03/03/11 9:22 PM

A friend exclaimed………

“You are going where?  ICELAND?  Isn’t it bloody cold up there–or down there? Where IS Iceland?”

This  friend went on to say,   “Why not Florida?  A holiday at Rodent World would break up the winter; only a 3 hour flight to Orlando.  Or, why not Fort Myers, Florida, USA? You can watch the Red Sox play. It is spring training. Pitchers and catchers. SPRING. The smell of cut lawns. Sprinklers waving to and fro. Flowers. No snow. Are you listening to me?”


To Keflavek, Iceland, it is a 5/6 hour flight from the East Coast of the United States. One flies into a new day. A repetition of hours past.  I suddenly hear the Edwin Hawkins Singers singing in my mind. Oh Happy (new) Day! A fresh start.

Forget nay-sayers. Do not listen to those who mentioned I would freeze my tuffy. Not true. I had one of the most delightful holidays in years in Iceland. It was a combination of work and play. More play than work. I shoot photography pretty fast. The natural light of  Iceland is stunning. No need to change photographic filters and lenses for each frame.

Iceland is home to one of natures most wondrous phenomenon–the northern lights. Picture swirling shades of green dancing on your ceiling. Trippy. Soooo 1960’s San Francisco, California, USA—minus the drugs.

I wish to say thank you  to all I met during my journey to Reykjavik, the world’s most northern capital city. Here are some short vignettes.

* Meeting elementary school students in Reykjavik. I totally enjoyed signing my post cards. One boy was so excited, he left his book bag behind when autographs were over. He ran back to fetch his European-style book bag. Upon returning, he extended his hand offering me coins from his pocket. I told him, his presence was a gift. Keep the kronas. “Buy yourself an ice cream. ” His gesture was sweet,  innocent, and memorable.

*At this same signing, I could not spell a student’s name. It was a traditional Icelandic name with many vowels and consonants. In a flash, he pointed to his arm and said, “Copy this from my football jersey.” It is nice kids are still kids in Iceland–not miniature versions of adults constantly playing with electronic devices in public and texting on cell phones. We often force children to grow up too fast in the United States. It was nice to witness a slower pace of life in Iceland. More respect for the outdoors. Childhood revisited.

* The silica mud at the Blue Lagoon was pure bliss. As John Lennon’s critics once noted, Mr. Lennon was dreaming his life away when he took time off to appreciate life in Manhattan. Well, if there was ever a place dream one’s life away, it is at the Blue Lagoon. The Blue Lagoon is home to buoyant, milky, aquamarine water. Steam  rises from geothermal water. While soaking in the geothermal water, it snowed, rained, wind howled-and I could care less. I was floating in the Blue Lagoon. True relaxation. The name of the facility sounds like an bad Elvis Presley movie. No. That was Blue Hawaii. I think. Work with me on this people.

* Baejarins Beztu Pylsurs! In short, Icelandic hot dogs. Better than Coney Island hot dogs! Superior to Fenway Franks! Ben!!!!!!!!!!!! How can this be? I went to this famous take-out stand, housed in a red aluminum camper-like structure 4 times. I ordered 2 Pylsurs at a time. I am a two fisted Pylsur eater. For those unfamiliar with a Pylser I will explain. There is a photograph of former president Bill Clinton holding a Pylsur. Food. Bill Clinton. Need I  say more? If Bill likes Pylsers then Ben likes Pylsers. Ah. Crispy, crunchy onions. A special mustard. A streak of carefully applied mayo. A soft bun.  You eat Pylsurs  standing up, Note the “s?” Plural. One Plyser  is not enough. The picnic tables next to the stand have unique carved wooden ridges to cradle your hot dogs–that’s if you put them down. I couldn’t.

*How green!

No. Not Kermit the Frog.


The hotel where I stayed was heated with geothermal energy. Room heat and water. The lights in the room turned on only when I inserted my flat plastic room key. Lights then went  off when I removed the key, therefore not leaving lights on when out of the room. The hotel hall lights would turn on and off using  motion sensors. How many times have I been in hotels around the world where hall lights burn 24/7? 

The people in Iceland are welcoming to guests. I enjoyed many conversations with fishermen, cab drivers, bartenders, shop keepers, business executives from the worlds of  energy production and global financial. I had delightful conversations with people whom I floated with in the Blue Lagoon. I enjoyed meeting teachers from England, a Canadian couple, a nurse and a pilot from Scotland, and an investment banker from France.

I am working with Scott and Will. They are my ace technology team members; part of I hope to have new photo galleries of New York City and Iceland posted by mid-spring.

So if the thought of Iceland makes one think of standing in a walk-in beer freezer think again. The climate is temperate. The food, fabulous. The people eager to please and engaging.

Next trip…………………Iceland.  All aboard!  


There are no trains in Iceland……….

Brendan Ben Feeney


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    I hope you will visit Iceland again in the future

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    I am soooooooooo excited. I am arriving again in your great country in February. Please keep in touch so that we can share a Black Death together. Brendan Ben Feeney

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