Gusties First Impressions

Posted on January 12th, 2020 by

We did it! The Gusties and Miffy have arrived in Iceland!

After a long day of traveling, Gustavus students hit the ground running as they arrived to the hostel, ate breakfast and started their day in the capital city of Reykjavik. The night before, students were asked to journal about their expectations for Iceland and reflect on those expectations as the got to know their surroundings and experienced the city.

Although Reykjavik is the largest city in Iceland, it felt almost quiet in comparison to the big cities that us Americans are used to. It’s incredible to think about how where you come from will determine how you adjust to new places. Personally, I felt quite comfortable walking around the city as I felt like I was in a pretty familiar place. That being said, as we have talked about before, Reykjavik (and especially Lagavegur) is a tourist town and therefore is designed to bring people in and make them want to explore. This makes sense as to why I felt so at ease, the city was made for me to feel that way. Something else I noticed that we talked about in our lectures was how when you look around as you are exploring, you will notice that a majority of the people you see are other tourists. To read that the population of Reykjavik at any given time is mostly tourists versus actually seeing it are two completely different experiences.

As we continued to walk around it is interesting to see the remnants of the crash scattered throughout the city. Buildings are recycled and you can see bits from old businesses in newer buildings. Tourism really is such a large part of the way of life here that if the weather wasn’t so unpredictable I would feel like I’m stepping in an Icelandic simulation more so than an actual country.

Slight existential crisis aside, the city was beautiful and the variety of shops around were fun to check out. Gusties had a wild 48hrs from leaving Gustavus, hanging around airports, exploring Reykjavik, to being awoken at 10:40pm to the sound of an explosion and evacuating the hostel! This is a sign friends… these next few weeks are about to be WILD.


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