Hallo from Iceland!

I have arrived and gotten somewhat acclimated. The flight wasn’t too bad, and I did manage to sleep a bit (a first on a transatlantic voyage for me). The airport was hell, mostly due to lack of sleep and the inability of me to get any funds. :frowning: My ATM card does not work here, despite it being a Cirrus whatever. I did exchange most of my cash, but the kronar… it goes not far at all. :eek: And then I couldn’t find my way down to baggage claim–a long, somewhat silly story. Obviously, I got here with my luggage. :slight_smile:

Coupla impressions right off the bat:

I have never seen so many blonde, truly beautiful children in my life AND I have never seen so many gorgeous men in my life, either. Seriously, my innkeeper looks like Viggo Mortensen’s brother (if he has a brother). His name is Hans and I wouldn’t mind being Gretel…
I am living in a closet (by American hotel standards), but it is clean and it is quiet. The electrical outlet is a bit wonky–it seems to be falling out of the wall, and at first I couldn’t get my adaptor to work. I also had to spend some time getting connected online. I am so afraid I’ll lose this connection, I’m thinking of just leaving myself online. Thoughts? Don’t ask me what I did to get online; for some reason, my puter wasn’t searching for the connection, even though the connection was there on my screen (I can’t explain it better than that and don’t want to bother trying).

Reykjavik is a lovely town, very austere architecture softened by the painted plaster buildings. Am still trying to get oriented to where things are and what to do. Missed the free town tour due to sleeping this afternoon. If I’m around tomorrow afternoon, I just may catch it. I think I’ll spend tomorrow doing museums and art stuff and then Saturday take the Golden Circle tour. I wanted to avoid doing the [del]herded sheep[/del] conventional tourist thing, but truly, time and $$$$ are factors. If this is Iceland on the cheap, I cannot imagine it when it’s truly expensive. I may lose quite a bit of weight while here (not a bad thing)–food is like gold. Yes, I knew that going in, but it’s still a shock. Put it this way: it makes American airport prices look Aldi cheap. :eek:

Weather today was dry, sunny most of the time and pleasantly cool–perfect, in fact. I have all manner of questions:

There is a church near my guesthouse that features a statue of a woman (no particular woman, just Woman) looking toward the mountains. It’s simple and austere and lovely, except for the upside cross that marks her face and neck on her front and the upside down cross that marks her back about where she’d have brastraps, if she were that formed and dressed. I am all :confused: re the upside down crosses. In true Icelandic style, there is not one word of explanation about this. This makes me realize that UK has become almost an amusement park–practically everything has a placard or sign or something to explain it to tourists. I find upside down cross woman intriguing, but also disquieting.

There are also any number of cairns(?) or stacks of stones to be seen on the route from the airport to the city. No real pattern to them; they don’t seem to delineate a road or path, just stacks of stones. I’d say they were graves, but the landscape is not one of a cemetary at all. Any clues? Not in my guide books.

Everyone has been very nice (and patient). I’ve already met 2 punk rock-ish looking Brits who tried to help me with my online stuff. They couldn’t, but they were great. And there’s always Hans. Mmmm… Hans.

I’ll try to update this as I go. Feel free to jump in with comments etc.

Well, hello there! I’m glad you made it and that your head is still on your shoulders!:wink:

I cannot wait to see pictures of your trip. Hans sounds…yummy.

Hans IS yummy. I so don’t want to meet his wife. I don’t even want to know if he has one. A girl can dream, right?

Hiya, rigs! It sounds beautiful, and yummy! Get somebody to take your picture with him!

I hope you get your money situation settled soon.

Of course a girl can dream! We’re good at that sort of stuff.

My envy of you is turning my blue eyes green. What an exciting adventure. I hope your English/Icelandic dictionary is wrong and Hans’s wife is actually his sister.

Hey, rigs! Sounds like fun.

As for the laptop: if the connection is free, then there shouldn’t really be any issue with leaving the laptop on and connected.

I thought Paris was the leader in handsome men per square kilometer. It seemed like every time I turned around there was another very good-looking man.

I’m looking forward to the travelogue!


Yay Rigs! Glad to hear that you’re in Iceland and having a good time. And oh yes, double yay on Hans!!:slight_smile:

Maybe your innkeeper has got a brother name Franz and they will “Pump you up”

Upside down crosses are known Petrine crosses, after the tradition that St Peter was crucified upside down. I don’t know if it signifies anything in particular in this case.

Does this mean that the women are attractive as well? :slight_smile:

Glad you’re having a good time! I hope to go there some day.

Well thank god for that. I’m only nominally Christian, but I had thoughts of some kind of pagan protest via art. Even as I type it, it sounds silly. I’ve just never seen it before–even in Europe (and certainly not in UK). Perhaps I wasn’t looking hard enough (or more likely, it got lost in all the art etc in Europe. This statue was all by herself in a field).
I’m up for a day of shopping and museums. I want to do a settlement museum and get my souvenirs. I’d like to also see at some art. I wrote my post cards last night while sitting in a cafe people watching. Yes, the women are also gorgeous for the most part. They seem to have a preference for dominatrix looking boots.

Everyone is so young here–seriously, they’re either over 80 (or look it) or about 25. Do the middle aged just stay inside? Or are some of them in their 40s and just look 25? I should be so lucky!
I am not seeing a lot of curly hair–for some reason, this strikes me as odd. I am seeing lots of loooooonnnnnggg straight hair, even on grown women.

