Now I'm pretty sure the title above says "Welcome to Iceland" in Icelandic. If it doesn't make sense, I apologize, but I don't speak Icelandic (obviously), and trust me it's very, very hard to figure out, but I'm still going give it a go!
So I'm in Iceland(!). A six hour flight from Toronto and boom, I'm here. As I was being driven to the hotel, I was thinking to myself, "wow, I can't believe I'm here." Let me reiterate that last sentence. I didn't just think it, I said it out loud, in the car, which earned a chuckle from my driver. The second thought I had was "damn, too bad it's so dark - I can't really see what's outside" (the airport is about 40 minutes away from Reykjavik so you could get a good glimpse of the countryside – if there was more light). My third thought was "hey, I know its dark but I can't seee any trees!" A lot of thoughts for someone who had about 2 hours sleep on the plane, and arrived in Iceland at 6:30 in the morning eh? Still, from what I could sort of see in the dark from the car, Iceland has such an eerie landscape, eerie but beautiful and later as you get closer to the city, trees do appear. I have to give a shout out to my driver, Kristian, who was very cool to point out various sites and landmarks to familiarize myself with Iceland, and the life of Icelanders. It was a completely off-the-cuff tour but totally appreciated.
People have asked me, why Iceland? My answer; why the hell not? It's not as if no one comes here. I know they have a thriving tourist scene but granted it's not at the top of peoples list of places they wish to visit - or so I think? Could be totally wrong there. I mean the name alone conjures up images of ice does it not (substitute ice for lava rock and you'll understand Iceland a bit better). Still I'm so glad I made it, and now I can really experience the country.
What's a better way to experience a country than its food. After all, this blog is called a hungry man travels right? So after taking a quick nap at the hotel, I showered, and went out for lunch. There was a little sandwich shop about five minutes from the hotel and I thought why not. I mean it's just a sandwich; there is no way I could screw that up right? Wrong. I'm in a foreign country, and it must be pointed out that English is NOT the first language here and despite the menu being translated I still wasn't understanding what was going on (and I hate being THAT tourist who is clueless when they travel) so I had no idea what the menu meant, and I was too stubborn trying to fit in to even ask (side-note to self: you're black Steve, you won't blend in here). All I could see from the menu was that the food had something to do with a boat and there were many different types of 'boats' you could order like pizza or ham and cheese or chili or chicken curry. So sticking to the tried and true, not to mention i love curry, I ordered the curry still not grasping what this 'boat' was. Turns out I need to open my mouth to speak or at least brush up a bit more on the English to Icelandic translations. The 'boat' was a word for bread or submarine and I ordered chicken curry with rice. So yes it was curried chicken with rice AND mayo and lettuce stuffed into a submarine sandwich served with a giant can of coke. I ate it. It was not good but dammit I was hungry. I paid dearly for that sandwich later. Lesson learned. Don't try to pretend you know what you're doing - either learn language or open mouth and ask questions or both before your order food Steve!!! I'm well on my way aren't I?
Coming up: Culture Walk in Reykjavik with Birna; A Geyser and Glacier tour, and; Northern Lights and Lobster feast. Oh and yes I'll have pictures!