Bootsnall, a great travel site, recently published a post on 10 reasons to visit Iceland now. The photos are gorgeous and I agree with all their reasons. Except maybe #10. I'll get to that in a moment.
I've been to Iceland twice (as I've written here before), once in the winter and once in the summer. Many friends have been there over and over. One for business. He loves it. Another couple because it's so close. And they love it.
That's reason number one on Bootsnall's post. Iceland's proximity to the United States. Number two is that the horses are special. Not everyone will care about this, I know. But Iceland's horses are unique. Besides being short, stocky and adorable.
I've ridden them during both visits. Not being the cowgirl with the mostest, I had difficulty getting them into their fifth gait (after the four usual ones - walking, trotting, cantoring and galloping). A gait called "tolt."
Supposedly, it's so smooth, there's no cowboy butt involved in riding the horse. Problem is, if you're good enough to get the horse into a tolt, you're good enough not to get real sore using the other gaits. And I'm not. But it was fun trying.
And the horses are so sweet. After my ride, their saddles came off and they started rolling on their backs like puppies. It was adorable.
Then, there are the people.
Tell me, honestly, if you were able to watch this video without smiling.
I don't want to steal the whole post's thunder...but just two more things. Iceland is very safe. I saw for myself the baby carriages outside cafes - with babies in them - as parents went inside to eat. And watched from the window. The last time someone in New York tried that, I believe Social Services was involved.
And, as a corollary to this blog's theme, "You can travel alone," is the writer's statement, "You can be alone." Iceland is sparsely populated, giving people who want some down time, the space to take it.
At a variety of natural wonders. Like geysers. Hot springs. Waterfalls.
As for reason #10, people in Reykjavik may know how to party but it's not always pleasant for the rest of us.
I've run into a few too many silly drunks on the Reykjavik streets. If they partied and stayed inside until they passed out, it might not be a problem. But many eventually stagger home. And sometimes they slobber and fall over the rest of us.
It's a small price to pay, and you may not pay it at all, depending on how late you stay out, for the beauty and uniqueness of Iceland.
Next? I really, really want to go to Greenland...
Photo: By Marie II