Summer in Iceland

Iceland
Iceland

Although it is all over now for this year, Iceland vs France in the UEFA 2016 Quarter Finals is a saga for all time. I happened to be in Iceland at game-time to see my niece who was contributing to several music workshops in Iceland, Sweden and Norway.

This is a voyage that brings to life a story about incredible underdogs on a path to victory that will mark history for all time. It also is a voyage that inspired in me enough appreciation to last a lifetime.

2016, Iceland vs France in the quarter finals of the UEFA World Cup

2016, Iceland vs France in the quarter finals of the UEFA World Cup

I learned that 30,000 proud and exuberant fans from Iceland (10% of the population) headed to Paris to watch the quarter final match after their team, having beat all odds, achieved the standing to play the number one rated team in the A ranking group!  We were amongst approximately 40,000 (including some French) gathered on the hill in Reykjavik to support their team during this match. While France easily won, the football (soccer) appreciating world is permanently in awe and appreciation of the Icelanders’ skills, stamina, joy and appreciation.

2016, Iceland vs France in the quarter finals of the UEFA World Cup

2016, Iceland vs France in the quarter finals of the UEFA World Cup

My favorite taxi driver recounted that the Iceland coach is a dentist in ‘real life’, and that only one half of the team members are professional players while the remaining players also have ‘real jobs’. Further, he explained that the strength of the team stems partially from the precision that has been achieved amongst these athletes who have been playing with, for and against one another since boyhood. The entire population of Iceland is 300,000 inhabitants.

2016, Iceland vs France in the quarter finals of the UEFA World Cup

2016, Iceland vs France in the quarter finals of the UEFA World Cup

Pictured here are Ashley Edwards and Jesse Ogle, musicians for the Hello Dollface group and the Ace Revel duo, along with my best friend Lisa. She gained a significant sense of herself here as it was her grandmother who immigrated from Iceland to the United States!

2016, Iceland vs France in the quarter finals of the UEFA World Cup

2016, Iceland vs France in the quarter finals of the UEFA World Cup

I noticed this citation in a small cafe in Grindavik, which for me exemplifies a general feeling of the people whom I encountered in Iceland. I am taking this with me.

2016, Iceland vs France in the quarter finals of the UEFA World Cup

2016, Iceland vs France in the quarter finals of the UEFA World Cup

This 5:30 A.M. image is part of the landscape in Grindavik which includes fishing villages, geothermal waters and lava. The wind blows every day and it is strong and cold. I understand that even the smallest of villages have well-planned sports centers with warm, indoor, naturally-fed swimming pools.

2016, Iceland vs France in the quarter finals of the UEFA World Cup

2016, Iceland vs France in the quarter finals of the UEFA World Cup

The architecture in the lava is unobtrusive and gentle.

2016, Iceland vs France in the quarter finals of the UEFA World Cup

2016, Iceland vs France in the quarter finals of the UEFA World Cup

There is significant construction and a focus on developing more of a luxurious tourist destination.

2016, Iceland vs France in the quarter finals of the UEFA World Cup

2016, Iceland vs France in the quarter finals of the UEFA World Cup

As natural silica waters serve as a cleanser and detoxifier and the algaes nutrifiy and moisturise, the warm, silky waters invite total relaxation and restoration.

2016, Iceland vs France in the quarter finals of the UEFA World Cup

2016, Iceland vs France in the quarter finals of the UEFA World Cup

I think this is an ice blue, and it is here the silica forms.

2016, Iceland vs France in the quarter finals of the UEFA World Cup

2016, Iceland vs France in the quarter finals of the UEFA World Cup

The hotel staff leaves poolside bowls of silica easily accessible for guests to mask their faces. The silica under the feet feels soft and silky.

2016, Iceland vs France in the quarter finals of the UEFA World Cup

2016, Iceland vs France in the quarter finals of the UEFA World Cup

This is the sun’s wink at 11:30 p.m. At the hotel, I soaked at every chance and was the last to leave the pool at midnight when it closed.

2016, Iceland vs France in the quarter finals of the UEFA World Cup

2016, Iceland vs France in the quarter finals of the UEFA World Cup

The path from the Silica Hotel leads to the Blue Lagoon and the geothermal bathing pools for the largely international crowd to enjoy. The moss along the way is fluffy and fragile, to be protected, preserved and not trampled upon.

2016, Iceland vs France in the quarter finals of the UEFA World Cup

2016, Iceland vs France in the quarter finals of the UEFA World Cup

Entering the Blue Lagoon bathing pools, saunas, steam caves and massage waterfalls, guests either rent robes, towels, flipper-slippers or bring their own for a lower price.

2016, Iceland vs France in the quarter finals of the UEFA World Cup

2016, Iceland vs France in the quarter finals of the UEFA World Cup

At the lagoon, guests can purchase the algae mask separately or included with a package.

2016, Iceland vs France in the quarter finals of the UEFA World Cup

2016, Iceland vs France in the quarter finals of the UEFA World Cup

Alas, I headed to the airport and I missed my plane (Freudian slip), thinking it departed at 13:00 when it departed  at 1:00 a.m. Yes, it is true, I would have liked to soak even more!

2016, Iceland vs France in the quarter finals of the UEFA World Cup

2016, Iceland vs France in the quarter finals of the UEFA World Cup

I was originally supposed to depart and head home to Paris at 1:00 A.M. I boarded my plane a day later at 1:00 a.m. and arrived home to Paris 3 hours later. I had a We Cab arrangement to pick me up, and they had no problem that I was late! It provides a great service.

2016, Iceland vs France in the quarter finals of the UEFA World Cup

2016, Iceland vs France in the quarter finals of the UEFA World Cup

I had never seen a purple plane, yet Iceland’s native airline provides just that. so, just remember… the future is WoW! The slogan was on a building in Reykjavik, attesting to the project, as Iceland is gearing up to be a luxury tourist destination. I hope to return to see more. The south and north are areas of the island that offer fjords, glaciers, waterfalls and black sand beaches. Oh, and of course find other places to soak 😉
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Originally Published: Jul 19, 2016 @ 06:07