I had a wonderful time on my trip to Iceland this last week. It was a birthday present to myself. When I received the information about the trip through the Authors Guild in an email and saw the trip was the week of my birthday, it felt like kismet. I told hubby about the trip and said I’d like to go. And being the best hubby ever, he said, “Go.”
The wonderful thing about this trip was it had been put together to not only take us to the usual tourist sites but it also had literary events set up just for us.
I left Boise, ID on Sunday afternoon and arrived in Reykjavik, Iceland at 8:30 am on Monday. An hour and a half later, after taking two buses from the airport to my hotel, Center Hotel Arnarhvoll, I had time to put my things in my room and grab lunch and meet our guide, Ragnor, in the lobby before we headed out to see the area near our hotel.
That day we toured the National Museum of Iceland. It had the story of the island and many exhibits of the way the earliest occupants lived. The first inhabitants of Iceland were Norsemen. They came from Norway in the 900s because they didn’t want to pay taxes and follow the rules of the king.
These first people were considered pagans because they didn’t have structured religious beliefs. Though through the Icelandic Sagas and what I learned, they had similar views of the earth and life as the American Indian. They believed there was a creator and also that earth, animals and the solar system had a part in their journeys on earth.
One of the interesting pieces of the museum was this replica of a house they would have lived in. The beds were not long enough for anyone to lie down. I was told they slept sitting up in the beds, each facing the opposite direction. This kept down the hanky-panky and allowed for family members and non-family members to share beds. A small home could sleep 8 people as there were four beds in this particular replica.
We drove by the Parliament building, sculptures, and many of the city’s landmarks. The other place we stopped was the Hallgrimskirkja church. It was beautiful and had a statue of Leif Erickson in front.
The huge organ in the church is the largest in Iceland.
The walk up the stairs was worth the views from the tower. We could see all of Reykjavik from all four sides of the tower.
That evening we had a three course dinner at a downtown restaurant. Even though it was fish (which we had at either lunch or dinner or both every day) I enjoyed the ambiance and the meal. As well as getting to know the 9 other members of our tour group.
I’ll be posting a couple of blog posts a week here with photos and escapades of my Iceland trip. Follow my blog if you want to see all the things we did and photos of Iceland.