Vikings, Gandalf, and the Lebowski Bar
On Sunday, I returned from an eight day trip to Iceland. I traveled with the adventure travel company Intrepid Travel; it was my thirteenth trip with them, so I’m definitely sold! This was my first trip with them on a boat. We sailed on a yacht, so it had a very different feel than a traditional cruise. You can spend a lot more time on land when using a smaller boat. However, large cruises usually have karaoke, so I definitely missed the easy karaoke access!
Iceland is famous for scenery, and we certainly saw beautiful waterfalls, cliffs, and volcanoes. After all, Game of Thrones was filmed in Iceland (though I never watched the show).
However, what I enjoyed the most were our excursions that focused more on history and literature. We visited a traditional Viking hearth, and we wore Viking “jackets”. I’m a huge fan of the TV show Vikings, and I could easily imagine the characters from the show there, plotting the next raid and chanting “Skol” with their drinks.
We also sojourned to a small town where the famous medieval scholar Snorri Sturluson lived. He compiled the ancient Icelandic sagas from the Norse times. Our lecture there was quite informative; the speaker informed us that Tolkien’s fiction is based on Norse mythology; they even had an individual named Gandalf!
I’m a huge fan of the Nordic countries. I like the political emphasis on strong public services. Generally, people are very honest and kind to visitors. Education levels are very high, and almost everyone is fluent in English, which makes traveling easier. I haven’t seen much of the other Nordic countries outside of the capitals; some day I need to explore their hinterlands. A satirical fiction novel would be more challenging about these countries since they’re less quirky compared to the countries in my book. But in the real world of travel, outside of the high cost, they are pure delight.
The Perfect Culture by Brent Robins (Paperback $10.49 Ebook:$2.99, Audiobook coming soon) publishes on October 14th, but Ebook is available to pre-order here: https://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Culture-Brent-Robins-ebook/dp/B07VB4TZ9S/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=brent+robins&qid=1563407399&s=gateway&sr=8-2