Saturday, February 11, 2012

Iceland - My thoughts

This blog is a bit late.  I've been busy over the last few months.  I've come to reflect that I really loved my time in Iceland.  Yes it was only two full days there, but considering that, I did a lot.  I've been curious about Iceland for a long time.  It is the kind of place one would go if you enjoy the outdoors.  The landscape is stunning and the people, like Nordic people in general, tend to be pleasant.

I guess that I had too much leave left and the experiences of Hong Kong meant I needed another holiday.  Iceland was ideal, in that it was not too far and not too near.  I've always wanted to go to the Blue Lagoon and bathe in the health giving waters.  I had to do it.  Price was it was not too bad.  The Icelandic Krona might have gone down in value against the Pound, but it wasn't as cheap as people say.  The Crisis of 2008 meant the value of the ISK went down, but to people in Iceland, it didn't make much difference.  Things are still expensive, just cheaper to outsiders.  People say London is expensive, but that isn't exactly true.  Like anywhere else, you just need to know where to get a good deal.

Icelandic Air is not a bad airline.  The checking in experience is normal, the management of the gates was dreadful.  I liked the touch screen VOD, but disliked the idea of busy food onboard the flight, to make it worst, it had to be done by credit card and it was so slow.  I wouldn't have bothered paying extra for premium economy for a hot meal either.  The food didn't appeal.

It was mid-December, it doesn't get light until 11am and then it gets dark by 4pm.  There was snow, but unlike Britain, the roads are well managed and there are always gritters.  I was prepared for the weather, but I can see that there were many tourists who weren't .  Icelandic people are very friendly and there is much care for the environment.  Icelandic society is very progressive, yet people are very proud of their cultural identity.  There are many things the Chinese can learn about Iceland.  Yes, nothing is perfect, timekeeping isn't great, the food takes time getting used to.  Reykjavik is actually quite a small city and there are many things you find in the capitals of most European countries that you wouldn't find here.  There are no trains, tubes, no grand museums, but then again, there isn't a great sense of urgency.  I guess being from HK and living near London, I know all about the rush and the bother.  Iceland is ideal for me, as I can really get away from it all.  I love the quality of life and there is so much on offer.  I want to go back one day.