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Traineeship in Iceland

Britt de Roij, student Hotel and Event Management: “In the winter of 2009 I exchanged familiar Holland for icy Iceland for a 3-month traineeship in Reykjavik. When my family came to visit I got the opportunity to introduce them to an amazing and imposing country. In the following travel blog I documented our activities and experiences.”

“We’ve arrived in Reykjavik today. Reykjavik airport is lo­cated in the middle of the lava-landscape that fascinates you immediately. The contrast between the pitch-black lava stones and the orange faded heaven is breath-taking. Because of the extreme weather conditions in this country Iceland only owns one country road. While dri-ving towards Reykjavik city I’m amazed about this country’s nature that seems to be changing with every blink of the eye. Reykjavik city is a small but impressive capital because of its mixture of modern culture with ancient traditions. It’s the winter season and this means a low season concern­ing tourists and only about 4 hours of daylight every day. During these dark days Icelandic inhabitants keep them- selves busy with writing, knitting, painting, reading and all kinds of other creative activities. Therefore there a lot of Icelandic designers who make amazing and one of a kind creations. In Reykjavik you’ll find a wide range of shops that sell these creations and visiting one of these shops is definitely worth a try. Tomorrow we’ve got a trip planned to the South Coast of Iceland.”


“It’s 6 o’clock in the morning and we’ll be leaving for the city centre soon where our tour guide will pick us up. Walk­ing through the city centre of Reykjavik - it’s still pitch dark outside - doesn’t feel threatening at all. Iceland is such a small island and because its inhabitants live in such close communities there’s a very low to not existing violation rate and crimes are not common. The south coast of Ice­land is breathtaking. The icy waterfalls, the deserted lava landscapes, the ice-cold wind and the cute Icelandic hors­es are sights you’ll never forget. While driving trough the rough landscapes the tour guide tells us about the ancient stories about trolls and elves. This may sound strange but the Icelandic inhabitants truly believe in these myths and they are very superstitious. Because of the lack of daylight we have to head back to Reykjavik city. The roads in Ice­land are not lighted and therefore can be dangerous when driving in the dark. Once we’ve arrived in Reykjavik we go for a beer in one of the local bars. Icelandic bars are kind of alternative and Iceland features a lot of Icelandic bands playing in one of these bars every night. Icelandic inhab­itants enjoy an alcoholic beverage and therefore there’s only one liquor store in Reykjavik to prevent it from be­coming a problem. Tomorrow we’ve planned to go and see the Northern lights.”

Northern lights

“Because the weather conditions vary every day it’s not for certain that you will be able to see the Northern lights when you book the trip. We are lucky, the weather conditions are perfect and at 12 o’clock sharp our tour guide arrives to pick us up. We’ll drive towards the deserted landscapes outside of Reykjavik to prevent the lights of the city from blocking our view at the Northern lights. While waiting in the pitch-black night suddenly the lights appear. A blanket of white, green, blue and sometimes pink lights fill the sky. The few lucky ones with SLR cameras can photograph the Northern lights but most people that are less equipped can’t photograph them. The view you’ll see with the naked eye is not in comparison with a photograph. The Northern lights dance trough the sky and it’s hard to keep your eyes away from them. Very impressed we return to Reykjavik.

Iceland by horse

Today we’ll go horseback riding. Our tour guide comes to pick us up and takes us to the ranch located about 45 minutes outside Reykjavik. Icelandic horses are perky and rather small horses. Icelandic inhabitants are very clear about the fact that their horses are not pony but real horses. While we would think our horses in Holland would break their legs walking over 10 centimetres thick ice the Icelandic inhabitants don’t worry about this at all and the horses flounder their way through the raw landscapes. The icy wind in your face and the amazing views give you an in­credible feeling. These pretty horses are amazing and one of a kind. Tomorrow we’ll pay a visit to the Blue Lagoon.”

The Blue Lagoon

“The Blue lagoon is located between Reykjavik city and the National Airport. Therefore a lot of tourist can visit the Blue lagoon when arriving or leaving Iceland. Because Ice­land is a volcanic island there are a lot of hot springs and the Blue lagoon is the biggest one you’ll find in Iceland. The contrast between the ice-cold air and the heath of the spring is amazing and you’ll have to dip your face into the water to prevent your face from freezing. The clay you’ll find on the soil of the Blue Lagoon is very good for your skin and you can use it as a mask on your face or scrub for you body while you’re swimming. The brimstone scent of the Blue Lagoon is one you won’t forget very easily. While floating in the 40 degrees water you’ll feel utterly relaxed. A visit to the Blue Lagoon will make you feel rejoiced. To­morrow we’ll fly back to Holland.” “My visit to Iceland was an experience I’ll never forget. It’s a one of a kind country with intriguing myths, unforget­table sights and amazing animals. I’m looking forward vis­iting Iceland during the summer season to find out what this fantastic island has to offer then.”

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