Stop #1: Reykjavík, Iceland

A few Dins at the historic site of Þingvellir, at the Eurasian-North American continental divide.

A few Dins at the historic site of Þingvellir, at the Eurasian-North American continental divide.

Hello everyone! This is Everett here, Din #236, reporting from Reykjavík!

Iceland has been an absolutely amazing first stop on our world tour. The very first night that we arrived, we were amazed by how bright the sky was, even at 2 am. With the snowy mountains in the distance, we quickly unpacked our things and got some rest before our first full day in the city.  

Some brave spelunkers/snorkelers

Some brave spelunkers/snorkelers

The day started with some members taking a guided snorkeling trip looking down at the tectonic divide between the North American plate and the Eurasian plates. Others toured the city of Reykjavík, climbing to the top of Hallgrímskirkja, the biggest church on the island, and exploring the local cuisine and stores. We later met up with Bartónar, a 30 man a cappella group that was born out of a nearby bar, and were immediately drawn towards their amazing personalities and great fashion senses. The entire time, Svavar Knútur, a local musician and friend, took us under his wing and introduced us to Bartonar as well as two wonderful Icelandic jazz singers, Andrea Gylfadóttir and Kristjana Stefans. The evening performance turned out to be a fantastic success, filled with camaraderie and laughter.  

On our way to our first gig in the city

On our way to our first gig in the city

For day two, the Dins set out on the classic Golden Circle Tour of Iceland's beautiful backcountry. There we enjoyed picturesque settings filled with rugged mountains, powerful waterfalls, mesmerizing geysers, and winding rivers. In the distance, glaciers dominated the horizon of this land of ice and fire. The tour guide spoke of the history of the country, including how Iceland has the oldest continuously operating parliament in all of Europe, and also stopped to allow the Dins to pet some local horses. After the day trip concluded, the Dins immediately traveled to a restaurant beside one of Iceland’s famous black sand beaches, where we indulged in lobster bisques and cod. There we sang for a local audience and learned more about the amazing singing culture that is found everywhere in Iceland. For example, in a local town of only 1,500 people, there are more than 4 choir groups!

Matt poses in a field with an Icelandic horse

Matt poses in a field with an Icelandic horse

Today, the last full day of the trip, we sang at the nation's largest radio station and had the opportunity to meet one of the radio DJ's. Afterwards, Svavar guided us around Reykjavík and introduced us to Café Rosenberg, a restaurant where we will be performing tonight. I can't wait to sing with my fellow Dins one last time in Iceland at Rosenberg, and I definitely will miss the wonderful time that we have spent on this island.  

Shout out to Ása Hjálmarsdóttir and Brynjolfur Magnusson (Billi) for helping the group nail gigs and coordinate moving all 11 of us around.  Also, thank you so much Sam Schoenberg for joining our group for this stop and London! 

Here is to 12 more countries and countless memories together!

Signing off,

Everett Sussman #236