The birthplace of Kenrickism.
17.05.2016 - 21.05.2016 10 °C
One thing I've always found crazy about life in general, and travelling in particular, is how we come across the people we meet. Go back just a few weeks and myself, Klara, Emma and Arnold were all in completely different parts of the world. Since then we've made countless decisions between us, yet if we had made just a few differently we would never have met. And had we not met, I can't imagine meeting a different group of people who would have made my all-too-short time in Iceland so insanely brilliant.
Thankfully, we did meet, sat around a kitchen table in a hostel on the outskirts of Reykjavik last Tuesday evening. I was functioning on practically zero sleep from the previous night, having been dragged to the pub by Fraser before leaving for the airport, and was planning on getting an early night. Yet at 10pm, I found myself in the back of Arnold's car alongside Emma, from Colorado, while Bohemian girl Klara rode shotgun. It's the time of year the sun in Iceland doesn't really set, it merely takes a short nap, and local lad Arnold decided to take us to a few of his favourite spots just outside the city to catch some nearly-midnight sun. It was stunningly beautiful, and the company was perfect. We finished it off with a couple of beers and a few games of pool, before heading back in the early hours as the sun began to reappear.
I spent the days of Wednesday and Thursday on tours of the South Shore and Golden Circle. Iceland is glorious, and everywhere on these tours is worth visiting, but in hindsight I wish I had done them my own way. Emma, for example, took the hitchhiking approach, which resulted in some ridiculous stories. Nonetheless, if you're into mountains, lakes, hot springs, geysers, glaciers, ocean views and waterfalls, Iceland has you covered. Gullfoss, flanked on all sides by imposing mountains and glaciers, beats Niagara as the most spectacular waterfall I have ever seen. Seljalandsfoss is one you can walk behind. Strokkur is a geyser that, unlike the one I saw in New Zealand, erupts naturally. Solheimajokull is a stunning glacier. The list goes on, it's just a beautiful country.
Back in Reykjavik, the two evenings after the tours were epic once again. On Wednesday Emma and I went out with a group of Americans she has met the previous day, before we reunited with Klara and Arnold for a night of nonstop dancing on Thursday. Reykjavik is a crazy expensive place to drink, but makes up for it with a brilliant atmosphere and pretty crazy people - an Icelandic rapper who gave us an impromptu street performance being one of my favourites.
Then came Friday. Days like Friday don't lend themselves well to storytelling, because when you tell people you spent it creating a new religion with a pool ball named Kendrick as a deity and a tree stump as a holy site, they look at you with a bemused expression that says: "you're an idiot." Which, arguably, is true, but that's what Klara, Emma and I did. We were in that sweet spot between not quite sober, and not yet hungover, and it was the funniest day I've had in ages. And, let's be honest, a pool ball is no more ridiculous a deity than those in other religions...
Anyway... that afternoon we met back up with Arnold and headed to his place. For someone who doesn't drink, he has an uncanny ability to get others wasted. After two nights of partying, and considering I had to catch a bus to the airport at 8am the next morning, Friday was supposed to be chilled. However, "just one beer" swiftly turned into a great many beers and a copious amount of Brennivín, a local spirit Arnold assured us was tradition for visitors to drink by the bucket load.
We had said our goodbyes to Emma, who was off to Italy that evening, then continued the party. Long story short, I didn't go to bed that night, don't really remember getting to the airport, and woke up in Toronto completely disorientated and confused. My faith in Canadian border control dropped when they let me in. I stumbled to the baggage carousel more in hope than expectation, and to my utter amazement saw my backpack sat there waiting. Even more astonishing, all my belongings appeared to be inside.
I make that the first miracle of Kenrickism.