Reykjavik, Iceland (February 28 - March 3, 1998)

Iceland in winter. "Why?" was the most typical response from friends as the 24-person group prepared for the trip.

An article in March 1997 described Iceland as "warmer and cheaper than you think."

There was no argument about the "cheaper" part. Roundtrip airfare, three nights hotel, breakfasts, airport transfers and a half-day tour cost only $675 per person. But warmer???

After a winter in which temperatures in Reykjavik averaged mid- to upper-30s, and only one week after the thermometer soared to 50 degrees, the weather took a frosty turn.

Locals said that our visit was the coldest weekend in 30 years. Go figure!

But the cold brought with it brilliant sunshine and perfect blue skies. From the warmth of the bus and the occasional jaunts into the wind and cold, Iceland seemed like one of the prettiest places on earth.

Though small by Chicago standards, Reykjavik boasts excellent restaurants, great shopping, and a dynamic nightlife.

Almost everyone speaks English, so communication was easy.

Once outside the city, Iceland's landscape is beautiful and dramatic. From the waterfalls at Gullfoss and Skogafoss, to one of the world's four remaining predictable geysers, to the striking black sand beaches and rock formations of the south, the scenery is stunning.

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