QC Blog: Incredible Iceland

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Incredible Iceland

Well, I'm back.....And I don't think I have enough words to describe how great our trip to Iceland was. We had to write down our adjectives to keep track of the beauty we saw there.

First let me say that I was unsuccessful in finding an open Quilt store while I was in Iceland. The shops were closed when I had free time and open when I was on the tour bus. We just never seemed to be in sync. Instead, I bought t-towels with Icelandic themes on them - trolls, maps, Vikings, and killer sheep. And I bought cotton buffs (sort of like a headband and neck warmer in one) with photos of the town, the Aurora Borealis (which we didn't see) and the Icelandic flag. That was as far as my fabric buying went. But I did buy a Quilt magazine that is totally in Icelandic. I can't read a word of it, but wanted something with that flavor of the country. Having not been to the quilt stores, I can't say this with authority, but quilting is not really "the rage" over there. Knitting seems to be the craft of choice. They have wool from the sheep they raise and sell caps and sweaters and scarves and gloves, all knitted or crocheted.

The country is extremely energy conscious. The electricity for the lights is controlled by a card at the door (there are light switches as well), so you can turn off the power when you leave the room. The hair dryers have a switch that you have to hold down to operate the dryer - it doesn't stay on if you're not pressing it. The toilets flush with efficiency - there is a small and a large button on every toilet, with a one and a two, for different amounts of water. The hot springs that are all over the country are piped to the city to provide heat and power. Icelanders pay $200.00 per year for heat. There is no microwave in the breakfast room at the hotel, and very little processed food. Everything is fresh - Fish is made every way you can think of. They usually have small salads (not a lot of places to grow veggies) and fresh fruit. At breakfast there was a bottle of cod liver oil with teaspoons on the table. It's difficult to find low cal sweetener, and when they offered some, it was saccharin tablets (remember those?). They don't seem to have "diet foods." They do sell Pepsi Max and Coke Light, which both have zero calories. Cool Ranch Doritos are called "Cool American Doritoes" over there. Everyone is extremely fit and trim. They push their babies in baby buggies, not strollers, that are covered to various degrees for the wind, rain and weather. Everyone speaks English to some degree and seem puzzled by our propensity for questions. Hotel rooms don't have washcloths and they have very, very, very, very HOT water. But the cold water out of the tap is great to drink - cold and refreshing.

The views -- Breathtaking, stark, desolate, ominous, majestic, remote, vast, magnificent, incredible, amazing, unbelievable, ethereal, stimulating, gorgeousness and surreal were the words we did find to describe Iceland. My new D300 camera was awesome and performed in an unbelievable way. The Vibration Reduction on the 18-200mm lens does two things: one is keeping your handheld vibration to a minimum, and the second is to compensate for the vibration of you in a moving vehicle. I took pictures through a window that had rain and/or snow on it, while driving in a Super Jeep up a mountain, and they are clear and not blurred at all. We looked at the photos on our HD TV when I got home and they are dramatic landscapes of a country that is absolutely beautiful. The clarity of the HD photos is astounding. I used a Vosonic VP8860Media Viewer to back up my photos while on vacation and it gave me great peace of mind to know that my photos were in a second place and I could view them each day, but I didn't have to carry a computer with me.

I will try and get my act together and get some photos up tomorrow. I feel as if I've touched an untouched place and come away richer for it.

Until tomorrow.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

Welcome Home MJ!! I've been checking your blog the past few days, anticipating your return. I didn't see any stories about international incidents caused by ladies waving yellow towels. Too bad about missing the quilt stores, but hey, next time...

Iceland sounds like a gorgeous place to visit & I can't wait to see your photos. Talk soon!

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