People are always shocked to hear that Iceland was number 2, but it has been for at least a decade (so it isn't just a Game of Thrones obsession or anything). After 10 days there, it is now my dream place to move to. (The Man is rolling his eyes as I have told him and everyone I know since my return that I would give up my life - except my dogs - and move there. I have even looked for a job there!)
I hope I can share with you all the reasons I loved it so much in the coming weeks, but before we get to that, a little about our trip.
A bit about Iceland - about 325 000 people call it home. 200 000 of them live near the capital in Reykjavik. The sheep outnumber the residents. This year it is estimated they will have 1 million tourists. This is probably good for the economy that was really impacted by the global recession in 2008. The country is clean, the water is amazing, but it is a pricy place to visit.
We had 10 days and slept in 9 different places. We slept in all kinds of other places (I will do a post just on that later).
We (by we I mean the Man) drove the ring road counter clockwise around the island. We drove about 2700 km in those 10 days. Our GPS only tried to kill us a few times by taking us on roads suited only for 4 wheel drives (called F roads) or having us drive where no road could be found.
Food: I can't eat gluten and shouldn't eat too much dairy. As both bread and dairy are huge staples in the Icelandic diet, I was good with gluten but ate dairy. I also ate a LOT of lamb - 8/10 nights it was my dinner. Thank goodness it is one of my favourites as neither the Man nor I eat fish and when you take out gluten in these tiny, tiny communities it doesn't leave much left. I have never had lamb that tasted soooooo good! Skyr - a yogurt/cream type product is excellent - but I only ate a little of that.
24 hours of daylight: I could still sleep but I can almost always sleep, so that isn't a surprise and I use a sleep mask all the time which probably helped. I am also a vivid dream and the side effect of the daylight I think was I had extra vivid and crazy dreams. The Man, who isn't as vivid a dreamer had the same thing happen.
I will share more about the trip next Saturday, where I will feature, places I slept and I think week 3 will be wildlife adventures, and we will go from there!
For now, here is my favourite picture, I think it looks like a painting.