I’m jumping on the current blogging bandwagon to look back at 2011 highlights and “lessons learnt.”
Believe it or not, I do have a life outside of my all-things-Icelandic obsession, but for the purposes of this blog, here are some Icelandic highlights of my year and what they taught me:
I had a relatively spontaneous trip to Iceland this year (as spontaneous as my job would allow me to be anyway) and although there was part of me that tried to plan every detail of it as I normally would, I also learned to adapt and change my plans when it turned out I couldn’t do some things when I wanted to, as I wasn’t going at the time that I wanted to.
Side note: I’ve come to the conclusion that I *need* to have a city break in Reykjavik every year. Not negotiable.
I taught myself to knit, and am nearly finished a scarf in Icelandic lopi (wool). My whole knitting interest was at least partially inspired by Icelandic clothing. Some day I might even go on an Icelandic knitting holiday. (yes, there really is such a thing)
I booked myself on a Northern Lights trip for the night I arrived. If you don’t see anything on these trips, you would usually be offered the chance to go again free on another night. That was my logic in doing it the minute I arrived anyway. In reality I wouldn’t recommend doing this – driving around on a bus in pitch black for 5-6 hours (seriously) is really tiring to do after you’ve already been travelling. I will do a trip report on this some day as it was quite surreal. Anyway, the short story is that we DID see some traces of Northern Lights. Nothing that would show up in a photo and probably not worth all the effort it took to see them, BUT I’m glad I suffered through this evening as it gave me an idea of how spectacular it would be to see them properly.
Photo from http://www.iceland.nordicvisitor.com
I’m not normally a fan of Björk, but I gave Bibliophilia a chance and I really like it. I also don’t usually like mysteries, but have discovered two great crime authors in Arnaldur Indriðason and Yrsa Sigurdardottir.
Nice surprise #1 – Sigur Rós has come out of the woodwork again – hooray.
Nice surprise #2 – Icelandair were so much better than when I last flew on them! Ok, so you have to pay for the food now but the entertainment system is BRILLIANT and I watched some short films that I never would have seen otherwise and heard some great music. Unfortunately all the other non-Icelanders seemed to be watching the rubbish American shows. Their loss.
Sad can be funny:
BBC 4 had an “Iceland” season earlier this year, where they showed several Icelandic-related programmes, including Næturvaktin (Night Shift). This show is about 3 social misfits who work in a petrol station and what happens in their little lives. There are two further shows in this series, Dagvaktin (Day Shift) and Fangavaktin (Prison Shift), and a film, Bjarnfreðarson, which apparently outperformed Avatar in Iceland. I found all of these hilarious. Although humorous, there is a strange feeling of sadness too. I’ll be posting more on all of these another time, but they are all good and if you like Iceland you’ll find them really interesting.
Your friends aren’t always right:
I’ve always thought that it would be fun to get your hair cut somewhere different, by someone who has never cut your hair before and would have new ideas about what to do with it. Before going to Iceland, I shared this idea with some people and the overwhelming majority told me not to do it. They were convinced it would look terrible, why would you trust a stranger with your hair, full of horror stories about bad hair cuts, all doom and gloom. You get the idea. I went and did it anyway, had loads of fun doing it, and got a great haircut out of it. GO ME.
I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to discover the joys of blogging. I have really enjoyed reading everyone else’s blogs and learned lots of fun new things about Iceland this way. It’s also been nice to have a willing audience who lets me ramble on about Iceland. Thank you!
I know now what it feels like to have no money, having had to pay for this year’s and next year’s Iceland trips at the same time!
I’d love to hear about your 2011 Iceland experience!