Be Surprised By Iceland

1.  Stop Lights with more Color

Did you know that when driving in Iceland the stop lights change from green to yellow to red, like the states.  But then they also change from red to yellow to green!  A good idea really, but confusing to a brain that’s been wired to associate yellow with slowing down to stop rather than getting ready to go.  Drive carefully!

2.  Good Coffee, plain and simple

Lattes, cappuccinos, mochas and americanos were all good but  surprisingly the plain coffee was just as delicious.  Even in the smallest towns or from the free dispensers in museums I was pleasantly surprised by the drip coffee…and it was often less than $3, whereas a latte could easily approach $7.

Knitting & Coffee in Rekjavik
Knitting & Coffee in Rekjavík

3.  Tourist Town

Iceland is a pretty hot destination right now, and it’s marketed for its wildness and stark landscapes.  This is all true but…there are a lot of tourists at the main sights.  It’s not impossible to get away from people but I wasn’t necessarily prepared to have crowds at the waterfalls or other natural wonders even late into the night.  So be prepared to enjoy your fellow travelers or really get off the beaten path…which means where you’re going probably wasn’t written up in the Lonely Planet guidebook.

This includes the Blue Lagoon.  I actually waited an hour in line before giving up to hit the Keflavík hot pots and swimming pool.  The Blue Lagoon was at its 700 person capacity on a rainy Sunday morning and it could only let people in one at a time as others left.  I’ll go back to the soak in the aqua blue water…but I didn’t expect that kind of crowds!

Have you been to Iceland, what surprised you?

Music for the Weekend…à la Iceland

I made a playlist to share with you!

And now that it’s the weekend maybe you can enjoy listening to it while making breakfast or lounging around and catching up from the week.

Iceland has some fantastic original music and an impressive percentage of residents who are also musicians (and writers and artists for that matter!)  One year I’d love to check out the  Airwaves festival featuring Icelandic bands as well as international talent on the brink of making it big.  It happens at the end of October and looks like a fantastic time…watching concerts while hanging out in geothermal hotpools!

Until then we can both listen to some innovative Icelandic artists from the comfort of our own homes.   Here’s a playlist I made, a collection of songs that I enjoyed on my trip, just click on the play button on the water below to enjoy them yourself!

Let me know who you like, feel free to share and please recommend more!