None of these things were huge shocks for us in Iceland, but I don't think I knew how much of an impact they would have on our trip until today.
Lack of daylight
The sun was rising at 11am and setting by 3:30pm each day. It would be completely dark shortly after 4pm eliminating the ability to see anything. We needed to be very careful to plan driving times and site visits to use our brief period of daylight the best possible way.
I knew that eating out in Iceland was very costly, and thought I would fix that by getting an Airbnb that had a kitchen so we could cook, pack lunches, etc. Well, it turns out it is because the food is expensive. Four chicken breasts were over $20 in the grocery store.
A lot of what we eat comes from cows
When I saw the price of chicken, I also noticed that ground beef was very pricey. Then I remembered that the country is very careful with protecting their native animals from diseases, and while they do have cows on the island they don't allow any to be brought in. This meant the milk and especially cheese was also crazy expensive, we paid $8 for cheddar to put on our sandwiches.
We knew that we would need to be driving standard, which both Jason and I are fine with. It was a bit surprising that at the end of our hike today the car didn't start. We had to call the rental company and they sent people to pick us up at the train head, bring us back to the city and give us a different car. Since rental cars are always so new you would think that they would be fairly immune to breaking down.