When I first flew into Iceland yesterday, my first thought was, “This sure looks like the Big Island of Hawaii!” You see, Iceland is also a land of volcanoes and lava flows, and like the islands of Hawaii, most everything has to be imported. It means that all goods, food, etc. are frightfully expensive!
On the plane over from Ireland, I happened to be traveling next to a 9-yr. old Icelandic girl who was by herself, and we began talking after awhile. She said her stepmother owned a chocolate bar company which was advertised in the inflight menu. It was called Omnom, containing chocolate, licorice and sea salt. She bought one from the flight attendant so I could try it. A six ounce bar cost $12! But after I tasted it, I found it absolutely scrumptious. When I saw it at the hotel gift shop, I bought two to take home.
After the 3-star hotels in Ireland, I am luxuriating at the 4-star Foss Hotel Reykjavik, a brand new building which is the largest hotel in Iceland with 320 rooms. I walked into my room to find the TV on, playing music and a screen which said, “Welcome to the Foss Hotel, Katherine Crosier!”
Today our tour group of 35 people went on what is known as The Golden Circle, looping from Reykjavik into central Iceland and back. From Wikipedia: The three primary stops on the route are the Þingvellir national park, the Gullfoss waterfall (meaning “golden falls”), and the geothermally active valley of Haukadalur, which contains the geysers Geysir and Strokkur. Though Geysir has been inactive for a long time, Strokkur, on the other hand, continues to erupt every 5–10 minutes. At the first stop, our guide told us that we were standing in a fissure between the tectonic plates, with America on our left and Europe on our right.
I went with three other women who are traveling solo and we had dinner at a cute cafe featuring homemade Icelandic food. I had a few pieces of smoked trout on flatbread with cheesecake as dessert and it cost $30!