I could tell you the story of Iceland, but I think the pictures will do a much better job.
Here’s the deal. We arrived into Iceland, congregated into a circle at the airport, and were told to “Be Free.” Instead of bussing to our hotel, we were given the hotel’s address and told we could rent a car. We could do unlimited bonuses. We could pair up with other teams as much as we wanted. Essentially, no rules in Iceland!
(Except for no internet/Googling. But we were allowed to use the Garmin* that came with our rental car!)
*Garmin is worse than talking to Siri. Garmin made me want to break a window. Garmin is 100% less effective than Google Maps. It didn’t recognize anything I entered unless I wrote it in Icelandic, and even then it was only 50/50.
One of the things Mark and I realized as our Global Scavenger Hunt was coming to a close was that we really liked people from the other teams, and we never got to spend any time with them. So, we tried to incorporate that more into our final days:
- In Egypt, we took a break to have coffee and dessert with the Flying Snitches, and it was a beautifully bright moment at the end of an exhausting day.
- In Brussels, we were able to have dinner with the two father-daughter teams and just hang out, and it was such a nice change from dealing with the stress of scavenges.
- And in Iceland, we really wanted to spend some time with TSA Pre-Check Yourself, a young couple from L.A. who completely dominated the competition as newcomers and were generally two of the coolest people I’ve ever met.
Thankfully, our schedules converged a few hours into our arrival, and we spent the evening of the first day together, going around the “Golden Circle” of Þingvellir National Park, Geysir, and Gullfoss waterfall. (We also added Kerid crater and hot house that was home to hundreds of roses.)
But before Pre-check Yourself and Thundersnow merged, we completed our mandatory food challenges, which included Laundromat Cafe, a super cool restaurant where we shared a ($26) salad**, and had the best pylser in Reyjekvek.
**which was still less expensive than the roadmap we bought.
PS. Iceland is the Whole Foods of countries; you’ll spend your entire paycheck on a salad, two sandwiches, and a map.
And on Day Two…well… The Blue Lagoon happened.
I had sent a Facebook message to M-Dogg, my friend who loved Iceland, and asked him what the “must see” thing is that we should do.
(Mark and I had decided that instead of being competitive on this leg, we would take our final day to enjoy Iceland for the few hours we had left.) And “Blue Lagoon” was M-Dogg’s recommendation.
I did a Google search (What? Google is not allowed! NO GOOGLE! But I didn’t realize it was a scavenge because Bill listed it under its Icelandic name) and when I saw the website, I called Mark and said, “We have to do this.”
Once again, TSA Pre-Check Yourself was on board, and we were able to spend over two hours together in this magnificent geothermal spa–a baby blue lagoon surrounded by lava, heated by magma, and full of cleansing silica–and it was the most relaxing, wonderful way to end our 21 days overseas.
And that was our 10th country.
Homeward bound, my friends. Only one final stop in NYC to end the adventure.
(Just as a reminder: if you’re enjoying our travels, please visit our website and help us spread some kindness in the world! We’re raising money to donate to orphans, clean water, and refugees. $10 or whatever you feel comfortable giving! Thank you!)