Ég Sakna Ísland (and here are 25 reasons why)

If you know anything about me, then you’ll know first and foremost that I am utterly obsessed with Iceland. The people, the culture, the atmosphere, the general chi of the place… everything, really. Ever since I returned from my two-week stay over New Years, the country hasn’t left my mind for a single day.

There are a lot of things I miss about it. While I don’t mind skipping on the sulfur-scented showers, and can find Skyr at Whole Foods nearby, I’m still stuck with this heavy, dragging sense of longing that I can’t seem to shake. Here are just a few of the reasons, light and large:

  1. Bars that stay open past 1:30am.
  2. The dusky drive to Hella.
  3. The frost-bitten tall grass.
  4. Cobblestone sidewalks.
  5. Hlöllabátar (or, Subway on the sexiest steroids you can imagine.)
  6. Bagging my own groceries (thank you very much.)
  7. Smuggling Icelandic-language newspapers out of coffeeshops as my own form of souvenirs.
  8. Watching Heima on Icelandair (and the mere fact of its availability.)
  9. Seeing the lighthouses that dot the country’s coastline when the airplane lands or (unfortunately) takes off.
  10. Everything located within walking distance.
  11. Sliding around on ice-slick walkways.
  12. Moss-covered lava fields.
  13. Cucumbers: everywhere, in everything.
  14. Light on dark, dark on light.
  15. The formations of a cheap champagne appreciation (this isn’t Iceland-specific, necessarily, but I attribute it whole-heartedly.)
  16. Actually feeling the cleanliness in the air I breathed.
  17. Stars. Millions of them. And without the orange glow.
  18. The overwhelming volume of shops devoted to selling solely stockings.
  19. Embarrassing local boys by asking them to buy us “Polar Beer,” the Coors Light of Iceland (maybe even Natural Ice or Keystone Light… that bad.)
  20. Bright colors, everywhere.
  21. Fresh drinking water from the sink, which tastes purer than bottled water here in America.
  22. Núðluhúsið: Greatest. Thai food. Ever.
  23. Sprinting from the showers to the hot pots in the stabbing wind at Vesturbæjarlaug (“West Town Pool”) (and then slipping on ice and literally sliding into one of the hot pots.)
  24. The ability to take a five minute walk from bed and wind up at a show or musical performance of some kind, every night.
  25. The daytime quiet.
There are so many more unique things about Iceland, but I figured I’d keep it succinct. Add your own! What do you love about Iceland?

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4 thoughts on “Ég Sakna Ísland (and here are 25 reasons why)

  1. My favorite things about Iceland in no particular order.

    1. No pollution. The air is clean and sweet. Not only can you drink from any stream, the water tastes better than you would get from any bottle.

    2. Iceland’s natural beauty. The unparalleled variety of her vast, untouched landscapes. It gives me hope that people all over the world could live alongside nature without destroying it.

    3. Icelanders’ concern for and acceptance of other people. I have never met such courteous, caring people.
    It is legal here for homosexuals to be married and has been for some time.

    4. Their respect for women. In Iceland you are not called “woman.” You are called “kona,” meaning “queen.”

    5. Iceland is the first nation in which a woman became head of state through popular election. Vigdís Finnbogadóttir served four terms as president before resigning; sixteen years in office. Had she not resigned, it is likely that she would’ve been reelected.

    6. When it rains, you are guaranteed to see a rainbow. It is no wonder that ancient people here thought that a rainbow was the path to the kingdom of the Gods and the afterlife. Although, I am surprised they thought there was any place they could go to that is more beautiful than Iceland. Perhaps winter tells a different story.
    The weather in summer is fantastic. I have had the pleasure of bright sunny days and soft cool breezes. I will miss this most of all when I return to the Texas summer heat.

    7. The language. It is soft and poetic. It should not be called language, it should be called music.

    8. Fresh fish. Delicious! I would very much enjoy catching and cooking my own fish if I could do it in this pristine environment.

    9. The food in general. It is more expensive and there is less variety but it is much tastier. You can tell that they don’t use pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers. The eggs especially are fantastic.

    10. The Blue Lagoon. Where else in the world is it not only safe, but healthy to swim in the run-off from a power plant?

    • Wow!! What a comment! I love all of these things about Iceland, too. And I completely agree about the language. I remember sitting in restaurants or on Arnarholl and just listening to people talk. It didn’t matter what they said, it all sounded so beautiful.

      You live in Texas? That’s such a huge difference from Iceland! Trust me, I know.. leaving Iceland is one of the hardest things a person can do. It’s terrible for the soul :/

      Oh, and I miss the water, too! The faucet/sink water tastes so, so, SO good!!! Aahhh I need to get back ASAP. Thank you for such a nice comment; it’s always good to be reminded about Iceland. 🙂

  2. ég sakna ísland vegna þess…

    1. The midnight sun. All of a sudden dark nights feel claustrophobic to me.
    2. The language. It is indeed a beautiful, musical language. And sadly there’s no one here to practice my Icelandic with.
    3. Their strange food obsessions: ham and pepperoni, cucumbers and tomatoes, harðfiskur, licorice…
    4. Kaffi – kaffi break every afternoon, a cozy kaffihús on every corner – and the kaffi is always perfectly strong.
    5. The comforting spire of an Icelandic kirkja in every town.
    6. Whales spouting in the fjord in the evening sunlight.
    7. The view of the Reykjanes peninsula from Mt. Esja.
    8. Learning great words like ‘leðurblökumaðurinn’ in Icelandic class.
    9. Icelandic bookstores!
    10. Waterfalls, hot pots, puffins, and other natural wonders around every corner.

    And so much more. I’ve only been home for four days and I’m already trying to find my way back.

    • Even in winter when there is hardly any sunlight, it doesn’t feel so horrible as nighttimes elsewhere. There is just something about it!

      I’ll have to check out the view of the Reykjanes peninsula next time I’m there. I meant to last time, but ended up going to Hvammstangi and Akureyri instead, haha!

      I’m glad there are other people out there like me and my friends; once you’ve been to Iceland it sorta makes you feel like, “What’s the point of traveling anywhere else?” You’ll get back, trust me! 🙂

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