Blogs > Fresh Ink

Barbara Lombardo of Saratoga Springs, NY, is a journalism adjunct at University at Albany and retired executive editor of The Saratogian, The Record and the Community News. Follow her on Twitter @Barb_Lombardo.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Iceland: A really cool vacation destination

Steam bubbles up in a country created by volcanoes.

A spring visit to Iceland sounded like a cool idea when we signed up last October – before the Interminable Winter of 2014-15 blew in and stayed put. As freezing February dragged on (don’t tell me it’s the shortest month; it went on forever) and March was no better,  a vacation requiring wool socks and long underwear seemed as smart as picking UAlbany to go all the way.
This geyser erupts every few
minutes. What a draw that would
be in our state park!
Turned out that Iceland was a beautiful, fun place. We had 11 hours of daylight, lots of sunshine, and even in the 30s, the weather was usually milder than it was back home on Wednesday, when I had to wipe slushy frost off my windshield.

Lots of lighthouses in Iceland.
Gullfoss, the Golden Waterfall,
with a glacier in the distance.
A few highlights: Crossing the tectonic plates, the growing rift between the North American and European continents that form Iceland; walking along a steaming path as boiling water bubbled up from holes in the crusty landscape; floating in the geothermally heated Blue Lagoon wearing a silica mud face mask and slurping a strawberry smoothie while lifeguards roamed in parks and ski masks; spooning saffron-infused fish soup loaded with mussels, shrimp and scallops, and savoring the most moist arctic char ever, two of many excellent meals in lively, walkable downtown Reykjavik; touring a greenhouse where fresh tomatoes are picked every day and a geothermal plant where clean, natural heat is harnessed; letting a 500 krona bill burn a hole in my wallet until I realized it was the equivalent of $3.61; and learning that Icelandic is impossible to speak and words apparently have a 12-letter minimum, including made-up symbols like an A and E joined at the hip and a melting d wearing a hat.

This was my husband’s and my third trip abroad with Edventures, run by an Ithaca woman and her local friend, Mary Huber. Our good experiences traveling with this small group to Italy and Scotland helped us decide to sign up to visit a place that wasn’t really on our radar. We’re glad we had a chance to explore even a relatively small portion of this friendly, fascinating country. 


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home