Iceland Day 9: Snoke is *totally* Jar Jar

Iceland Day 9: Snoke is *totally* Jar Jar

After taking a six-hour-long shower, gorging myself on the free breakfast, and bidding a teary goodbye to the comfortable bed, I checked out of the Hotel Kea and drove Björk northward through Akureyi. Along the way I saw something I hadn’t seen since all the way back at Reykjavik: stoplights. As an adorable bonus, all of the red lights were heart-shaped. The snowbound peril began again almost immediately as I left the city and headed up the western side of…

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Iceland Day 8: Treat Yoself

Iceland Day 8: Treat Yoself

A fresh layer of snow had fallen during the night, and would continue to fall all morning. It’s funny how surprising this is for me; I had mentally prepared myself for the possibility of rain or ice on this trip, but steady snowfall in mid-April didn’t seem likely. How wrong I was. But the show must go on! And so I gently slid Björk in a counterclockwise loop around Lake Myvatn, stopping first at a group of “pseudo-craters” that are the product of giant…

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Iceland Day 7: White, wheat, or buried?

Iceland Day 7: White, wheat, or buried?

I’ve got a bit of a ranty Marc Maron-style opening today. Please feel free to skip down to the pretty pictures. I TOTALLY get why people travel with other people. Someone to share your experiences and memories with, split the bills, yadda yadda. I’ve done it myself. That! being! said! Among other things, I do NOT envy the picture-taking process: Person A poses in front of the waterfall/volcano/glacier/crashed-plane-on-beach. Person B lines up the picture, takes an impossibly long time composing the image, and…

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Iceland Day 6: Drivin’ in a Winter Terrorland

Iceland Day 6: Drivin’ in a Winter Terrorland

I was right to worry. The snow at the Höfn campground had melted overnight (which is not what I’d have expected, but, that’s Iceland for you). As I left town and drove to higher elevation, though, it reappeared. The first vehicle I passed was a snowplow, which would seem to be a good omen, but turned out to be a bad one. The road, it turned out, was only cleared in one lane—the southbound lane. And so, crazy as it…

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Iceland Day 5: Catastrophe

Iceland Day 5: Catastrophe

After running Björk’s built-in space heater for a few minutes Monday morning, I was able to convince myself to wriggle out of my sleeping bag. I shortly discovered my first serious snafu of the entire trip. Despite the switch being on the lowest setting, my little icebox had been acting as a freezer. Two Cokes and one beer had exploded overnight. I must have been sleeping like a rock. And so, my first productive hour of the day was spent in the back of the…

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Iceland Day 4: Kevin Gets Naked

Iceland Day 4: Kevin Gets Naked

To pick up my camper van on Sunday morning I had to walk to the bus station and take a 45-minute ride back to the airport, only to pick up ANOTHER shuttle and get to the rental agency. But after that and the usual stack of paperwork, I was finally introduced to her. Now, y’all may know that I always name my cars after female solo artists—Fiona, Tori, Cher, Florence, and so on. And so, uncreative though it may be:…

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Iceland Day 3: Waffles! Waffles! Waffles!

Iceland Day 3: Waffles! Waffles! Waffles!

After enjoying many fun beverages and cool people at Friday night’s improv afterparty, I woke up chilly but well-rested at 8:30 Saturday morning. I’d previously learned that the “oldest pool in Reykjavik” (I don’t know how to verify these things) was just a block from my apartment. So I threw on my layers, walked over, and paid a $9 entry fee to soak alongside the locals. I sank into the 42-degree water (yes, that’s in Celsius) and listened quietly to their friendly Icelandic chatter, failing…

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Iceland Day 2: I Think the Swans Stole It

Iceland Day 2: I Think the Swans Stole It

First, some terminology: The Ring Road is the big drive. The Golden Circle is the little drive. Confusing I know. Today I took the little drive, splitting a car rental with two Brits (Phil and Katy!) and two Swedes (Peter and Daniel!) to visit some of the best views in Iceland within spitting distance of Reykjavik. It was still overcast when I left the Airbnb—24 hours and counting with no sun—and walked across downtown to the car rental. I picked…

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Iceland Day 1: Sü-Sü-Süssúðío

Iceland Day 1: Sü-Sü-Süssúðío

I slept terribly on the overnight flight from JFK to Reykjavik, occasionally peeking out the window in hope of seeing the northern lights. There was an orange smear of sunlight growing on the horizon when our 737 dipped into a thick layer of low clouds over Iceland. Seconds before touching down, we emerged out the bottom, and I got my first glimpse of the country—mottled soil and rocky coast, all shades of gray this early in the morning. As a tour…

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“Interstellar” is Dumb

“Interstellar” is Dumb

In 2012, I decided that I would visit Iceland in 2017. Yes, that’s ridiculously far in advance. I like planning things. Just ask my parents about our trip to Disney World in 8th grade—there were dot-matrix-printed spreadsheets. But, five years is enough time to plan a serious trip. And now, sure as the Mayan apocalypse, the time has arrived. I’m flying to Reykjavik on Wednesday morning, spending the weekend at the Iceland Improv Festival in between sampling the tourist attractions and local cuisine. Then on Sunday…

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