A light mist floats through the air, beads of condensation on the window in the morning. Outside, a rectangular red truck passes slowly down Laugavegur, cleansing Reykjavík’s main street. It looks like a toy and I realize that everything in Iceland, from the accents of the locals to the crazy animals, is adorable. In the distance, Hallgrímskirkja rises above the houses of Iceland’s capital city and I can’t believe I can see it from my apartment. I can’t believe I woke up this early.
More than half the people in Iceland believe in elves and it’s not hard to understand why. The Icelandic landscape practically lends itself to supernatural belief with its vast volcanic plains and tall mountains that appear to harbor something more mystical. In many ways, Iceland is a lot like Hawaii where I grew up. Both volcanic islands of fire and ice (Hawaii has some ice), they each host unique landscapes, a menu of mythologies, incredibly friendly people and unique cuisine. I quickly felt the familiarity of home.