Tales of living in Iceland part 1: First impression and countryside

Tales of living in Iceland part 1: First impression and countryside

Now, when you heard a lot about Denmark and Sweden, let’s move to another country and all the way up to the north. I mean Iceland. I used to live in Iceland for about half a year so I have a lot of stories from that time. So here are my tales of Iceland – first impressions.

Icelandic countryside
Icelandic country side is filled with pastures, animals and wild nature.

Country of horses and no balance of light

The first thing that I notice in Iceland was the different daylight. I move to Iceland at the beginning of June. And my plane landed at around 2 am. By that time it is usually very dark in the Czech Republic. Well, not in Iceland. I mean, it is not like it was super sunny, but you can still read a book outside without using a light. And that is how it works in Iceland from May all the way till the middle of August. At the end of summer, I finally saw some dark. And actually, more and more dark was coming. The proper night time increased by 10 minutes every day till the time when there were only 4 hours of light.

On the other hand, the light isn’t necessarily the worse thing. Because watching northern lights isn’t the worse way on how to spend dark days. Even though the proper Icelandic way on what to do in winter is just to read. Read and nothing more.

And the summertime is quite awesome because it is quite nice to ride the horses while watching midnight sun.

And the horses were actually the reason why I came to Iceland. I came to take care of horses in one of the local „stable“/hotel. Horses are also a thing that strikes you in the eye once you move from Reykjavik. Iceland has about 90 thousand horses. Which is amusing especially when you realize that Iceland has about 300 thousand citizens. So technically, the election could be a lot different if horses could vote.

Icelandic horses
Icelandic horses are quite different than other horses. They have an extra gate and live very long.

I have to say, working as a caretaker of horses in Iceland was… easy. The main difference for me was the fact, that Icelanders like to make things natural. Which basically mean that most of the horses are not in stables, but just living outside. Some of them would go inside for a winter when they are also not riding, but most of them are living half wild. But that also means that they do not hesitate to kill them when they get sick or eat them when Icelanders need meat.

Living in the countryside

Even though Reykjavík is my most favorite city, I never live there. I was living in the countryside on South of Iceland, where I lived with Icelandic family and my German roommate. Very much in the middle of nowhere. But if you know the geography of Iceland, it was somewhere between Hella and Hvolsvollur. Great place, pastures everywhere around, closest neighbor was 7 km away and closest town was about 30 km.

What it basically means is that you need to find a lot of great shows to watch and books to read. And in my case, it also meant that I need to find a lot of different things to do with horses. How do you live in such a situation? Peacefully actually. We went shopping for food once a week, sometimes we would go to a bigger town for even cheaper food, we would visit neighbors at least once a week. And more importantly, every single time I had a day off, I would go hike somewhere.

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