And what is it with the muscle cars? They’re everywhere–Ford Mustangs and GTOs and Galaxy 500s. I swear I saw a Lincoln Mark V circa 1975 as well. All are polished, immaculate and obvious tokens of pride for their drivers. I cannot tell you how disconcerting it is to walk down a very foreign street, with alien conversation all around, only to hear CCR blasting from a bar and have a pimped out TransAm go by. It’s an alternate universe!

Just some observations.

Oh, and I don’t know if Hans has a wife. I think not, but don’t want to ruin things by asking. He is so sweet. He asked me this morning if there was anything that I needed and I almost… :wink:

Be careful with that almost, what northern european men lack in romantic sensibility they make up for in literal mindedness. Also earnestness, it is their diligent intention to see to it that you have a good time, so I must say I recommend them as dates or what have you. Hey, you’ll never do it younger, right?

They have a lot of apparently pointless art here, also – in the byres amoung the cows, along the freeways, all kinds of places. I also noticed the muscle car rage here, I grew up in the south in the US and I think all the Trans Ams and Camaros, 'stangs and GTOs of my youth got taken off blocks in the yard and shipped to Holland.

Oh, and the age thing? It’s the bone structure, they all look like that, it’s the heritage of their barbarian forebears. No sun damage and not a lot of outbreeding, lol.

Met an icicle with blonde braids today–I think she might be Hans’ wife. She could double as a Frigidaire. Why do people who don’t like people go into service industries like hotelkeeper? Baffles me. She’s just jealous that she doesn’t have what Hans and I have*. Poor thing; I feel sorry for her…
Today was museum and shopping day and my dogs are barking. I’m staying in tonight because I really am not able to stand up and be lucid at this point. The museum was good–good and dark. Most of the lighting wells in the ceiling were not lit. The museum employee that I queried said that they turn the lights ON to clean at night. Well, all righty, then. :confused: Seriously, one cannot actually see most of the tapestries or other smaller artifacts due to the shadows from some halogens that spotlight areas of the floor. It’s a nice floor, but IM(crazy)O, light should be used to illuminate stuff, no?
I asked for ice cream with hot fudge and got it with “hot chocolate” which was hot, but not cocoa and not fudge, either. Tickled me–and their ice cream is damned good. Their chocolate is sweeter than DQs (the kind that cones come dipped in). I dunno the difference between choc and fudge, but I could taste it. It’s not fudgy, whatever that may mean.

I got lost today in downtown Reykjavik. Go ahead and laugh–it’s easy to get turned around in this town. Consequently, I am one tired Rigby tonight. Getting lost doesn’t involve any risk here–all the neighborhoods I was in seemed nice enough with enough interesting architecture to make the way pleasant. I have only seen one person whom we would consider “street” or homeless. He was picking through the garbage can, as is his kind’s wont. I also saw a bit of street theater, which was also interesting. It seemed very existential to me, but I was watching it through a store window, so I may have missed something. Then again, it was performed in Icelandic, so I have no clue as to what the scene was about. I have yet to see a cop or an ambulance or a firefighter or a hospital, come to that.

Geysers and hikes tomorrow!

*a complete and total fantasy only in my own head is what “we” have. Heh.

It sounds like you’re having a wonderful time. What’s really cool to me is the fact that your time is your own. You don’t have to worry about what a family member wants to do.

I can’t wait to see the pictures. Maybe Hans is so friendly to make up for his wife’s icy nature.

Sounds like a fun time, rigs. Yay!

rigs, you’re not making me want to go there any less. :slight_smile: When I get the job situation sorted out, maybe, maybe…

So what does Icelandic sound like, when you hear it spoken in the street? Are there many children? For some reason, I have an impression of Iceland being like one of those towns in the hinterland, where everyone wants to leave when they grow up and go to the Big City (mainland Europe?).

If you’re inverting Christian symbols as a protest, you’re still inside the Christian worldview. Real pagans have their own symbolism. :slight_smile:

Sorry. That’s one thing that bugs me.

Jealous… But happy for you!

:: interested look–not the dominatrix, but the boots… ::


That’s what I felt like in Finland. It was like an alternate-universe version of Canada run by smarter people. :slight_smile:

Good point re the pagan symbols. Had never thought of it before. There is some vague memory of upside down crosses meaning anti-Christ stuff in my head–which I should not have attributed to pagans, but I was being lazy in my thinking. Sorry!
Icelandic sometimes sounds like English spoken backwards. Every now and then a phrase wafts by that sounds like English, but makes no sense: knitting up or somewhere mink. Takk (thanks) makes perfect sense, as does hallo (hello) and bless (you’re welcome–but I think bless may not come from blessing at all; it may just be coincidence. I have no clue, really!) I have now told you all the Icelandic I know. Sometimes it sounds like Polish to me, sometimes Croatian (but not enough of the pschw sound to really be Serbian or Croatian). I have never heard Swedish (barring the Swedish chef–who is on the side of a building here in art form–too funny!) or Norwegian, so I don’t know if it sounds like those languages. I’m told it does. It’s all gibberish to me. Plus, Icelanders use quite a few Americanisms: Hi, okay, it’s cool etc.
I’m off to trek through the wilds well known aka be a tourist on a bus today. I am somewhat disappointed in myself in going with the herd, but I find I lack the energy to plan and carry out a self-made itinerary. There’s too much to choose from and all it incredibly expensive. And if one more person tells me Iceland is cheap right now, I may go berserk on them. You have been warned. :wink: