I have been on my fair share of plane rides before. But crossing the threshold and boarding Icelandair was a whole different feeling. That was probably due to excitement and nerves. This is my first time out of the country and the realization set in: this is the flight that is taking me on this crazy journey. We get on, settle in and five hours later we land in Iceland. The sun doesn’t rise here until around 9:00AM, so when we land and board the bus to our hotel it is still dark. It’s almost like Iceland is teasing us because, even though we are finally here, we still can’t see its beauty that we’ve heard so much about. We hit the ground running as soon as we dropped the bags off at the hotel. Sightseeing, a tour of the city, and even stopping at the 871 Settlement Exhibition Museum. The hospitality at the museum and the people of Iceland in general, are very friendly and helpful.
After being up since 8:00AM the following morning and barely getting any sleep, the most interesting and relaxing part of our day was stopping at the Iceland swimming pools and hot pots. Swimming is the Icelandic pass time. The hot pots are basically outdoor hot tubs. That’s right, outdoors, of cold and breezy Iceland. That’ll wake you up! Dinner before the shows was an experimental excursion for me at Tapas Barinn. I’m not the most adventurous eater. But while I’m in Iceland I figure I at least have to try different foods. As they say, when in Rome — carpe diem, and all those other cliches so frequently used. I tried puffin and lobster. But my favorite dish was lamb. Tender, juicy and cooked just right. My favorite was Passion Fruit Skyr, it was absolutely delicious and creamy. They sell Skyr in the United States as well.
The first band of the night was 1860. Good ol’ upbeat danceable rockers from Reykjavík, they played at GAMLI GAUKURINN. They kept the crowd moving, even demanding call-and-responses a few times. One of the bandmates poked a little fun at the “foreigners,” which kept the crowd amused.
Up next was a local Reykjavík favorite, Mammút. They played at HARPA – NORÐURLJÓS. With the combination of lead singer Katrina Mogensen’s elegant voice and all her bandmates’ melodic melodies, it really is a unique sound that still incorporates this Icelandic feel.