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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Maybe they should start calling it Niceland

    This week’s Mystery Guest, Kaellen Hessel, is a former Tribune staffer studying abroad in France this semester. As Closer Look editor, she was in charge of that big colorful section that’s in the middle of the paper on Tuesdays. You know, the one with the sex story last semester.

    What country is ridiculously gorgeous, lists the prime minister in the phone book, uses 99 percent renewable energy and can say more than 50 percent of its population believes in the existence of elves?

    Only the coolest country ever: Iceland.

    I don’t know anyone else who’s ever been to Iceland, and I’m sure you don’t either, so I think it’s safe to proclaim myself an Icelandic expert.

    Sure, I might have only spent an hour layover there on my way to Paris but I bet I still know more about Iceland than you do! Did you know that every Icelander can trace his or history back to the first Viking settlers? Or that their language is pretty much exactly the same as it was when the Vikings first arrived?

    I didn’t think so. See, Iceland expert.

    How did I gain this knowledge? IcelandAir.

    I flew IcelandAir for two reasons: it was the cheapest, and it had a one hour layover each way in Iceland. I really wanted to tell people I had been to Iceland.

    Photo by Kaellen Hessel / [email protected]

    I knew the flight would be good when I saw a flight attendant walk through the gate area in a poncho-like cape.  All the women wore pillbox hats and their hair slightly to the side in different kinds of buns.  Classy like Jackie O.

    One of the goals of IcelandAir is to give everyone a taste of what Iceland and the culture there is like. As a result, all of the seats had fun facts about Icelandic culture on them. Best walk ever.

    Part of the in-flight entertainment included information on the beautiful and tiny country.  Did you know that about 10 Icelandic rock bands try to make it globally each year? Now you do. Don’t you just love how informative this blog is?  It must make the philosophy class you’re sitting through much more bearable.

    After 5 hours we landed. Reykjavik, Iceland is also home to what may be the world’s quietest airport. Maybe because it was 6:30 a.m. there. Or maybe because it was teeny tiny.

    It was also very dark out. Like apocalyptic end-of-civilization dark.  Pitch black everywhere.  They have almost 12 hours of nighttime there during the winter because it’s so far north. So don’t come without a flashlight.

    I ended up spending most of the layover going through security and customs, but I got the important part: a stamp in my passport that says “Reykjavik.” If that doesn’t count for visiting the country, then using their bathroom does. Peeing in a new place is my Aunt Helen’s definition of officially visiting there. Check.

    But just getting stamps and checking out the bathroom wasn’t enough for this Iceland expert. Even though I’ve officially been there now, I’m itching to go back. And not just on my return trip home.

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