Before coming to Iceland, all we knew about the country is that Iceland is known as the land of fire and ice. It’s interesting that drastic contrast seems to be all around. In the city the architecture is very simple and sleek. Almost every building is white with one color (red or blue mostly) as an accent. You see lots of clean lines and sharp angles…kind of like Ikea but less color. The country is the complete opposite! The green that covers the entire countryside is the brightest green I’ve ever seen. There are beautiful purple and white flowers that line pretty much every highway and waterfall-fed streams cut back and forth down the mountain slopes and under the roads. The mountains are dotted with fluffy white sheep and there are tons of meadows where beautiful Icelandic horse roam about in little Scandinavian villages. I keep feeling like I’m walking through a postcard.
The people we’ve met are all very kind and humble. They seem to be soft spoken and very minimalistic. There are very few houses and neighborhoods. It looks like most people live in small apartment complexes without a lot if frills.
We feel incredibly safe here. We’ve been told there’s pretty much no crime (1 murder last year). We haven’t seen any police, even when the downtown was filled with 20,000 fans watching the big soccer game. People are allowed to drink in public, and while some seemed to be awfully drunk, they were all so well behaved! (I think the patrons of the QW could take note!)
Being an island, prices are quite high. (Char can’t believe one Chapstick is $8!). Most of the land is made up of lava fields so fruits, veggies and flowers are all grown in green houses you can see off the country roads. Salaries here are not much higher than other countries where the cost of living is much lower. As a result, the people are very hard working (most working multiple jobs) and live very simple lives compared to what we’re used to at home.
Funny things about Iceland:
Their Icees are called Krap (which is now our secret swear word…”this meal tastes like slushie”)
They have signs on the road warning you about speeding cameras (I guess they use cameras instead of highway patrol) 300m out and again 100m out. If you get a speeding ticket here you’re a real idiot!
It’s still light out at 1am
Every convenience store has an end cap with bags of dried fish the way we would have beef jerky. Still haven’t tried it yet. I’m scared…I will though!
The water is all heated with geothermal energy…so…every shower smells like rotten eggs!
Lights turn yellow before they turn green. Maybe a wake up call that it’s almost your turn.