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By this point of the trip I was questioning my love for travel. I was worn out and exhausted and dreamt of being home. Not because I missed New York in the slightest, but because I missed my bed. I missed not having to get out of bed until I felt like it, at least on the weekends. I missed not waking up and rolling over to anyone or being awaken by the person one bunk over packing to leave. I missed a normal routine. And in the process, I realized how much I hated the actual action of traveling. What I realized I didn’t like was having to pack up at one location and start the trek to the other. While indefinite travel is my goal, it isn’t an option right now. So I have to work with what I have. I learned that four countries in the span of 11 or 12 days is too much for me. I could’ve easily cut one country from this journey and felt a little more at ease, albeit I don’t regret a thing. I got to see some places I’ve always wished I’d see and with them being so close, I’d probably do it all over again and just alter my itinerary slightly. It was in fact a learning experience and once again helped me realize what I should and shouldn’t do during my trips coming up soon. But anywho, this is all about Iceland, baby.
When I arrived at Keflavik airport I made my way through the duty free shop in search of the Clove mini cigars I couldn’t find in London. They weren’t in Iceland either. I passed aisle upon aisle of alcohol, tempted to spend those euros I’d been holding onto since Christiania, but opting not to because it was just little ol’ me and well, what the hell was I going to do with an entire bottle of alcohol. I wanted to go out for a cocktail or two and not be confined to finishing off a bottle in my Airbnb. I left the store empty handed and sold a kidney to pay for my bus ticket to downtown Reykjavik where I’d be staying for the next few days.
After a 40+ minute ride through the literal middle of nowhere and countless stops at the hotels of passengers, I arrived at a bus stop about one minutes walk from the house I was staying at. With a backpack the size of mine, it was perfect. I made my way to the wooden gate, found my key in a box outside, and entered the home. When I made my way upstairs and noticed that my room had three beds as opposed to the one I requested, I assumed I didn’t pay enough for a single. Luckily no one else ever showed up and my Airbnb hostess almost immediately messaged me regarding the mixup and let me know that I’d be switched to a single the next day.
The first and only plan on the itinerary was to find food and a cocktail. Anything else was secondary. After walking about 5 minutes or so, I moseyed into the only restaurant advertising a 2 for 1 happy hour and ordered up two strawberry mojitos. While I was calculating why they may be so cheap, I realized that the periods in Icelandic currency are the US equivalent of commas. This is when I would find out that Copenhagen wasn’t the most expensive country on my itinerary, but it was in fact Iceland. Extremely expensive is an understatement, if you ask me.
Once I finished my not so happy hour I headed back to my Airbnb. It dawned on me that I could see Hallgrimskirkja, an infamous Icelandic cathedral, from the front yard and inevitably from the steps in the backyard as well. Almost immediately I decided that since I had no other plans for the evening, that’d be my destination. I know things sometimes appear much closer than they really are, but I didn’t care how far this was. I was going. I double checked on my gps and it was more than walkable, even for the laziest human on earth. I made my way there to get some shots, but couldn’t help but enter. It was beautiful. That’s for sure. It’s also of importance that Iceland is home to some of the most beautiful “graffiti” I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Every day I photographed a piece I didn’t notice the day before. It pays to re-roam the same areas.