4 pm, April 30: I packed my backpack and headed to the airport. It was almost a full day’s travel to one of the prettiest places I’ve ever been to — a tiny country far in the north. And it was all thanks to 10up, who organized this fantastic event for the 250 members who could travel at that time.
Upon arrival, I was greeted by 10up members waiting for our shuttle. It was 11:30 pm local time and, frankly, already quite cold as we were right next to the entrance. By 2 am, we were in the hotel rooms for a nice rest from the long travel. Some folks had 30+ hours!
In the next five days, I met so many fascinating and knowledgeable people! I don’t think even a month would be enough to get to know that team. I was surprised at the many interests everyone had, the different cultures and views.
A free day to walk around and explore Reykjavik. The temperatures were hovering from 2 °C (35 F) in the morning to 6 °C (43 F) when the sun was up. It was quite windy, so if you plan to go there, prepare for that (and the rain!).
Reykjavik, on the coast of Iceland, is the country’s capital and largest city
Population: 122,853 (2016)— Wikipedia
I took a nice 3-hour walk in the morning to scout what’s around. The center was a 30-minute walk from the hotel we were staying at.
I had some luck and stumbled upon a parade of motorcyclists. There were probably 200 different types, models, and interesting people to see.
All of them were lining on the street leading to Hallgrímskirkja – Church of Hallgrímur.
Further down the center, I found this leak full of gooses, ducks and swans.
Later that day, I did another walk and I was surprised to see how long the sunset takes. I wasn’t alone this time though, Hugo came with me, and we had a very good time throughout the city. Thanks to him, this time I also have a photo or two 🙂
Down the coast line, we saw this amazing sculpture:
And a cinematic view at the lighthouse:
Tuesday and Wednesday
The organized event included presentations and talks, a workshop, and very delicious food! In these two days, I was lucky to talk to many of the 10up members and form better relationships with the teams I am working with he most.
The second day ended with our amazing hosts that managed to roast half the members while making the whole room laugh and have so much good time. Yearly awards were given, and it ended with a concert, where 10up musicians played and sang ’till the late hours. There are some real talents!
The lunch/dinners were a great way to have some lighthearted talks and enjoy the chef’s work. I never knew I liked fish that much!
Here is a group photo of a portion of the front-end team we quickly took at the front of the hotel. Such a dense pack of talent right there!
The last officially organized day was Thursday, when the different teams went to activities and tours around Iceland. We picked a 6-hour tour that included a Geyser, a volcano’s crater, a huge waterfall, tectonic plates, and a tomato green house. And just traveling between each presented so much beautiful scenery to us.
And here is our group. The energy leaks from the photo!
Below – a Horse, not a pony, and Ricky Lee trying to give it some snacks. Turns out, they were 3 cm larger than what would otherwise be classified as a pony. There are over 250,000 of them in Iceland!
From there, we went to see the waterfall. I wouldn’t stay there for more than 5 minute though, the water and wind are a nasty combination at 5 °C.
We were quite optimal with our time and we headed to the Geyers:
The big one has been dormant for 20 years. Instead of that, we saw a much smaller one, which still reaches over 15 m height when it erupts every 5 minutes.
And then we saw the tectonic plates drifting. Well, we should stay a whole year to see them move just 3 cm, but we could imagine it at least.
And in the last 10 minutes, even with all the beauty around, the trash bins turned out to catch our attention. There were 6 different types!
The worst day, because it was over and I had to travel back. It took me about 14 hours to reach home due to some delays.
I can easily say that this was one of the best-organized events I have ever attended. Maybe number 1, really. Once again, I am grateful to 10up and the organizers for this opportunity and to all the fascinating people I met throughout the week.
Everyone left with smiles and positive experiences, and we even started discussing the next one at our last dinner 🙂