My last big trip in Europe…and I saved the most unique for last – renting a camper with Tim and Dieter and driving the 830 mile ring road in Iceland. I woke up early the morning I left to finish up some things around the house, then my bus ended up being late. The second obstacle was an employee strike at the Mons train station, so there was no one to sell me a ticket…and two of the three electronic ticket machines were broken, and the last functioning one only took coins. After begging for twenty euros in change from the coffee stand, I made my train and the rest of the trip was thankfully uneventful.
The first thing I noticed about Iceland was the weather…cold, wet and windy…felt like Canada. We spent our first night in Reykjavik, which was a charming though not particularly pretty city. It seemed like a larger version of a fishing village. I was impressed by the array of street art I saw just walking around…clearly creativity is both widespread and encouraged here.
The people are among the nicest I’ve met…actively helping with directions, freely opening up conversations, and even buying birthday drinks for strangers. Tim turned 33 at midnight, and a couple locals were nice enough to help him celebrate. This was no small thing, as prices here are extraordinarily high…comparable to Switzerland as a typical beer is around nine euros. I had a strange vegetarian salad for dinner, something with barley, vegetables and red pepper sauce, while Tim and Dieter both had the whale steak.
The next morning we picked up our camper and hit the road. Let the adventure begin!