Wednesday, December 28, 2011


So I'm one of the five people back in the office this week. It's actually pretty nice to be there when no one else is, and between you and me, it means I don't have to worry about what my hair looks like.

We took a pre-Christmas mini-break to Reykjavik, Iceland. Because we are crazy enough to go to a remote island so close to the Arctic Circle in the middle of December. Actually there were quite a few travelers there--we met tourists from the U.S., Europe, Australia, and Asia, but it certainly wasn't hectic and crowded, which made it a very nice, relaxing vacation before we came back to the Christmas madness.  I'm still going through my disc, but I thought I'd share a few pictures taken during daylight hours.

{corner cafe in Reykjavik, and nice clear sidewalks}

The weather was actually pretty mild. Temps were in the 30s (Fahrenheit) both day and night, and we weren't too uncomfortable while walking around the city, except for the last day when it was so windy that we had to stop into many cafes and restaurants for snacks and drinks and stuff.  At this time of year there are maybe five hours of daylight, but the Christmas lights and decorations in everyone's homes and office buildings made everything look festive and cheerful and certainly helped me get over the fact that it was pitch black at 9:30 in the morning.

{top to bottom: a re-created Viking lodge that was near a church; the first Icelandic parliament house (I will double check my notes); and a tree decorated for Christmas just outside a church}

And yes, there was tons of snow! When we left Reykjavik and went touring around the countryside, everything was blanketed in white. It was beautiful and so peaceful-looking. Since we had a brown Christmas here in the DC-area (temperatures around 50F on Christmas Day!?!), it was very nice to be somewhere that was a true winter wonderland, especially because I didn't have to shovel it, fight traffic in it, or wait for public transportation in it. The only vegetation I saw was in the form of Christmas trees and other evergreens, but it suited me just fine.

As I mentioned yesterday, Icelandic food was good. Fish and lamb were common, and they tasted so fresh and natural because the fish are caught right off the coast and the sheep are grass-fed and not pumped full of hormones and antibiotics. Before I left, people told me that all I'd get was herring, but I ate a lot of salmon, haddock, and cod. Vegetables were a bit more limited, but that was to be expected. They have greenhouses where they grow tomatoes and cucumbers, but they didn't look or taste as good as what we can get in warmer climates. I'm certainly not complaining, though, it was nice to see the effort. During one meal, my husband's fish and chips came with a delicious mango (!!) salad (imported I'm sure), so it wasn't like everything was completely brown. Oh--can we talk about the butter? The brand I tried (Smjor) was sooo good and creamy, and guess what? They sell it here at Whole Foods! I have already gone out and bought a stick to smother on all my bread.

I wish I could be a professional traveler. I would love to go back someday when everything is green. I'm signing off with a picture of me dressed as an Icelandic Viking. 


  1. Oh my what a heavenly place that looks like. The pictures of the countryside are phenomenol. I would LOVE to visit somewhere like this. I can just imagine how beautiful it was with Christmas lights. Thanks for stopping by my little corner of Oz today and commenting on my little ones hats. Have a good rest of the year.

  2. Love your Viking suit! I never think to travel anywhere cold. But come to think of it, that is a wonderful Christmas vacation spot. Snow, lights, good food - very Christmasy!

  3. How beautiful....your trip looks amazing! and I love your Viking suit. Did you wear it into the office today? LOL.

  4. What fun!! I'd heard Iceland was really expensive but maybe it's all in the timing. Love the outfit!

  5. @Ann--Thank you Ann! Have a good rest of the year too!

    @HolleyGarden--I think the Christmas lights helped a lot when it was dark for so long.

    @Hanni-HA! It is so empty at the office that I probably could wear a costume and no one would ever notice!

    @CasaMariposa--Well flights and hotel were dirt cheap because it's the off-season, but the tours were expensive. Food and drink were OK, the prices were about what they'd be in a big city. The exchange rate was in our favor so that helped too.

  6. haha, i love the viking photo! awesome pictures. what a cool adventure.

  7. Iceland looks idyllic! Your photos look like postcards.

  8. I have always wanted to go to Iceland! So cool that you got to go!!!

  9. Next time maybe you can try Faroe Islands (600 km SE Iceland). It is considerably smaller and not so fancy as Iceland, but I dare say exquisit in terms of nature. And has definetely more light during the winter :))


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