-By Owen Roberts
The Snorri Trip was an experience of a lifetime. From the moment I stepped onto the Icelandair flight in Toronto, it felt like a dream. When I finally walked out of the Keflavik airport, the fresh ocean air was a bright, relieving feeling. Like coming home.
The first two weeks were right in Reykjavík! Where we went to Háskóli Ísland (University of Iceland) every weekday for school! We studied the Icelandic language, as well as other aspects like history, geology, and culture. Evenings were spent exploring the city with our Snorri friends or the whole group! We had many delicious dinners at locations across the city, as well as many Pylsas (hot dogs) during the day with fried onions and pylsasynnep, (Icelandic hotdog mustard) my favourite!
I absolutely loved Reykjavík city, going for runs on the seawall many mornings, as well as talking to every local I met in as best Icelandic that I could to learn and get the local experience. Highlights from this week include the Ring Road tour (Geysir, Gullfoss & Þingvellir), Hiking Mount Esja, going out downtown, and watching some of the national soccer game.
The next 2 weeks were spent with my cousin Kristín Valdimarsdóttir, in Mosfellsbær (Moso). She was an angel and an incredible host, teaching me lots of Icelandic, and even dealing with speaking to me in only Icelandic! In Mosfellsbær, I worked weekdays at Vinnuskóli (Work School). Moso was beautiful, it is a suburb just north of Reykjavík by about 10-15 minutes. Kristín lived right beside the community pool, to which I went almost every evening. I really wish we had those kinds of pools back here. Kristín took me to Selfoss a few times to meet her daughter, as well as Keflavik to meet her other daughter! We got to take Jeeps up a mountain and explored the lava flows and the whole Reykjaness Peninsula as well as a hydroelectric plant.
The last 8-9 days were spent back with Snorris on a tour bus. We started in Reykjavík and drove up to Borgarnes and Stykkishólmur, The Snæfellsnes Peninsula is beautiful. The places we stayed there felt like heaven on earth. Riding Icelandic horses along the Atlantic coast was an experience like no other. We then went to Hvammstangi,
Blönduós, and then to Sauðárkrókur and Hofsós, while staying at Hólaskóli, (University of Hólar). The northern part of the island does not get enough attention as it is open, green, and has beautiful landscapes. The capstone on the second to the last day was a tour of Drangey Island, which is the remnant of a 700,000-year-old volcano.