Dana lives in Seattle, and Tracie lives in Germany. We are businesswomen, writers and humorists. We write about life, dating, and today's modern women.
Our final leg of our European get-away took Susan and I to Iceland. Now, those who know me, know I’m blunt, so I’ll just say it… What’s the shortest book ever written? Blacks in Iceland!
I always run cold, and Susan is the polar opposite. We have traveled extensively together and trip after trip we constantly battle over the temperature of our shared hotel room. She teasingly says she can’t wait for my hot flashes to begin, so when I go to sleep, she can blast the heat and have me wake up in a literal “sweat dream!”
Iceland… I arrived not knowing what to expect, except that two friends had journeyed to Reykjavik five years ago and hated it. My Aunt had visited and shared it was extremely expensive. By and large, my vision was we would experience Big Viking men who were drunk and aggressive, and by the early morning, I would find the remains of their inebriated bodies on the snow filled streets, while I searched for my Starbucks, which by the way hasn’t made it to Iceland yet. But alas, I believe as my business card reads, EVERY VENTURE SHOULD BE AND ADVENTURE! So, I was ALL in!
When the taxi pulled us up to our hotel from the airport and requested 16,000 Krona, I thought of my Aunt Barbara’s warning and I was petrified to even ask how many dollars that converted to. Turns out it was approximately $132.00 US Dollars. I soon found out, a glass of wine or vodka with tonic set me back 2800 Krona or approximately $23 US dollars. But the good news was tips are always included.
I had the very good fortune that my dear friend, Rob Angel, who happened to create the game Pictionary, and is a seasoned traveler, connected me with his Icelandic buddy, Ingvar, a prolific Icelandic film producer.
Ingvar was a God-send and gave us all the right places to go, see, and experience. Friday night the city was on lock-down with every Pub filled for the soccer championship between Iceland and Croatia. The game ended in a tie, advancing Iceland, and thus the partying began and went on into the wee hours of the next morning.
Saturday, Ingvar called and invited us to the beach. I was assuming it had to be some indoor man-made theme park, so we agreed to go. Although I’ve never been, I hear Dubai has an indoor ski arena. I peered out our hotel room and looked at the raging snow, “Every Venture is an Adventure” right? Thirty minutes later, I found myself standing next to Susan, both us of bikini clad in 2 degree weather. With what compared to a hand towel, I tried to cover my rear end and the ripples of cellulite which were starting to freeze like old ice cream and getting frost bit. The torrent wind whipped up and I realized this wasn’t Dubai! It was the ocean literally we were standing before! I was beyond frigid, my body temperature had never reached that low, and Ms. Hottie, never get cold, Susan wailed that she too couldn’t take it. We were immobilized as we watched the Icelandic natives jump into the freezing waters like polar bears! Visually, this took the song, Baby it’s Cold outside to a new level. Thankfully, Susan and I found a hot tub and enjoyed the scenery. When Ingvar joined us in the hot tub, he explained it is a local custom for natives to swim year round. He tried to share the benefits and coax us in with how amazing it felt, but his argument fell on deaf ears.
Later that afternoon, at Ingvar’s suggestion as we were looking to warm up, we joined a tour bus, which drove us the 45 minutes to our eagerly awaited visit to The Blue Lagoon. This geothermal spa is located in a lava field on the Reyjjanes Peninsula. The history says in 1976, a pool formed on the site from the waste water of a geothermal plant. People started bathing in it after the discovery of its healing powers for psoriasis. In 1992, the facility opened to the public.
I must say, in all my Menopausebarbee years, I have never experienced anything like this. As we plunged into the boiling hot water filled with a melting pot of people from every country, speaking in every tongue, sipping on vino and inhaling the natural beauty of the surroundings, it was surreal.
I found the Icelandic people to be extremely nice, welcoming, and their English astoundingly good!
O.k., perhaps it won’t be the shortest book ever written, Blacks in Iceland– because I will be back!
And because of Susan’s veto power, I’m not posting the photos of us bikini clad at the beach!
Takk Iceland! (Thank you Iceland!)