Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Enjoying the unexpected

My husband Mark is the consummate go-with-the-flow guy.  He’s content to just show up in a place and see what happens.  At the opposite end of the spectrum, and hardly surprising, I am an obsessive planner… Any time I book a trip, I spend hours researching accommodations, transportation, local attractions, restaurants etc. 

Part of the reason is that most of the time our travels are so short (thanks to the minimal number of weeks of holiday we get in Canada) – I want to maximize what we see every day – in a way that still allows B to have his meals, nap, play and down times.  The other reason is I always want to reduce the number of what-ifs, particularly when traveling with a toddler.

I have to keep reminding myself to take time to just relax and enjoy the spontaneous moments.

In August, on the way to the airport for our return flight from Reykjavik, Iceland we passed the time (while B napped) in our rental car enjoying the sites of the Reykjanes peninsula.  All of a sudden we came upon a lighthouse perched atop a cliff – one of the most dramatic and scenic places I’d ever seen.

Further along, in the town of Keflavik near the airport, I noticed what looked like a Viking house built into the side of cliff.  While Mark stayed in the car with B (still sleeping away), I went to investigate.  I was surprised to find a giant’s house, complete with a huge bed, fire pit and a wooden cage enclosing a 20’ high giant snoring away.  Delighted by my discovery, I also got a good laugh when the giant suddenly ‘ripped one.’  Just another example of the wonderfully quirky humor Icelanders possess.

Neither of these places was mentioned in my guidebook, but they were two of the most surprising and memorable sights of my visit to Iceland.

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