2023 has been a year of travel for me. I've never been in so many countries within a year in my life. So far, I've been to the Netherlands, Switzerland, Iceland, and Sweden, and I'm going to Germany and the Caribbean in a few weeks. And the huge douche that I am, I have been bragging about these travels lately here on WIP.
And when I say douche and bragging, I mean that that's probably how it sounds like to the listener/reader. For me, I'm just sharing my happiness and excitement with you. But I know that some people, especially women, have a tendency to misinterpret others' desire to share their happiness and excitement as trying to make them feel bad about themselves in comparison. It saddens me that this phenomenon exists and that people have this tendency. In fact, here's some life-improving advice: only befriend people who rejoice with you at your happiness and success, and whose happiness and success you sincerely rejoice at. One of my best friends is like that, and she's an absolute once-in-a-lifetime gem.
Anyway, just wanted to make sure that was said.
Moving on to Iceland - more specifically, our epic trip to Iceland last July.
Right after landing at Keflavik Airport, we did the thing that everyone visiting Iceland should do and the convenience of which we couldn't have anticipated ahead of time: we rented a car. If you go to Iceland, rent a car. This will make your trip infinitely better, easier, and more fun. You can drive wherever you want according to your own schedule. You don't have to wait for other tourists on organized tours, and you're not limited to the places organized tours go to. Rent a car.
Renting a car allowed us to drive to the geyser before the tourist rush hour began; it allowed us to visit a black beach (black because of volcanic sand) and swim in the North Atlantic ocean; it allowed us to visit a lagoon with an infinity pool overlooking the ocean and a swim-up bar that served Moët. (I'm the definition of fancy pants: the only type of wine I drink is champagne.)
Seriously, though, the mountain-y forest-less landscapes in Iceland are like Mordor, and you definitely want to get out of Reykjavik (by car; rent a car!) to experience them.
So anyway - we basically lived off the barbecue ribs of one particular bar the first days while trying to find good places to eat. There aren't many good restaurants in Reykjavik. We did look in the wrong part of town, though. Maybe that's why we didn't find them. But the ribs were excellent, especially since I ate them while staring at a wall with inspirational quotes painted on it, such as
You can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning,
In loving memory of when I gave a shit.
Later we found the local Hard Rock Cafe. The mojitos there are divine. Don't ask me how many I had. I don't remember. We also found a small grocery store that sold the national delicacy, a thick yogurt-like thing called skyr. It was delicious. I enjoyed several of them during the trip. I also also got to taste the local savory dish I had been looking forward to: lamb soup. I love lamb, I had high expectations for the soup, and the soup delivered wonderfully.
After this, the story gets interesting. On our last night we decided to have dinner in our hotel's lobby bar. The food wasn't anything special, but we happened to order some house cocktails as well.
Things, well, escalated.
You see, my partner just wanted something masculine, so the waiter completely misunderstood and brought him this blueberry thing, while I got exactly what I ordered, a whiskey-based drink that resembled an Old Fashioned, which was delicious. However, contrary to my usual preferences, I also liked the blueberry thing and ordered one of those for myself next, whereas my partner just asked the bartender to make something more masculine for him next. They brought him a masculinized version of an Old Fashioned (but not the cocktail I had first). After this, the bartender and the waiter really got going in improvising masculine drinks for him. I don't remember how long we were there, but I reckon it was a while.
That night, there was a magnitude 5 earthquake. It woke me up and spilled the contents of my glass of water on the nightstand.
The next day, it was time to fly back home. We saw the Fagradalsfjall volcano as we drove past it to the airport in the morning. It erupted a few hours after our plane took off.
P.S. In Sweden, on the other hand...