Trip Start Jun 15, 2012
Trip End Jul 02, 2012

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Flag of Iceland  ,
Thursday, June 28, 2012

Left Paris this afternoon at about 2pm. The morning was up eventful, packing, breakfast, and incessant waiting; first for the bus at the hotel and then inline at the airport. Security at Charles De Gaulle was surprisingly easy, but once through your lunch options are yet another baguette sandwich. They're good the first few times, but I will be off ham & cheese for a while.

Had a nice conversation with Dr Long from George Washington University, who has been our guide more or less this trip. He's an old Navy man and specializes in WW2 and naval histories. He often used the term "Alamo-esque" to describe battles which I enjoyed. He was quite impressed with Ethan. Ethan is thinking of going to GW so hopefully Dr Long can put in a good word for him.

(I included a description of my group, but I'm hesitant to put it here as it may be a bit too honest, ask me about them and I'll tell you)

The plane landed in Iceland while excited for my portion of the trip, I can honestly say that I really did not want them to go. I would have been perfectly happy to have them all accompany me into Reykjavik, well almost all of them.

The drive into Reykjavik took about an hour and the entire time my brain kept turning over trying to figure out what was striking me so much. After about 15 minutes it finally occurred to me that there were absolutely no trees. The fields are covered in what look like oversized bluebonnets. I later learned these are called lupons and are an import from Alaska brought to hold the almost nonexistent soil in place. The hostel is modest in creature comforts but rich in atmosphere and "hipness". The entire place is filled with European hipsters. I being the older Texan with grayling temples have attracted no attention at all, though I feel no more out of place than amongst the teens I teach.

I spent the rest of the evening exploring is town Reykjavik, but most stores were closing. A few remained open giving me the opportunity to browse and see what souvenirs hey offered. The prices are routinely outrageous, $8 for a key chain, $32 for a standard tourist t-shirt, or 1000KR and 4000KR respectively. Having been warned of the food in Iceland I played it safe with a hamburger stand that sits in front of my hostel. It's like a Jack in the Box/convenience store. The burger was decent, the fries good, and the Coke ice cold. The Icelanders have a focus on spiced mayonnaise sauces they use and so one was on the burger. I will have them cut that next time.

I walked the city a bit more before finally hitting the bunk bed in my hostel. I'm almost too old for a top bunk, almost.
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