So I just received an email that some rather necessary outdoor gear I purchased online will not be arriving in time for our trip to Iceland. This now means I will be scrambling locally to find suitable accoutrements to outfit myself before leaving.

This being Erie, of course, means this sucks.

As much I adore Reykjavik, Sailor Man and I are trying to get out into the countryside this time and well off the beaten path. Not an easy thing to do in Iceland during the winter months as many establishments close down and roads become impassable due to inclement conditions. So I’m packing accordingly. We plan to spend a lot of time outside and preferably in the company of glaciers.

And this means layers. Heavy wool socks and sock liners. Wind proof gloves and glove liners. Thermal shirts and wind proof jackets. Erie gets some nasty winds whipping through here, but it simply doesn’t compare to the western shore of Iceland in February. Our last trip through the country was during oddly mild weather (for January) so we didn’t actually experience much cold, but having lived on an island off the coast of Maine, I can tell you, winter Atlantic winds will freeze your hiney off (not to mention other extremities) if you let them.

We’re taking a different approach to Iceland this time. Instead of trying to cram everything in (a national park, horse back riding, museums, etc.) we’re concentrating our effort in one specific area that has our interest. We’ll spend our first day in Reykjavik visiting a settlement museum we really wanted to see last time but was closed, and revisiting the National Museum because the half-day we spent there previously didn’t do it justice. We plan to relax that night in one of the local city pools, or “hot pots” as they call them, and we’re looking to go to a pool where locals patron as I’m not into all that spa stuff you see at more touristy places.

The next day, we head North! Sailor Man has read the Sagas, which is no small feat, and has in mind some ancient sites. I’m letting him plan this magical mystery tour as I plan to be in no state of mind to decide anything after next Wednesday’s final exam at school. I just plan on carrying the Brenevin (an Icelandic schnapps with the nickname “Black Death” if that tells you anything) and holding the map.

So we got gloves? Check. Hiking boots? Double Check. Booze? (Wait and buy at Duty Free). Wools Socks? Triple Check.

I can’t tell you how many people have commented to me how nutty they think visiting this country in the winter is. But all I can say is when you see a country this beautiful and fascinating, having just one small piece of it to yourself without other tourists around makes it just that much more incredible.

Five more days…

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