Iceland is an incredibly magical destination and one that needs to be on your bucket list. Go ahead, I’ll wait. No matter how much I planned my trip, I definitely learned a ton of things along the way. Here are my top 10 crazy things I learned in Iceland:
The language is impossible to pronounce
I’m not exaggerating. Don’t even try and save yourself the embarrassment. You can do what we did and make up nicknames for everything. We’re not popular with the locals
Icelanders have a lot of faith in your driving.
A lot. Aka they have no guard rails along steep cliffs where there’s a quick plunge into the water below or a tumble down a rocky terrain on the other side. They also are a fan of blindsided driving where it basically turns into a one-lane road and you just have to pray that no one is coming in the opposite direction
(I have no picture of this. We were trying to survive and not take photos)
If you’re afraid of heights then Iceland will probably give you a few panic attacks
Take it from me. I’m deathly afraid of heights and I was convinced I was going to fall to my death at all times. See exhibits below
Iceland has the most versatile terrain I’ve ever seen
One minute you’re driving through a luscious green valley with a babbling brook. The next you’re driving along a winding cliff with snow capped mountains. And the next through a terrifying area that looks post apocalyptic, at best
There are more animals than people
Seriously. For hours at a time it was just us, our lovely car that we named Picasso, and a bunch of sheep. We contemplated inviting them into the car to create a mini zoo
Nothing opens until 10
Apparently Icelanders just don’t like to start their day any earlier. Or like to starve tourists who wake up at 7 to make sure they can see all the sights
There is no such thing as darkness in the summer
We knew that there would quite a few hours of sunlight but we still thought that there were still some hours of darkness. Below is a picture of post sunset. All lies I tell you. Do you know how much it messes with your being to see light at all times?
Restaurants are super accommodating
They don’t have any sneaky trips up their sleeves. Like here’s a cup of water now give us $10. Water is clean to drink and free. They also will allow you to pay separate checks. No more pulling out calculators and foreign cash and banging your head against the table while you try to figure out what you owe.
“There isn’t any bad weather just bad clothing”
Those were the first words of advice given to us upon landing. And boy, truer words have never been uttered. Be prepared for the weather to change at a moment’s notice and if you look up the weather beforehand and think you’ll be okay with no scarves, gloves, and hats, think again my friend. Summer is still pretty chilly. Here’s a packing list to get you started
Beer only became legal in 1989
Yeah you didn’t read that wrong nor did I mistype. I decided to track down a brewery by asking a bunch of random people. We ended up having a private brewery tour by one of the brewer’s who seemed to vacillate between thinking we were the cutest people ever and hating us (okay…he never thought we were cute but he did tolerate us). He shared with us the story of beer becoming legal. Of course, he had to put up with us gasping in shock and asking questions like “BUT WHAT DID YOU DRINK?!” They now have Icelandic Beer Day where they celebrate the legalization every year. I see you, Iceland.
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