as you can tell with the history lesson above) and wanted to share some tidbits with you:

Tidbits

1.  Iceland is expensive.   Literally, everything is taxed and imported.  Would you believe I spent $50 on a meal at the Hard Rock Café?    Just go with that expectation that you will pay more for a meal and everything else.   Should I mention that I spent $90 on a sweatshirt?

Still in shock look

 
2.   Since I mentioned meals above, let’s talk about it for a minute. In my opinion, the dishes are okay.  Just okay!  When I had seafood, I  enjoyed those dishes more than meat and chicken.

 

Pan-fried Atlantic catfish with herb pesto made w/ Icelandic herbs, creamy potato salad, grilled corn and Brussel sprouts

Oh, if you are a drinker, I strongly recommend that you buy your alcohol/wine at the duty-free shop at the airport.  A glass of wine at the restaurant will cost about $15 and I won’t even talk about cocktails.

I have no idea what I had, but it was good

3.   I strong recommend the escorted tours that will pick you up at your accommodations. They are expensive but worth it because you get to see and hear the history of Iceland.   The only downside of these tours is the short amount of time at each one of the sites.

4.  The major sites/attractions are about 2 hours outside of Reykjavik.  Yes, you are travelling on “greyhound” type bus or a minivan.   All I can say those driving time allowed all of us to catch up on our sleep.

5.  The city of Reykjavik is walkable and (in my opinion) pretty safe. On my first day, I walked from my hotel, which is about 2 miles outside the city center, to the heart of Reykjavik.  Yep, my FitBit was on fire.

6. Everyone speaks English.  However, the signs are in their native language of Icelandic.  I am going to tell you a little secret, I finally was able to pronounce Reykjavik successfully on my last day.

I hope you enjoyed the tidbits and just maybe add Iceland on your list to visit.  I truly enjoyed my visit during the winter season. The snow-capped mountains, the glacier, the precarious walk on ice, and the waterfalls made this a truly memorable and adventurous trip.