Sunday, September 05, 2010

A trip around Iceland

I was not in Vienna, not in Kosovo, not in Reykjavik, but Akureyri (north of Iceland). I had this bizarre moment after watching Inception. I felt I should have an object to spin to realize in which world I was.

I had never traveled around my country so when my best friend was going there, I couldn´t resist.

It was before a holiday weekend (Verslunarmannahelgin or what i call lovingly "the drunken weekend") in the end of July/beginning of August, that my best friend Frikki, his boyfriend Davíð and his brother Valdi picked me up. What stood before me was a nightmare. A tiny car full of stuff. Yes, me and his brother were in the back and it was so full of stuff i couldn´t see him. I couldn´t help but laugh. To top it off the car would only play cassettes so we listened to Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Queen cassettes. It reminded me of old times.

We drove the south part of the country first and stopped at Skógarfoss (beautiful waterfall), where i dared Davíð to come out of the waterfall with the soundtrack from Baywatch. He laughed but didn´t do it. I gave him the nickname Davíð Hasselhoff anyway. Next stop: Jökulsárlón, where the Bond movie "Die Another Day" and "Tomb Raider" were filmed. No wonder. It´s such a beautiful area.

Finally we put up a tent at Haukafell, near Höfn á Hornafirði. We were the only people in the camping area so the first thing we did was run around and dance. After all theres a reason there is a saying "dance like no one´s watching. It was so much fun. Davíð og Valdi put up the tent while me and Frikki try to stay out of the way. We drank, listened to music but the best part was when me and Frikki were talking and Valdi put on his poncho and insisted on dancing the poncho dance around the tent. All of the sudden we heard a big THUMP! We asked "Did you fall?" Valdi: "Yes"....We almost fell out of our chairs laughing. Needless to say Valdi´s nickname became Valdi Poncho.

We stayed another night at Haukafell and spent the day in Höfn, swam, ate and stopped at Frikki´s friend Birna´s ranch, where we chased a pig. It was hilarious. Birna then joined us at the camping spot and showed us the area better. We had a dinner party, where Davið earned the nickname Grillmeister. The food was delicious. Birna´s friend came over and we drank, talked and listened to music. Great company. The night was horrible. I woke up in the night shivering, so cold that i couldn´t think straight. To top it off i had a stomach ache from hell as well which left me terrified. Me and Valdi slept on one side of the tent while Davíð and Frikki on the other so i went over to the other said and told Davíð my problem. He was worried so he let me stay with them and i got his sleeping bag. It helped.

We woke up, packed the tent and headed to Neskaupsstaður, where Frikki and Davíð´s friends, Andrés og Gulli, manage a hotel (Edda hotel). We got the most delicious Icelandic buffay I ever tasted. Then Andrés showed us around town. It was so tiny, calm but beautiful. They had a festival there so each neighbourhood had a different color and was decorated according to it. Brilliant idea. We spent two nights there where we were treated like stars. Loved it. Thank you Andrés and Gulli

We kept going..... Egilsstaðir, Krafla, Mývatn and also what looked like Ódáðahraun (desert of rocks)....where Valdi found 3 golfballs. I couldn´t stop laughing and sang "Útilegumenn í Ódáðahraun, eru kannski að golfast smá á laun" (a rearrange of icelandic song, you have to be icelandic to get that) .

Finally we were in the north of Iceland and second largest city Akureyri where we camped in the backyard of Davíð´s friend. We barbequed, went swimming, partied (where Valdi was drunk for the first time....adorable) and most importantly, did Stuðmannadansinn (a dance from the Icelandic movie Með allt á hreinu) down the whole stairs as shown below.

Now you can enjoy the two videos below. One showing us singing "Íslenskir karlmenn" by Stuðmenn and dancing the Stuðmannadansinn and the second shows the dance Valdi Poncho came up with dancing around the tent. Needless to say, seeing this will brighten your day :) 

We stayed two nights in Akureyri and then drove south, with one stop. Otherwise we were pretty tired after having traveled in that car. Traveling takes a lot of energy. I was though so happy with the trip, it is something every Icelander must do, travel and see it´s own´s so beautiful. I´m so grateful for Frikki, Davíð and Valdi. Thank you so much for inviting me on this trip. I will never forget it.

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