So, we are here - in Iceland! All of our flights were smooth sailing and we landed in Iceland in the early morning hours (middle of the night by U.S. standards - we are 4 hours ahead here, on Greenwich Mean Time). When we arrived it was overcast, cold, and rainy. Not the greatest introduction to this interesting land but lucky for us it passed and turned into a beautiful day - sunny with temps arounds 65 (I'm guessing because I am not all that good at Celsius to Fahrenheit conversations - typcial stupid American!).
So, we dragged overselves on to the hired bus and rode in to town to discover it was much too early to check in to our hotel rooms. Instead we hit the buffet breakfast - Icelandic yogurt (Skyr) is soooo good, I will be partaking in some of that every morning while I am here. Then we went off on a walking tour (the logical thing to do when you are absolutely exhausted) and discovered a bit more of the city of Reykhavik. It is practical, quiet, and charming.
And, yes, with that many bearded men in one group we stood out. Blending in will be a challege on this trip! Two cute stories of small Icelandic children encountering the beardies. First, we were in the City Hall and there were 3 small children staring as if they had just seen a purple unicorn. Our guide, Frederik, translated that they were telling there Mommy that there were so many "Christmas men!" Too cute. [On a sidenote to this story, in Iceland they have 13 "Christmas men" that come one each night in the 13 days before Christmas.] The second story involves some elementary school children who were out on a field trip and we crossed paths. The children stopped and stared at these bearded men as if they were aliens who had just landed (which, I guess, in truth we were). As they realized these hairy men were pretty friendly they started to draw closer. I have a cute picture of this line of (mostly) 10 year of boys chatting up this line of bearded men (young peers up at old, or should I say older). Then the bearded men handed out their cards and the kids took this opportunity to surround them - the teachers had to intervene. In the final punchline to the story the children taught the men how to say s-h-i-t in Icelandic, upon which one of rowdier members of the group starting shouting it loudly, breaking the almost of perfect silence of a Reykhavik morning - again, typical Americans.
More to follow....