Personal Journeys

PERSONAL JOURNEYS

February 29, 2004|By Special to the Sun

A Memorable Place

Dancing until 4 a.m. in Reykjavik

By Colleen Cusick

SPECIAL TO THE SUN

My daughter and I took a trip to Iceland last fall. There had been other trips as parent and child, but this was a new phase of our lives together.

On the flight to Iceland, my daughter turned 23 and decided that we should celebrate by going out clubbing in Reykjavik, a city known for its nightlife.

My daughter informed me that only tourists go out to the clubs before midnight. So to avoid being identified as tourists, we went to Reykjavik's City Central area about 12:30 a.m. We soon found ourselves in a popular club, where it was crowded and the music pulsed.

I thought I would spend the evening watching my daughter dance, but I soon felt a tap on my shoulder and found myself on the dance floor dancing side-by-side with my daughter.

Reykjavik, the most northern capital city in the world, is a cosmopolitan European city. Visitors from many countries come for leisure and business. Most of the shops in the city feel intimate, and cater to different Icelandic specialties, which include glassware, ceramics and woolen articles. Bakeries are well stocked with mouth-watering pastries, cookies and chocolates.

The weather was in a short span of time windy, sunny, hailing or snowing. With each turn of the road, Iceland showed us how powerfully beautiful nature can be. We saw waterfalls, soaring cliffs, the Myrdalsjokull glacier and the black beach of Reynisdranger, as well as natural habitats of Arctic tern and puffin.

Iceland is filled with raw, desolate landscapes. You sometimes have the feeling of being at the beginning of a new world. We climbed alongside and walked behind waterfalls and could feel the cold spray of hundreds of gallons of water pounding the surface below.

Visiting the Blue Lagoon is also a must for visitors. Although many mistakenly think that the Blue Lagoon is a natural phenomenon, in reality it is a byproduct of the nearby hydroelectric plant. The water's light-blue color results from the reflection of the white silica on the rocks.

The lagoon also serves as a spa, where one can soak in the warm waters for hours, meet the locals and other tourists, and partake of spa services. We decided on massages. Nothing can compare with having a massage while floating on a mat looking at the passing clouds.

As I look back on it now, I see that vacationing with your adult child is a good experience, providing an opportunity to reconnect. Also, one of the most gratifying parts of the Iceland experience was knowing that at age 45, I am still able to keep up with my daughter -- dance-for-dance -- until 4 o'clock in the morning.

Colleen Cusick lives in Baldwin.

My Best Shot

Monique Savits, Baltimore

Evening of triumph

My boyfriend and I traveled to St. Croix, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, last spring so he could compete in the Half Ironman Triathlon. This was our first vacation together as well as my first encounter with the other passion in his life -- triathlon. As expected, St. Croix had turquoise water, white sand and tropical blue skies. I watched the athletes compete and was amazed that they could manage a smile as people cheered them on. I began to understand the level of dedication it took to reach a goal like this. I felt a new respect for my boyfriend. The evening of this beautiful St. Croix sunset was victory night. My boyfriend won his age category in the competition, which guaranteed him a spot in the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii.

Readers Recommend

Bay of Naples, Italy

Jo Alderman Greenberg, Columbia

Our ride from the airport in Naples to our hotel in Sorrento was interesting. Our cab driver was aggressive navigating the narrow, winding streets. He cursed the scooters -- mosquitoes, as he called them -- whizzing by us. We felt as if we were in the middle of a James Bond movie. Then a calm came over us when we saw this breathtaking view of our hotel, the Bellevue Syrene, overlooking the Bay of Naples.

Copper Canyon, Mexico

Jeff Jefferson,

Millersville

During a visit to Mexico's Copper Canyon region this fall, my wife and I encountered many indigenous Tarahumara Indian women selling baskets of remarkable quality. We bought the basket the woman in this picture was making.

Let Us Hear From You

We want to know about your travels, your experiences, your pictures. Here's how to participate in this page:

* My Best Shot -- Send us a terrific travel photo with a description of when and where you took it. (Cash value: $50.)

* A Memorable Place -- In 500 words or less, tell us about a travel experience that changed you, about the nostalgia a certain place evokes, about the power of a favorite beach, the mountains, a city cafe. (Cash value: $150.)

* Readers Recommend -- Briefly tell us about places you've recently visited that you'd recommend to other readers. (50 words or less; photos are welcome.)

Because of the volume of responses, photos and manuscripts cannot be individually acknowledged or returned. Submissions from all categories may be used for Readers Recommend, and upon submission become the property of The Sun.

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