Apologies to the fantastic show, M*A*S*H, for stealing the title of their final episode.
Today was the bittersweet farewell to Iceland, a country that has welcomed me and made me feel at home. While Ireland will always be my soul’s home, Iceland has now captured a piece of my heart.
This morning was a slow morning. We packed, headed to a bakery for breakfast, and wandered around Reykjavik for a while. Then we finally checked out the Saga museum, which has good information with classic cheesy tableaus.
We went south towards the airport to see Vikingaheimar, the Viking museum. It houses the replica Viking ship which sailed to America to prove it could be done.
Then it was time to go. The process was relatively free of worry. The line to check in at Wow Airlines took a about 10 minutes while security was about 20 minutes. Then we ate a final lunch -meat soup and gravlax open sandwich – and went into our flight.
Some final thoughts on Iceland.
- A very clean place. I hope it stays that way. Not just the sites, but the city itself.
- Graffiti in the city was artistic and downright fun in many places.
- Infrastructure is less than I’m used to for tourism. I know that the recent upsurge of tourists has come at some of a surprise, but the number of toilets could be increased 🙂
- Believe people when they tell you the food is expensive. And the rental cars
- Speaking of rental cars, get a 4×4. Do it. So many cool places are just off the beaten path.
- Why, oh why, in a country that gets 22 hours of daylight in the summer, do guesthouses put either light curtains or NO curtains on bedroom windows?
- So many campers everywhere.
- So many hitchhikers!
- I once thought the highlands of Scotland were remote and desolate, and that the Burren in Ireland was barren. I was wrong. Iceland far surpasses both places in these categories.
- Everyone appreciated my pitiful attempts at Icelandic. I only met two people who didn’t speak excellent English.
- Layers. Layers. Layers. Prepare for wind and rain.
- That being said, in our two weeks, we had a total of about 6 hours of rain and maybe 10 hours of mist. The rest was clouds and sun. It was beautiful.
- The Icelandic like short, steep stairs.
- Showers were all pretty great on temp and pressure. Some didn’t even drink of sulfur 😉
- Whale, puffin and reindeer are delicious. Guillemot less so.
- I tried the rotted shark. It wasn’t bad. Which means one of three thing; my palate was deadened by the time I tried it, there is some grand conspiracy where everyone just says it is horrible, or the most likely option, I got some wimpified tourist version.
- I missed sunsets and sunrises
- I am glad duvets can be separated – the ‘sheet’ cover is all I need by morning. The fluffy part is too hot.
- The midges were bad in places, but they didn’t bite like in Scotland.
- No mosquitoes!
- 50-55 every day, sometimes 60. 45 at night.
- Fjords are beautiful, even after seeing 16 of them. The same for waterfalls, hot springs, etc.
- so many horses!
- GPS and atlases don’t always have the smaller towns or roads. Get directions or coordinates.
- I will definitely be going back!
Don’t miss information on Celtic myth and history, as well as practical travel planning tips, and hidden places, in my travel books. And watch out for my upcoming historical fantasy novel, Legacy of Hunger!
– Stunning, Strange and Secret: A Guide to Hidden Scotland
– Mythical, Magical, Mystical: A Guide to Hidden Ireland
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