Reykjavik to Kirkjubaejarkelustur, Iceland
Date: Lodging: Distance: Total:
01/01/1999 Farmhouse 312 KM 312 KM

Departing December 28, 1998 from New York, we headed to Iceland to begin our three-year journey on January 1, 1999 around the world. Recently we've been asked often,

"Why begin in Iceland?"

Iceland is the westernmost country in Europe. The 1000th anniversary of Leif Eriksson's discovery of America is approaching. The Tectonic plates under North America and Europe meet in Iceland; it is the only place in the world where one can drive from North America to Europe.

What better place to begin?

Next stop: Kirkjubaejarklauster, a village built on a volcanic desert.

Iceland's President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson welcomes Jim and Paige to Europe's oldest democracy and the land of fire and ice.
The travelers toast the start of their expedition at Perlan, a revolving restaurant built atop Reykjavik's geothermal hot water storage tanks.
Reykjavik's families gather around neighborhood bonfires before heading to higher ground to watch the midnight fireworks.
The millennium adventure begins about 30 kilometers from Reykjavik in Thingvellir, where the tectonic plates of North America and Europe meet.
Jim and Paige's dawn departure attracts tourists from New York and television journalists from local press.

And they're off! The first leg of the 150,000 km expedition is an icy drive around the Vatnajokull glacier.
1 January 1999 – Setting off on our three-year journey.
Ring Road
Another shot of us on the Ring Road
Iceland offers remarkable waterfalls.
1 January 1999 - On our drive around Iceland's Ring Road, we stopped at a farmhouse late afternoon hoping to find lodging. The lady of the house said she had rooms and offered us tea, which we eagerly accepted since we had not eaten that day. Inside her split-level house, there were signs she kept travelers frequently - the dining room had five or six tables, there was a menu for alcoholic drinks and she had an enormous plastic tea display with almost 30 different kinds included.

After unpacking and taking a ½ hour walk along a straight, narrow, dark dirt road, we visited the owner's home again for dinner. We ate two huge plates of locally caught lobster with melted sweet butter, grilled lamb chops, green beans, steamed potatoes and carrots, and home baked bread with butter made just for us.

Jim interviews Iceland's President.
Paige interviews Iceland's President.
Jim makes a visit to DeCode in Iceland.
Jim visits the Iceland Stock Exchange.