Reykjavik … 64 degrees North

After a punishing 86 day work week, I laid down my pen and headed to the airport. Hopped on a super quick flight to Reykjavík.

Got to Reykjavík at 6 a.m. in pitch black with a full, bright moon. A bit confusing. It was actually 1 a.m. at home and it sure seemed like 1a.m. in Reykjavík, also.

Unfortunately, my room wasn’t ready when I got to the hotel, so I fortified myself with some coffee and breakfast and headed out. Sunday mornings in Reykjavík are sleepy. And I mean sleepy. Could be that it’s pitch black until 10 a.m. I now understand the draw to stay in bed until that hour.

I headed to Hallgrimskirkja, the iconic waterfall steeple of the Lutheran church in Reykjavík, which was all of 150 feet up the road from my hotel. Climbed the tower and had the most amazing view of my first sunrise in Iceland….at a rather civilized 10 a.m.

I spent the next day and a half waking around Reykjavik. Through every alley, for miles around the harbour. It’s an amazing little city. Sprawling for sure, but it feels like a small town. Which it kind of is, seeing as the total Icelandic population is a whopping 320,000.

After I had my fill of Reykjavík, I hopped in the bus to Husafell . Which is north east of the city and a very sleepy little town consisting of a hotel and a bunch of summer homes. Imagining summering at the foot of the second largest glacier in Iceland? I’m from Canada and even for me, that doesn’t quite compute.

We hopped into a converted NATO missile launcher with 5 foot studded tires and headed up the glacier. Husafell was a balmy 1C and quite calm. Up at 1,280 metres, weather patterns changed significantly. Temperatures dropped by 10C, winds were howling and we ended up in white out conditions. Bamboo sticks mark the “road” and with the assistance of GPS, we found our target – an ice cave 40 metres under the glacier. Pretty brilliant to see what a glacier looks like from the inside.

Today, I’m off to the Golden Circle to find waterfalls, geysers and hopefully some smoked lamb (Iceland’s Christmas treat, I hear).

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