Why Iceland?

This is often the question that follows when I tell people I went to Iceland. In truth, I don't have a solid answer. When I began considering where to travel between jobs, Iceland was not initially on the list. Perhaps the combination of the unknown, the accessibility, and an utterly dreadful weather forecast all played a part.

My time was limited. Excluding over sixteen hours travel, I had a mere three and a half days on the ground. I drove to Boston, took the subway to Logan Airport, and had an overnight flight to Reykjavik. When I landed at 6:30AM (four hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time), I was short on sleep and starving. Fortunately, I did not have to be concerned with exchanging money at that hour of the morning. In fact, I never once touched an Icelandic krona; it's true that you can pay for absolutely everything with a credit card in Iceland, including your bus fare.

The bus drove along a single lighted road that served as an umbilical cord between Keflavik International Airport and Reykjavik. Outside my window, the dim light of dawn strained to peer through a nearly impenetrable cloud cover. In this eerie aura, the barren lava flow and ghostly hills resembled some sort of extraterrestrial landscape.

Civilization slowly crept into my view, and when I arrived at the Reykjavik City Hostel, I stepped off of the bus and into a torrent of steel rain. I knew this was the weather forecast for the remainder of my time; somehow, though, it seemed fitting.

After checking in to the hostel in a jet-lagged stupor and regaining my energy with a "full" European breakfast, I donned my waterproof gear and headed toward the city center. A mere ten minutes into the walk, I discovered that even two coats of waterproof sealant were not enough to keep the Icelandic rain from soaking my feet.