ICELAND

9/20/2021    

Descending through the early morning fogbanks, Justin Jost stared intensely into that ghostly mist that hid his destination below. With a 6-hour-plus flight time from the Twin Cities of Minty-soda, as the We-con-sinners call it, Justin was in his window seat on a commercial flight that was on final approach to Keflavik Airport at the far southwest end of the island, known as Iceland. This former US military airport, built in 1943 for WWII, was turned over to the Icelandic government for use as its main International Airport. Breaking through the cloud cover into an eerily lit land of charcoal black rock, the plane’s wheels hit the runway and the passengers were soon allowed to exit their winged tube. Entering a controlled incubation area, and then customs, in 1998, this airport was much more relaxed in the way it greeted its guests and returning citizens.  With a quick passport check, a few questions, and a printed stamp finalizing their acceptance into the land of fire and ice, they were released into the main concourse. The mad rush by the tourists to the bathrooms is a ritual that all humans entering a foreign land partake in. It is as if to say, “I’m here, and I’m marking my new, temporary territory.” Justin needed 3 goals to complete: find his luggage, transfer his currency into Krona, and pick up a rental car, which will be his new habitat and horse for the next 10 days. With those chores complete, he was off to the races as he drove 31 miles to Reykjavik at 7 in the morning. Enroute, he saw a huge industrial complex with ship berthing piers and a ton of power coming into the building. Later, he found out that due to cheap electricity, bauxite ore was shipped in, smelted into aluminum ingots, and then shipped out. This was a lesson in world economics without a diploma. Arriving in the multi-colored city, amongst a rocky backdrop, Reykjavik is a modern city set upon an ancient lava spillway. The alarm clock of adventure went off and it was now time to explore.

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