halló, iceland

I wrestled my bike into its box and lovingly wrapped it in packaging tape. My luggage and bike were plunked onto the airport scale, the number creeping up to a total of 114 lbs. Cringe. I was charged zero for heavy bags and zero for bike shipping, courtesy of a happy mistake by Icelandair.

I’ve received the whole wide range of reactions when this trip comes up I bring this trip up:

The excited friend: “You’re going to have so much fun!”
The parent-like acquaintance: “I assume you convinced someone to go with you? NO?! Oh my god, I am so glad I’m not your mother. Find a Sven to fight off the polar bears. Do they have polar bears in Iceland? I’m sure they have Svens.”
The most common: “On a bike? Like a bicycle? A bike doesn’t even have an engine. And of all places to bike, why Iceland?”

No idea. It just got stuck in my head.

I spent the next few hours watching Finding Nemo, the sun set and rise before a Mars-like landscape came into view. The plane touched down in Keflavik airport in southern Iceland; it looked like there was nothing there. Just a rocky lava ravaged wasteland. I spent half a day trying to stay awake, putting my bike together (tube had popped on the plane, front brake cable came loose) and exploring Reykjavík. They have delicious hot dogs and a pretty church. The architecture of their large buildings is probably inspired by rock jointing.

Then I went diving at Silfra, which is a fissure created by the diverging Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. The water is filtered through the rock and is so clear that the visibility is about 120 m – which is insane. The water was 3°C and the air was 4°C which dropped to about 0°C with the wind chill. Everyone was frozen by the end of dive 2, but it was worth it.

Fun fact: hot water in Reykjavík smells like sulfur (ie. rotten eggs – delicious).

Cheers from Reykjavìk, Iceland

PS. According to the road webcams, the north is snow covered and sitting at an ideal cycling/camping temperature of -5°C to -10°C My plan is based on complete and total optimism that by the time I get there, it’ll be passable and above freezing. I like my roads clear and my water in liquid state, but you can’t have everything…

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