Ice, ice, sleepy
Ah Iceland, the land of efficiency.
Traveling from Barcelona, Spain to Iceland is like traveling from the depths of an Amazonian jungle to a posh Upper East Side apartment in New York City. Iceland´s cleanliness, friendliness, and gust of clean air that hits you when you de-board an airplane is worth the transition from sunny 80-degree temps to a misty 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
I had previously been to Iceland in 2012 and explored the the country for days, from the hot springs and geysers in the Golden Circle to catching glimpses of the Northern Lights in Akureyri. Although this trip was just a quick stopover between Barcelona and Washington, D.C., I openly welcomed the nation´s beauty, hospitality, and (most of all) efficiency. Picking up my rental car at 2 in the morning, sneaking into the disturbingly placid guest house just 15 minutes later, and checking back into the airport a mere 10 hours after that were as breezy as the North Atlantic winds.
Sidebar: I don´t mean to make Spain sound like a third-world country (because let´s face it, I have lived in a third-world country and Spain is still leaps and bounds closer to modern-day abilities) but in some ways the bulk of the Iberian peninsula still has a long way to go. Friends and family of mine who have witnessed and listened to me complain as I have crawled my way through the arduous visa process can attest to this.
But my keen awareness of Iceland´s productivity aside, my 13-hour layover has been nothing short of pleasant. Because I landed at 1:35 in the morning, I decided to book a room in a quaint five-bedroom guest house on the coast of the North Atlantic.
I stealthily entered the house while the other guests and owner (a white-haired woman named Ola) slept in the neighboring rooms. The deafening silence that trickled in from outside was almost too much for this city dweller to handle. Thus, I plugged in my headphones and drifted off to sleep to my mobile noise machine app.
As I woke up to seagulls singing their morning melodies, I ranked this guesthouse stay as one of the top five best decisions I had ever made. Note to self: Next time, pack a scarf.