On Top of the World

Spring Break in Iceland





Why Iceland at spring break? We first got the idea when Bill started looking at the Icelandair web site and noticed that we could get reasonable air fares and hotel rates (by taking our trip before the end of March), not to mention departing and arriving from the Baltimore/Washington, D. C. airport and avoiding those that are usually more crowded. We were also encouraged by Jeanette Hayward, a former library science student of Bill's when he taught at Northwestern State University of Louisiana, who has been the librarian at A. T. Mahan High School on the NATO base in Keflavik for the past eleven years.


The trip on Icelandair from the Baltimore/Washington International Airport was a short 5 hours and 5 minutes as compared to the twelve to fourteen hour non-stop flights that we encountered traveling to New Zealand and Australia previously. As the plane prepared to land in Iceland, we looked down and all we could see was ... snow ... with rocks of lava peeking out on top. We wondered what we had done choosing such a location in which to spend our vacation. When we got off the plane and found that the temperature was in the high 20's (F) and a terrible wind chill, we really doubted the sanity of our choice.


After changing from our light jackets to heavy coats in the airport lobby, our driver, Sverrir Gudjonsson took us to Reykjavik to our hotel. The road had been cleared by snowplows, and it was very interesting to see the flat snow-covered landscape with mountains in the distance.


Although the weather was very cold the entire time we were in Iceland, we were very lucky because the sun was shining brightly during our entire trip. The homes in Iceland (as well as our hotel room) have large windows that are usually left uncovered in order to make the most of the sun's heat. Our hotel room, which was heated by hot water from the underground springs in the area, was usually around 75-80 degrees F in the afternoons due to the western sun's coming through our window.


Iceland is called "the land of fire and ice". The landscape throughout the country (about the size of Kentucky) has numerous hot springs, geysers, and volcanoes which stay heated the entire year in spite of snow, ice, and glaciers.


The Golden Circle, a Winter Wonderland of Beauty

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