So I'm back in my own home in California, after galavanting around New York and Pennsylvania for two weeks. No cow-tipping this trip. Though I did play tourist on the Empire State Building. But I'm not getting too comfy here because in another week we're off to London and Iceland. I'm finally going to the land of our Viking forefathers, which now publishes the highest number of books per capita of any country in the world, and gave us Bjork. It's been a long time coming.
Iceland has held an appeal for me for over a decade now. When I lived in the UK I knew a guy who would take groups on tours to Iceland. I almost went with his group once, but, seeing as how I was perpetually broke, that kind of fell through.
And what's more ironic is that a bunch of people I know have been to Iceland, some of whom heard about it from me. And I've never got my ass in gear enough to make the 3 hour flight from London.
In fairness to me, Scandinavia did leave a bad taste in my mouth after a really horrible trip to Norway in 2004. So I think I avoided going anywhere potentially linked with Vikings after barely surviving the worst heat wave in Oslo's recorded history in a non-air-conditioned Best Western with no bathtub that made me feel like I was trapped in an Ikea catalog. I wasn't big on Iceland for a few years after that.
Then the economy fell apart, and Iceland nearly went geothermal belly up. They're still considering getting rid of their currency because it's so worthless. Note to self: it doesn't really work when an entire country of fishermen decides that they all want to become hedge fund managers.
The one upside to the failing Icelandic economy is that it's relatively cheap to go there now. I say relatively, because everything in Iceland is bloody expensive. We'll be staying in a youth hostel, sharing showers with smelly students from Estonia, I'm sure.
But we'll all be in Iceland, paying $15 for a non-value-meal at McDonald's, and we'll be happy about it :)