Yesterday I expressed an interest in going to Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut because I like cold places. In the summer. I have been to Fairbanks and Nome, Alaska, but only in the summer when the days are quite long but the mosquitoes are fierce. My favorite destination of all time is Iceland, and I aspire to go from there to the Faroe Islands at some point. Below are 3 cold places I have really liked including Iceland.
Ruth and I were on our way to Kodiak Island. The pilot of our commercial flight made an attempt to land in Kodiak despite the fog but finally gave up and returned to Anchorage. After spending a night there, we tried again the next day and made it. Ruth apologized to the woman who ran the b&b where we stayed for not showing up the day before; and she laughed, said it happened all the time, and told us that she heard us try to land and knew we didn’t make it so she didn’t expect to hear from us until the next day.
We had a great time on Kodiak Island despite the fact that a rock flew through the windshield of our less-than-perfect rental car and we spent most of our time dealing with insurance people. We drove all over the island looking for a Kodiak bear and didn’t see any. We were told that this was a good thing since they are testy. A subspecies of the grizzly, the not-playful Kodiak bear is to be avoided, not sought. Even Kodiak Island’s summers are pretty wintery–mostly cloudy, short, and cool at best. I just checked and the temperature there today is 51 degrees.
Another cold place I loved was Unalaska. Unalaska Island used to be called Dutch Harbor because a Dutch ship was the first outsider to anchor there. Unalaska is 3 1/2 days by ship from Homer, AK because it’s half way down the Aleutian chain of Islands. It’s a place of fish processors, bald eagles, and low vegetation. It’s small enough to walk around and see everything. I learned while there that the Japanese attacked a US Naval Station on the island in 1942. The flight back to Anchorage on my final day took off late, and the pilot had only a brief time to avoid plowing into a mountain at the end of the runway.
But Iceland is my favorite cold weather place on earth. I’ve been there in March twice and know how cold it can be. Our last time there was in October. We rented a car and headed for Egilsstadir. What we did not know is that half of the roads in Iceland are gravel. Driving up Iceland’s curvaceous east coast, we decided to take a shortcut to our destination because it was getting late and raining near the ferry to the Faroes. The road was gravel and untraveled and the temperature kept falling, but we made it to our cozy hotel in the town of Egilsstadir by 10 pm.