Hello, again, Blogonauts! Some quick first impressions of Iceland.
It's almost 9 PM, and the sky is as bright as it was at noon.
The land here seems other-worldly, except where humans have decided to garden it.
And finally, I left Boston on Wednesday after sweating in 90-degree-plus temperatures. After crossing the sea, the Thursday high temperature barely topped 50 degrees.
Yes, I'm on the outskirts of Reykjavik. The plan is for me to remain in Iceland for a couple of weeks, so buckle up! I'll be running rings around this place.
But that is to come. The mind that is typing these words can only barely make them out on the screen...so powerful is the impact of jet lag. But travel is still possible, even if new precautions are necessary: Vaccination, Testing, Masking, and Gratitude to the folks who risk their health to make travel dreams come true.
This brain is in no way capable of formulating a narrative tonight. But here are some quick, bullet-point observations...after spending only a bit more than 12 hours here:
- Iceland is open to Americans and Canadians who are fully vaccinated against Covid. That's still rare in Europe. However, the Icelanders are not fools: Even the fully vaccinated have to undergo a Covid test when they land, and then quarantine until they receive the results via text. This plan has been in place since mid May, and it seems to be working for all concerned.
- The large peninsula where Reykjavik built its international airport is essential a large, undulating field of solidified lava. As such, the vegetation that grows best there is moss...and maybe some scrubby grasses. To find a tree, find a city.
- Icelanders never put away their winter clothes. Even in mid June, the majority of people are still wearing puffy jackets...inside the shopping mall.
- Yes, once released from quarantine, I entered a mall, because that's where the cell service provider's shop is. You don't think I'm going to pay AT&T prices for my on-the-road internet, do you?
- Icelandic norms seem trapped between Europe and North America. One comforting off-shoot is the near universal understanding of English. But as soon as I guess they'll follow a common European practice, suddenly they act like a typical North American.
Today was overcast, rainy, and not a good day for photos...but I managed to take a few. The beauty of this country's landscape will be stepping into the spotlight soon. So stay tuned.
With that, I'm off to bed.
Blog to you later!