Thursday, April 16, 2009

Iceland - Day 1

We walked through Keflavík (pronouced Kef-lah-week) yesterday afternoon and discovered a few things.
  • The B & B Guesthouse shares the building with another business so our guestrooms are on the floor above the Fiskboðin - fish market. Ah, that could get interesting since our tiny room is so hot an open window is a must.
  • Coke is everywhere! The little diner where we ate fish & chips (breakfast) was filled with coke memorabilia. Definitely my kind of place.
  • This currency exchange is confusing. The prices in Icelandic kronur are HUGE but they don´t always write them huge. I picked out a small handful of postcards that said they cost .95 or .65 each, yet Jimmie handed the clerk a 1000 kr bill and only got a few coins back. I know my eyes popped. Later when we bought some Skyr for our supper Jimmie quickly figured out which coins to use in addition to the 500 kr bill he had just forked over. Now I am officially bewildered because I KNOW that the 2 items I put on the counter cost 1.79 and 2.98 plus tax. Why are 500 bills being needed? Jimmie had to explain to me that a period (.) here is just a shorthand way of writing 100. That little tub of Skyr actually cost 1790 kronur. A comma (,) is what they use in prices like we do a decimal point. So even the numbers need translating? I think that paying in Iceland needs to be a Jimmie job.
  • Skyr is the Icelandic version of yogurt, only much thicker with a little different texture. Not bad, but I don´t think Dannon´s has any need to worry.

We also got a rental car yesterday so we drove a bit, trying to get acclimated. The main color of Iceland right now is brown. The temperature is fairly pleasant and we only needed sweaters until we stopped at a lighthouse on the coast and then the heavy coats quickly came out of the trunk. The buildings are very simple in design, something Jimmie really likes, and except for the sea being in almost every view it reminds him of Malawi. But seeing huge steam vents rising in the distance is a reminder that this island basically sits on top of a volcano.

- Linda

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