I arrived in Iceland two weeks ago. Somehow, I feel like I’ve been here all my life. I started my first class: Icelandic Society and Environment on Monday, August 29. It was a one-week course and the last two days we had a 2-day excursion of the South part of Westfjords. I just have one word: WOW. The landscape is stunning.
Our first stop was at Dynjandi waterfalls, and we visited few fish farming companies in the area. We stayed in Breidavik and the hotel had a beautiful view of the beach.
Some classmate decided to go for a swim, now, I want to remind you we are in the 65th parallel up North. I was bummed I hadn’t brought my bathing suit, but then remember I had leggings so off I went with them. It was 9oC outside and the water was approximatively 6oC. It was freezing cold, I had to do it in two take and the second time round, I just ran until I was deep in. Our program director was amazed of how many of us were in the water. I won’t lie, it was freezing, I didn’t stay long, maybe 5 minutes. When we came out of the water, there was a beautiful full rainbow as the sun was setting.
After dinner, we were just chilling in the lounge when around midnight we were told to go back to our rooms and as we went out, the Northern Lights had started. It was a beautiful feeling to be in such a remote place and watching the lights. Everyone was excited. The following day, we went to Làtrabjarg Cliff and our program director had only looked at the weather to see if it would be raining and didn’t check for the wind condition. I’ve never experienced so much wind, I was getting pushed aside and just trying to take a picture, I was holding my iPhone for dear life. My roommate asked me to hold her so together we went up the cliff and enjoyed the view.
How is living in Iceland? So far, I love it. I know we are still in the honeymoon period, but the weather has been sunny almost every day. It’s the first time, I live in such a small town. Of course, I need to get use to the supermarket being open from 10h – 19h and it’s expensive, but the good points are no traffic, no bus to take, you can walk everywhere and more importantly, you can watch the whale (Orca) and Northern Lights just a few steps away. Yesterday, I finished my assignment at 23h30 (deadline was 23h59, some things never change) and I wanted to take some fresh air. Few classmates wrote we could see the Northern Lights well, so I went to join them. It was amazing just sitting on the beach and watching the lights dancing through the sky.
My town is beautiful, and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of seeing this scenery. It’s such a remote place, but we have everything we need, there is even a CrossFit gym, swimming pool, ski station is 8 minutes away, good hiking, restaurants, cinema, bakery, etc.
I have always believed that everything happens for a reason even if we don’t know why it’s happening. I’ve come to peace that I am not going back to Russia. I know I will have an amazing experience here; I’ve only been here for two weeks, and I love it. I don’t know why I hadn’t come to visit earlier. I’m even coming to terms that everything is so expensive. I love that my classmates come from all over the world, and they all have such various background, it’s incredible.
I don’t even know how to express my current state of happiness. I walk to school, and we see an Orca in the port, at night, we can see the Northern Lights. I know that when I go to town, I’ll meet someone I know. The only thing that I like less is when there is a cruise ship docked as suddenly, there is thousands of people walking around town with a map in their hands. It’s a strange feeling as it doubles the size of the population just for the day.
Today, I started my class Marine Ecology and it’s difficult to get back into studying mode. It feels like I’m still on vacation. For those who were wondering, as you can guess, I’m very happy to be here. It was a hard Spring and very uncertain times, but now, I’m looking ahead to what this new experience will bring me.