Jake Baines

Reykjavik, Iceland

Getting There

I left on a flight from Denver, Colorado to Reykjavik, Iceland at 4:15pm on Sunday, February 1st. After large amounts of turbulence over 7 hours and 20 minutes, I arrived in Iceland at 6:30 am the next day. This flight ended up being priced at $719.30.


http://www.expedia.com/Flights-Search?trip=roundtrip&leg1=from:DEN

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Where to Stay

I'm staying in the Hotel Borg, and will stay there for 5 days for a total of $2,317. Hotel Borg, built in 1930, was the idea of an adventurer, Johanes Josefsson. The hotel effectively shows Iceland's history. Instead of the walls being covered in murals, when you walk in your room, there are photos of civilians in Iceland from 1925 to 1940, giving locals a nice moment of pride for their country and tourists an idea of the history of the country there are in.



http://www.booking.com

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Food

I ate at the Vox restaurant in Iceland during my trip. Though it mainly specializes in seafood and other fish related dishes, I donated most of the 55.350 kroners I allowed for food (which converted to only 49 cents!) to the success of their beef platter.


http://www.vox.is/en

Activities

During my stay in Iceland, I will be riding the ferry to the beautiful example of nature, Videy Island. After that, I plan to get a tour of the of the Open-Air Folk Museum, which archives the old-style culture of the citizens of Iceland. Lastly, I would like to take a tour of the Golden Circle, which shows visitors the magical wonders of Iceland, such as waterfalls, geysers, and even volcanoes!


http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g189970-d1526196/Reykjavik:Iceland:Videy.Island.html


http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g189970-d245994-Reviews-Open_Air_Folk_Museum_Arbaejarsafn-Reykjavik_Capital_Region.html


http://daytours.nordicvisitor.com/iceland/golden-circle-tours/the-golden-circle-classic/219/

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History and Culture

History


Iceland was first colonized during the 700s by Norse settlers. It has been said that the island was inhabited by monks long before the settlers arrived, but archaeologists have discovered evidence that the monks left the island before they settled, and that the island was inhabited sometime before the year 874.

During the Middle Ages, Iceland fell under Norway's control. Eventually, when the Kalmar Union (the Union between Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, which caused the collective ownership of Iceland, between the three countries) ended, the ownership of Iceland shifted to Denmark and Norway, still united.

After Denmark and Norway separated, Iceland's control fell to Denmark. In the 1850's, Iceland began it's journey toward independence, which was inspired by the actions of mainland Europe. Eventually, Denmark allowed a constitution for Iceland and restricted home rule.



Culture


Many cuisines from Iceland consist of lamb meat, seafood, and dairy. Vegetables and fruits are often spoiled by the island's cold climate, so there are very rarely, if not never included into the dishes.

Sport, in Iceland, is very popular. An Icelandic form of wrestling is very popular, as is football (European football, so soccer to Americans). In fact, the icelandic football team was ranked number 15 by FIFA.

Iceland is mainly Protestant, so they mainly attend the Church of Iceland, a correspondingly protestant.






http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iceland

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Problems/Solutions

Throughout the tours, sights, shops, and even at the airport, I was annoyed with the differences between the English language and that of Iceland. Even the writing is very different, which was terrible at grocery stores and museums. Luckily, Google translate is very helpful (once you can figure out how to spell the words).

http://translate.google.com/

Conclusion/Reflection

My trip to Iceland has been very scenic, inspiring, and informational. I would love to travel to the rest of Scandinavia. Even though, I wasn't all that enthusiastic about Iceland, in comparison to other countries like Germany, England, and Denmark, I am glad I went there because it has a very interesting history when it comes to ownership of the island, and their slow journey to independence.

About the Traveler

I'm Jacob Baines, and have had no traveling history outside of the 50 states (I have been to Kentucky, Minnesota, Nebraska, and I live in Colorado). I would like to travel outside of the U.S. in the near future, specifically to the United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland. I love almost all of Europe's history, as well as most of America's, which is why I would love to travel to London and Ireland.