Iceland’s beauty is breathtaking. I feel emotional with the beauty of this place, with the kindness of the people. I really really feel good being here and can’t wait for my group to arrive tomorrow evening! The weather is very mild today. I bet this is one of the best days they have had all year. Sunny sunny skies here today though the rain is supposed to come tomorrow. Feels like the temperature must be 70 F though it is actually 56 F (I hear it is 58F in Seattle today). I hear we just might see horizontal rain next week. But meanwhile, today is warm and sunny and guess who packed sweaters, layers and layers of warm clothing, gloves, hats, scarves? I am usually one to pack lightly, one suitcase at most. This time around, however, I packed two suitcases filled to the brim with big bulky warm clothing. Well, you can’t say I am not ready for a cold day or two.
Julie and I were talking this morning and were moved to tears of sheer contentedness from our experiences here so far. All the people we have met (we have to meet with various vendors, owners of businesses, hotel staff, etc) are incredibly upbeat, kind, sweet. Icelanders have a subtle sense of humor sense of irony, they are profoundly happy and are considered, according to my web research, the second happiest people on earth! They used to, in fact, be at the top of the list for the world’s happiest people along with Denmark, but took second place this year. What a demotion! And just in case you are wondering, Switzerland is the world’s happiest country/people for 2015 and the most unhappy country/people in the world are the Moldovans (according to the internet). Maybe the Moldovans should move to Iceland?
In a country of just 325,000 people, there are so many artists, musicians, and world renown scientists. During the economic crisis/crash, the city of Reykjavik was busy building the HARPA performing arts center. It was just half built people when the crisis hit and many people were out of work, the country in severe debt. Icelanders, however, just picked themselves up and got themselves out of the mess. They finished building the performance arts center and further developed their tourist industry. They pulled it off!
We were in utter admiration when we went over to a local chocolate shop. All chocolates are handmade and I have never seen such pride on the workers at the shop! Other marvels for me include the country’s usage of geothermal energy. Geothermal heat used all over the country. Minniborgir Cottages, where my two retreats will stay, is all run on geothermal energy. I think the whole country uses geothermal energy. You won’t see one chimney burning anywhere, not even in the country side. Even the small villages have tapped into geothermal energy. There is NO POLLUTION anywhere. And people here eat SKYR, a very thick Greek-style-like yogurt. And Icelanders soak in hot springs. No wonder this is one of the happiest country in the world!
Oh, and the air here is fresh! And here at Minniborgir, it is so quiet.
We have yet to see the Northern Lights, but we did see a fabulous sunset last night. Enjoy these photos from last night’s sunset.