Iceland: The Good, The Bad and My Great Fall
At some point you guys have to be tired of seeing me in swimsuits frolicking on the beach, so for my first trip of 2018, I decided to do it a little different. I decided to frolic in a snowsuit......in Iceland!! Yes I'm Canadian so I'm used to the cold, but I had no clue whatsoever how to pack or prepare for a vacation in the cold! Do I need ice gripping boots (Yes, yes you do!!! You'll hear about why in a few minutes....smh.) Do I need a snowsuit? Earmuffs? Leg warmers? This was a totally new experience for me, and I was excited. For me, travel is always about new experiences (well except when I go to Jamaica 4 times a year..that's just love. It's my home away from home!)
I booked a flight with WOW Air. It is totally a budget airline. You get no extras. You even have to pay for your carryon luggage. So I decided that there was no way that I was gonna pay for my suitcase plus carry on, so I had to be strategic as to how I packed. Bare minimums! I've never packed in a way that I'd have to wear the same clothes twice in one trip. I generally like to act like the rich and famous, and only wear clothes once. But the way how those baggage charges were set up, I was living more like 'Broke and On a Serious Budget!'
I was warned in advance, that WOW Airlines has a bit of a reputation for cancelling flights all willy nilly. So I had my fingers crossed that this wouldn't be my fate. But of course with my luck, a snow storm just happened to pass through Toronto the day before my flight. I almost knew for certain that my flight would be delayed but hopefully not cancelled. My flight was scheduled for 6pm. I got an email on the morning of my flight that it was delayed until 11pm! Once I boarded the plane , the flight was delayed an additional hour. I was beginning to wonder if Wow's actual name was "WOW, are we ever gonna take off?" But alas, I was finally on my way.
Once I checked into my hotel, my first stop.....The Icelandic Phallological Museum otherwise known as the Penis Museum!!! Like, if a country is known for something, it would be rude of me to not check it out. It would be irresponsible journalism. Ha! Calm down ladies, there are no human penises there. Boooooo I know! However they are looking for donations sooooo if you know someone!
One thing I have to say about Iceland; I felt 100% safe walking by myself. At no point did I ever feel uncomfortable, even while I was walking alone in the dark. At this time of year, there is only about 5 hours of daytime. Even when it was daytime, it still looked overcast. So if I only roamed the streets when it was daytime, I wouldn't of seen half of the things that I experienced in Iceland. Now, I did get a few looks. I'm pretty sure that it's because I'm black. There aren't a lot of black people in Iceland. Actually one night when I was at a club, a black woman ran up to me and gave me a huge hug. When we finally separated, I asked "have we met?" and she said 'Nope, but you're the first black person that I've seen in Iceland and I've been here for 5 days!!!" Hahahhahaha.... I tell you no lie. We started taking selfies with one another. The joy was real!
Whoever said that you can enjoy Iceland in just a few days is a damn liar! I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to take in everything that Iceland had to offer. Unfortunately I missed the Reykjavik walking tour that I wanted to do, so I could become more familiar with the city, and taste some Icelandic food. I'm so broken that I wasn't able to try the whale fat, and ram's testicles. Ooohh I'm so so broken! Speaking of food, if you enjoy eating, bring a lot of money. Like...a mortgage payment kinda money! One night I was feeling lazy and didn't feel like roaming the streets looking for food. So I said 'Hey World Boss, let's order some room service.' One of the cheapest things on the menu was a burger and fries, which worked out to be $37!!!! Plus, they charge an additional $18 for room service!!!! Man, I've never put on clothes so quick to go downstairs and pick up my food my damn self!!! Hahahahahha
1 can of Coke was $5, water $5, pretty much the average meal will cost you approximately $40-50. Yes, you read that correctly. So you kinda have to be strategic when planning your meals. My hotel included a free buffet breakfast (well the cost was included in my nightly stay.) So I would eat as though I was pregnant with twins every morning. No shame in my game. I've paid for the breakfast and I'm gonna take advantage! Speaking of taking advantage, I'd also pack some food from breakfast in my purse, so I'd have lunch to eat as well! Roll your eyes if you want to, I was on a budget! Plus I brought snacks like trail mix and granola bars from Toronto with me, so I pretty much had breakfast, lunch and snacks covered. That way I only had to buy dinner! Booyah!
One must do thing when you travel to Iceland is the Famous Blue Lagoon geothermal spa. Have you ever had a place in your head, that you just knew that one day you had to visit? I've seen hundreds of pictures of the Blue Lagoon, and I always knew that one day I'd make it there. So even before I travelled to Iceland, I purchased my ticket to the lagoon as I didn't want to run the risk of it being sold out for my dates (which does happen!)
The day that I was going to head to the Lagoon, I found myself with a few extra hours that morning. So I decided to try and find Cafe Haiti. Cafe Haiti is owned by a black woman from Haiti. I read on quite a few blogs that her food is delicious, so I ceased the day and headed out.
This was probably at about 9am. It still looked like midnight outside, because the sun didn't start to rise until about 10:30am. I loaded her address into my trusted Google maps and decided to walk since it said it would only take me 26 minutes. Did I mention that it started to rain while I was mid walk? I know a lot of people think that Iceland is full of snow, but there was actually no snow in Reykjavik. However it rained every day. You'd think knowing this I would have travelled with an umbrella...nope! Badasses like me welcome the rough elements (I'm giving myself a side eye here!) Although Iceland lacked snow, they made up for in ice. Hence the name ICELAND I guess. On more than one occasion I found myself tap dancing on black ice trying not to fall and bust my head open! Do you know how difficult it is to look cool right after you just tap danced to save your life???? To make a long story short, my Google maps sent me all over Iceland except for where I needed to go! I can't recall ever being that lost. It would tell me that I'm 2 minutes away, then 2 minutes later tell me I'm 18 minutes away!!!! Needless to say, I may or may not have cussed quite a few bad words! To make my experience even more awesome, while walking on the sidewalk, minding my own business the black ice finally got me, and I totally busted my ass on the ice. I mean, one minute I was walking casually, and the next minute one leg was practically higher than my head, then both legs were in the air! My hat went flying one way, my phone and gloves went flying another way! I landed flat on my back and spun. You know that break dancing move that you're spinning on your back? Yeah well that was me!!!! Sweet Jesus! Who knew that I'd have to go all the way to Iceland to learn how to break dance! In hindsight, after I collected myself and checked that I didn't die, I noticed all the locals walking on the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street. Hmmm perhaps they knew something I didn't? Please take my advice; when travelling, you don't always have to go against the grain. If you see all the locals doing something a particular way (in this case it's walking on the other side of the street) it's ok to follow the crowd sometimes! Trust me! Needless to say, the hot water at the Blue Lagoon helped to soothe my aching body from the fall. Perfect timing I guess!
Things You Should Know:
Instead of snow pants, bring water resistant clothes. It rains a lot in Iceland.
If you are a foodie, you'll love Iceland. The food is sooooo fresh. Yes, it's expensive but you have to remember everything is imported, so you pay for that. But when you do splurge, it is delicious. I ordered fish and chips, and I swear the fish died on my plate how fresh it was.
If you'd like to cut down on costs of food, visit their grocery store Bonus. Food will still be somewhat expensive there, but it's the cheapest that you'll find.
They don't accept tips in Iceland (insert shocked face.) Well maybe I shouldn't say that they don't accept it, but it is not expected. Even when you're paying by debit, there is no option to add tip. Supposedly because people are paid well there, there isn't the need to supplement their income with tips.
I absolutely had to ice my bum cheeks that night after the fall. Just thought I'd put that out there! lol