Getting into the Icelandic Groove

As we’ve mentioned before, in the months leading up to our trip we usually like to “get into” the country and culture we’re visiting as much as possible. The year before our trip to Paris we taped 3×5 notecards with French translations on nearly everything in our apartment. So maybe we didn’t need to know the French word for plunger–but hey, you never know. Traveling with Bryan and Shades…you really never know. As we prepared for Oktoberfest last year, we spent the weeks leading up to vacation trying out new beers in celebration of the biggest beer festival in the world. The year we went to Scotland I spent months trying to perfect my recipe for haggis–okay, not really. I think I attempted to make fish n’ chips once though.

Iceland will  by far be the most “exotic” place we’ve ever been to. We’ve been to some stunningly beautiful places, but I have a feeling Iceland is going to take the cake. That being said, I feel like I’ve been slightly more interested in what goes on there than I have been with other destinations. The language is completely intimidating; the landscape striking; the nightlife is said to be some of the best in the world and putrified shark is a nom nom. It’s going to be awesome.

A few months ago, I started an attempt at crocheting after learning that crocheting/knitting is a popular past time in Iceland. Due to a busy work schedule and sausage fingers my progress has waned. In fact, I think our dog has made more use of my supplies than I have.

However, I haven’t given up yet. The 6-pack crew (guys included) is signed up for a knitting class at JoAnn’s Fabrics. The goal, a nice little sweater like so. The reality…something we’ll likely purchase multiples of when we get there!

Lopi sweater - My favorite
*Flickr *Mytwist

This year, I’ve also decided to read a book by a popular Icelandic author. After doing a little research, I decided on Independent People by Halldor Laxness. This is THE hardest book I have ever attempted to read. Ever. And, I read a lot. I’ve read the first 30 pages of this 600 plus page book over and over and over and I still have no idea what I’ve read. Truth be told, I got completely distracted by the Fifty Shades of Grey tornado that swept through literary town and now, I can’t put the series down. Oops, did I just admit that? I seriously blush anytime I even mention that book. Back to the subject at hand,  I’m bound and determined to get through Independent People. Halldor Laxness is the only Icelander to have ever won the Nobel Prize and one of his major influences was Ernest Hemingway (who I’m fascinated by).

I always love exploring the music of another country. Sigur Rios and Bjork have been longtime favorites (both Iceland natives). I was surprised and pleased to find out one of my new favorite songs is by none other than an Icelandic band, Of Monsters and Men. They have a really nice sound and probably one of the most beautiful and artistic music videos I’ve seen in a long time.

Next on the list of things to try: prepare an authentic Icelandic meal. Preston his special lady, Bryan and I have all agreed to cook a true Icelandic dish for the opposite couple. I haven’t started to dig too deep for a recipe yet, so if you have any good ones (that a microwave chef can handle) send them my way!

Cheers!

J

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