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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

National Day

ICELAND | Sunday, 17 June 2007 | Views [1066]

Happy National Day!! Today is Iceland’s independence day. This lovely country only became its own in 1944, which is pretty young for a country. I woke up at 7:00 this morning, and I regret paying 3,400 kronur at the Domus Guesthouse last night. I packed up and walked to the Salvation Army. It was finally a nice day with only a few clouds. I got the buffet breakfast at the Salvation Army and sat with a Swedish girl to eat. She was on her way to ride an Icelandic horse; something I want to do before I leave. I ate two bowls of cereal and had a cup of tea. After breakfast I called the bus station to see if my bags were there, and I was excited to find out they were. I relaxed for a bit and then started out to the bus station. I walked past Tjörnin and saw a mother duck with her four ducklings. I got to the bus station and I was glad to have my bags back. I asked about a bus to Skaftafell National Park, but the only one leaves at 8:30 AM. I promised myself I would go tomorrow. I then walked through the park, back to the Salvation Army. There was a parade going on near there for National Day. I hung out for while and thought about a horseback riding tour, but I thought I’d go in Skaftafell or after I get back here. I then thought I’d go swimming and return Þorbjörg’s sleeping bag. I was taking it easy after a very long and busy day yesterday. I got my bathers and a towel and then started out toward Ísak’s house. It’s about a 15 minute walk to his place. He was in the middle of a nap when I showed up and I tried talking him into going swimming, but he wasn’t up for it. He let me check my email and he showed me his pictures from traveling around the U.S. We have a trip to the Blue Lagoon planned for the 22nd or 23rd. I hung out at Ísak’s for about an hour and told him that I’d see him after I got back from Skaftafell. I stopped at the grocery store for some snacks and then went to the pool. Hygiene rules are strict at pools here. You’re required to wash without a bathing suit beforehand. In high school, I used to feel really uncomfortable showering in front of other men, but it doesn’t bother me anymore. I washed up well and then got in the pool. The pool wasn’t as warm as I thought it would be. I then went to one of the hot tubs. I was talking to this gorgeous Icelandic lady who was about twice my age. She was here with her kids. I relaxed in the hot tub and talked to one of her kids. He told me that he was required to take like three years of geography in school; in America they require none! I spent about 15 minutes in the hot tub and then went to the even hotter hot tub. The first one was about 40°C and the second was like 46°C. I relaxed for a few minutes in that one and then jumped into the main pool. There was a basketball hoop, and I was dunking pretending to be LeBron James or Kobe. I then went to the steam bath, but it was far too hot! Altogether, I spent about 1½ hours at the pool. It was like 3:30 by the time I started walking back into town. By the time I got back, there were a lot of people in the middle of town celebrating. I took some pictures and walked around, and then stopped at a pizza place and got a pizza and soda for 800 kronur. It was excellent! After eating, I got a photo with a pretty Icelandic girl. I then walked over to the giant chess board, which is across the street and there were a lot of people playing. There is the big chess board and then 4 small box-size chess boards, but I played on the big chess board. I played 4 games and lost 3. I used to play chess every single day in 6th grade summer school, so I should be a grandmaster. However, coming to Iceland has really brought back my love of chess. It is also their national pastime. After, I walked back to the Salvation Army and got some tea and cake that they had there. I talked with this young couple form California about my time in Iceland, and they seem to love it too! I think one reason I’m able to travel alone easily is because I have the ability to talk to just about anyone. I also got a picture with a pretty Icelandic girl named Klara, and her friend.

At 8:30, I got all my bags and started out toward the campground. It was quite a distance from the Salvation Army. I walked past all the people celebrating for National Day and then past the metal Viking ship monument. It only costs 800 kronur to camp; a lot better than what I paid last night. I pitched my tent and then walked to the food store. I just got chips and stuff. I got some spaghetti mix, but I’m going to save it for another night because I can’t read the instructions. They’re not even in Icelandic! Instead they are in Norwegian, Swedish, and another language. I then walked over to the adjacent youth hostel and check my email, but no one emailed me. Back at the campsite, I talked with a young guy named Nick, from Ireland. He’s here for only a week. One week or even two is not enough time for Iceland, but many people don’t stay long because it’s so expensive. As I was lying in my tent, I realized my wool hat wasn’t here. I had left it at the reception desk. Thankfully I didn’t lose it. Well, I have to be up early to catch the bus to Skaftafell. See you tomorrow evening.

Tags: party time

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