What to wear in Iceland, in the summer?
Most of my friends bring their winter parkas. We are, after all, on the 66th parallel, about as far north as you can get. But I can’t. I can’t pack a winter coat for a summer trip no matter how far north it is. A winter coat takes up too much of a suitcase that should be reserved for boots, hats, sweaters, a helmet, almond butter, and melatonin (which is, oddly enough, contraband in Iceland). Instead of a parka, I pack a faded fleece jacket by Mountain Hardware that I purchased in 2004 right before my first trip to Iceland. I have a vivid memory of buying this jacket because it was on sale at one of those prices that made you giddy to be a consumer, and because the power went down in New Haven just as I stepped up to the register. They took down my credit card number with a pencil (a pencil!) and I was convinced that I’d never be charged for it. Whatever I did pay was worth it. It makes every trip with me. Over this careworn plum-colored fleece, I wear my Astund windbreaker. Astund is the tack store on the outskirts of Reykjavik where we stop every year on the way up to Helga’s. Astund is where all my friends in pre-recession days would drop hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars/krona. Some people drool over a Prada store, I drool over Astund, And like Prada it’s usually out of my budget, so I’ve had to limit myself to the occasional sweater or pair of gloves on sale. And, of course, this windbreaker with the beloved red horse and white lettered “Astund” on the back. My husband thinks it is ugly, but what does he know? For me it symbolizes all I ever want.
Here I am in my Astund windbreaker (which may, in truth, not technically be a windbreaker because it is not made of nylon or any material that blocks the wind; on the contrary, it holds the wind like a sail and makes me look like the Michelin tire man).