Note: I will hopefully be able to update this post to include photos when my wifi gets less sketchy.
I am in Iceland!
It's just for a layover. For like ten hours. Also I've been awake for almost 24 hours now and my mental functioning and typing skills feel severely impaired.
So far I arrived in Iceland at 7am, which is 1am Colorado time. I had a bus scheduled to take me to the Blue Lagoon, but I wasn't quite sure how that worked with the bags I had checked—did I have to pick them up and take them with me, or no? I didn't see them on the baggage claim, so I continued downstairs...
...Where the Icelandic girl at the Blue Lagoon tours counter told me that I should have gotten them upstairs. Great. Just great. Obviously I couldn't go backwards because I didn't have security clearance. So the girl just told me to get to the airport extra early and hope they were in the lost and found...
So with the prospect of arriving in France with nothing but the clothes on my back and the random sketchbooks and dictionaries in my backpack, I went to the Blue Lagoon and tried to pretend my body didn't think it was 3am.
First of all—the landscape here is crazy. It's so severe and sparse and brutal. The little screen on the back of the chair on the flight said that 50% of Icelanders believe in elves, and even just flying over the countryside, I can see why. This whole place is covered with volcanic stones that just beg to be stacked, or have caves built in. It looks like something is living in them. There are little stone cairns everywhere—who knows who built them, and when. Everything is covered with a thick, unstoppable layer of pale pale pale white-green moss. Random hillocks break the horizon. Yeah, I would believe in elves here.
So yeah, I got to the Blue Lagoon. And it was warm and salty and floaty and...blue? It was pretty cool, I guess. The water was extremely milky and not very deep. But maybe I was doing it wrong, or maybe it's not as fun to hang around in geothermally-heated water by yourself, because I got bored pretty quick.
Then I took the bus back to the airport after about an hour (HOT TIP: go to this place right before it opens, because by the time I left there was a HUGE crowd trying to get in...), then I sketched a bunch of chairs at an airport restaurant because European design is pretty great, stumbled through security, bought Icelandic yogurt and chocolate, and now I'm sitting here writing about Iceland because my flight doesn't leave for two hours and there's a sign that says "No cooking, camping, or sleeping in the airport" and I mostly want to be sleeping.
Oh, also, the check-in lady said that my luggage shouldn't be lost after all, that it will be transferred to my Paris flight and meet me there. Which...of COURSE should be the case. That's how layovers work. I just got confused because of the Blue Lagoon thing, I think...?
So as it turns out, traveling by yourself the first time you go out of the country is kind of scary. It would have been nice to have a traveling buddy...as it is, I'm insanely happy to have my little 3-inch figurine of Napoleon to carry around in my pocket. But I kinda wish I had a friend that isn't made of plastic. Someone that I can discuss things with, like "Hey, I'm insanely tired," or "Hey, do you think we should worry about our luggage getting lost after all...?"
So that's Iceland so far! Kinda lame, but I'll be coming back here for two or three days at the end of August on my way home, to more fully experience Reykjavík and the scenery.
Hopefully this post was somewhat coherent. If not, then don't give up on me. I'm not always completely devoid of mental reasoning.