I think I may have overdone my first day. I could hardly stay awake on the bus ride back, and when I got off the bus I could hardly walk because my right calf was threatening to cramp and the bottom of my feet brought new pain with every step. 12.83 miles (my phone says) in shoes that probably aren’t fit to go more than 5. Oh well, I had a blast.
I got to Reykjavik, dropped off my bags, and immediately went to explore the city. It was about 7:00am and the city was still waking up. Most of the shops weren’t open and not many people were on the streets. It was nice. I popped in a bakery (which smelled heavenly) and got two items, and then headed to a modern cathedral to sit outside and eat (it wasn’t open either). I should mention that back in the States I am gluten-free, but I have heard that European wheat has a chance of being alright on my system, I decided to give it a shot. I didn’t notice anything too out of the ordinary. I figured my headache and such was from a lack of sleep, but it could have been more than one factor. Jury is still out, I suppose.
While eating, I met another American who was still out from the night before, wandering around, trying to find something to eat. He sat next to me and we chatted for a bit. He went to go the bakery that I came from, and I moved on to explore. I found a tea and coffee shop (or I should say “Te & Kaffi Shop”) opening, and went inside. They had several options for how you could have your coffee brewed and I went with the most exciting one. In all honesty, it was the best cup of coffee I have ever had. Smooth and strong, but not bitter at all. Not to mention it looked like it was being brewed by your crazy chemistry teacher. If you don’t believe me, check it out.
After savoring that, I decided to explore more. It wasn’t long after that I began to realize that I had to get out of the capital. I had set out a full day to explore Reykjavik, but between the uninspired architecture and the tourist-y things everywhere, I was becoming more and more disappointed. I did not come to Iceland for the cities anyhow, so it was time to get out. I had to get the bus system figured out somehow before the following days of my trip, so I elected to invest (literally) in that.
Some time later I was in a northern town of Iceland, wandering around and loving it. I should mention, I have discovered that I love, absolutely love, traveling alone. Sure, there are some downsides, but the complete freedom and lack of stress is unparalleled. I know what I want, I know where I need to be, and I have the resources to do it. I don’t have to worry about keeping other people safe, or making sure they are a fan of what I want to do, I can just stroll, observe, wander, and think. This is my first time ever really traveling alone, and I really appreciate it.
So while in this smaller town, I explored a church up on a hill, wandered around trying to find un-bottled water (a story for another time), and then, best of all, stumbled onto the best part of the whole day. I had looked at a map while eating lunch and saw that the coast came close to where I was, so I headed there to sit and rest my feet. Lo and behold, as I approached, I saw shapes moving. I had read about Iceland’s horses on the plane and so I instantly got excited. I hurried the rest of the way down the path and spent the rest of the time with these unique type of horses (native to Iceland). The one pictured first here was my friend, and later his two buddies said hi to me too.
Well that is it for now. I am happy to have Clif bars for dinner because I don’t want to go out. In less than 24 hours, I have learned the tiniest amount of Icelandic, I know roughly the exchange rate between the Krona and the Dollar, and I am seasoned on the bus system. A good first day.
Grace and peace.