For the Coolest Holiday This Year, Try Iceland

Mizutani-San and her three tea ceremony students are staring down a snow-filled crevasse, contemplating the best route to the bottom. More than 1,000 years ago the world's first parliament met here, on the banks of Thingvalla Lake in Iceland, so tribal chieftains could hash out disagreements without resorting to violence. Its origins may be civilized but the icy gorge is a far cry from Mizutani's school in Tokyo. "You won't get me down there," says Odin, our tour guide, as he watches the four ladies flounder through the thigh-deep snow. Having traveled halfway around the world, the women aren't going to...

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