Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"Spring" in Iceland

Leaving the airport

The sunrise the morning we arrived

Drying fish

Icelandic horses
The weather has been pretty much how we expected it to be since we arrived in Iceland: about 30 degrees and a little snowy and windy. It's a good thing our rental car came with studded tires! Immediately upon arrival here, there were so many things to remind us that we are not in America anymore. The first was that our rental car was already warmed up and scraped off for us! There were also some really funny signs (of which I wish I had taken a photo) with instructions on how to safely ford a river with your rental car. That's right, how to drive your car across a river. Now, we know in the states that would be completely forbidden on any rental agreement, as would driving on unpaved roads. In Iceland, however, they just tell you to be careful. The person at the rental place also told us that because of the way they drive in Iceland and the many unpaved roads, that they don't worry about dents or scratches on the cars. If only rental car agencies were so relaxed at home!

On our way into Reykjavik we noticed some huge racks of drying fish and pulled in to take a closer look. They were a bit stinky, to say the least, but I've never seen so much fish drying in one place. It's awesome that there weren't even any signs around; no "private property" or "don't steal any fish" signs. Things are just so relaxed here.

Icealnd is also a VERY safe place. In Reykjavik, everyone parks their strollers on the sidewalks when they go into shops or restaurants. And if the baby is sleeping, they just leave it in the stroller. It is so refreshing to be somewhere where we don't have to worry things being stolen out of our car.

On our first day in Iceland we walked around downtown Reykjavik, went to the National Museum, and had dinner with some friends. Yesterday we drove to Akureyri in Northern Iceland. There wasn't a whole lot to do along the way as most of the pull-outs hadn't been plowed and all of the small museums along the way were closed for winter. When we arrived in Akureyri we went straight for the hot pools though - a perfect way to spend spring break!

Now we just need to get used to the time difference! Iceland is seven hours ahead of Seattle. We flew through the night to get here, but neither of us really slept much on the plane. We tried to stay awake most of the first day and crashed hard that night. We both spent about 3 hours awake in the middle of the night though and the same thing happened tonight. It's 4am now and I've been awake for about 1 1/2. I'm starting to feel sleepy again though so hopefully I'll get a few more hours before we start another day of driving and hot pool hopping.

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