Iceland. Wala na akong masabi kasi probably madami na kayong alam na facts and figures about this dream destination. Anyways, here are some things that I’ve learned from my visit, and some personal realizations that could have made my short trip better. Sa mga nagbabalak pumunta, sana may mapulot kyo dito.
- TRIVIA: 10% nalang ng Iceland is covered with Glacier/Ice due to climate change. Lumalawak din naman to pag winter pero topical lang and is expected to be washed out by change of season. When I went there,only few snow-capped mountains can be seen from afar.
- THE SAD PART: Iceland is majorly a cold-barren land, with large portion of it covered by volcanic rocks, making farming and vegetation close to impossible (which justifies why mahal ang pagkain dun. I swear, naka greenhouse sila even for tomatoes). There are minimal trees left, naubos na ng occupants during the early days, and later did they realise na they cannot regrow trees easily.
- MAN AGAINST ELEMENT: Sobrang unpredictable ng Iceland’s wind and weather all year round. It was autumn when I went. Though the temperature is manageable at around 6-10 degrees C, it is the strong,piercing wind that challenges all living things. chot! Seriously, super strong wind expecially sa mountainous parts, some can actually tilt up to 70 degrees and not fall.
- UNEXPECTED ACTIVITY: Iceland is a volcanic island. Don’t be surprised with recurring mini earthquakes almost everyday. Thus, madaming hot springs and thermal pools dun that local people enjoy, kahit within the city lang. Point is, bring your SWIMMING Outfit dahil mapapasabak ka talaga sa dipping. I swear naka boxer brief lang ako when I went to Blue Lagoon. Nilaban ko lang with Davao City-level of confidence. Sabi nga ng Indonesian friend ko, “That is very Filipino”.
- OUTFIT: Given the weather unpredictability of this country, WATERPROOF COAT AND PANTS are a MUST! Yun ang kulang ko. I did not research good enough before I left. High cut shoes is also recommended, and preferably leather. Gloves and Ear muffs are recommended. Gloves, ideally the leather one with removable tips for easy camera use.
- SKIN CARE: the cold can at times be more harsh than the heat. Bring moisturiser and lip balm. Don’t neglect your lips. Una yan dudugo.
- UPON ARRIVAL: Walang train ang Iceland. Either you go by bus or pasundo ka sa daddy mo. And when you go by bus, whatever the company is, BUY ROUND TRIP pag early morning ang flight mo out of Iceland. Wag matigas ulo.
- FOOD: Syempre kailangan nyo din ma experience dining in at Reykjavik. There’s Sjavarbarinn and Messin, among other mid priced restaurants in the city. But if trip nyo mag grocery para maka mura, go to the port, and malapit dun, there’s Bonus Supermarket. Don’t buy from convenient stores. Mahal.
- CULTURED PEOPLE: Guys, walang Mcdonald’s sa Iceland. FYI Norman.
- GENERAL TIP: Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate! and for free!!! Potable water in Iceland is clean enough to drink; The whole of Scandinavia actually.
- PASALUBONG: When buying foodie pasalubongs, buy at the airport na before departing. Particularly the local chocolates in Duty Free are like almost 50% cheaper than in Reykjavik’s. Mataas kasi taxes ng city. And I swear, Icelandic chocolates are to die for. In the airport, you can actually buy Salmon meat and other meat products and even Icelandic breads pastries with proper travel packaging. Bsta, iba ang Airport dun in terms of items to buy. Bili din kayo nung Smoked Cod Liver na delata. Masarap pang appetizer. Cheaper din sa airport.
- EMOTIONAL PREPARATION: Lastly, prepare yourself sa feeling na seeing the Northern Light is just a bonus in life and a blessing from the Lord Almighty. As it is a natural phenomenon dependent on the weather, not everyone gets to experience them. Personally, I did not see it even though I waited for 4 nights. What hurts is that I was just late by a weekend, kasi days before daw, the light was super strong that you can see them even from the city. Ohw, well, I can just revisit for that someday. And tours for the Northern Light are usually fully refundable when you don’t get to see them. September to March daw ang strong sightings of this elusive show. So book your tickets between those months and magpa-Novena kayo sa mga taga Dona Pilar Village of Davao for good weather.
Interested sa budget? read here, https://iamjosemanuel.com/2016/11/05/backpacking-scandinavia-10-days-in-swedennorway-and-iceland-magkano-ba/
Guy in yellow coat is Martin of Citywalk Reykjavik Free Tour, where me and 2 Indonesian friends joined. Check out their website sa google. Anyways, here are some more snapshots I took around Reykjavik.
And here’s me biting an apple. Share for good luck.