Reykjavik to Toronto to Niagara Falls
By Taxi, Bus, 757 and RAV4
Monday, June 20, 2016
It rained all night. The rain made music on the sidewalk outside our window. The coffee tasted good this morning, not at all medicinal. Orange juice, Skyr, an apple and a cinnamon pastry was our breakfast. Skyr is an Icelandic version of yogourt, much thicker, more protein, more like fromage blanc, sold plain or including fruit.
We saw many horses in the pastures along the two lane highway to Thorsmork. The Norse originally brought horses to Iceland in the ninth century’s from these the Icelandic horse has been bred. There are about one hundred thousand horses here compared to sixty thousand sheep. Icelandic horses are exported for breeding. Once a horse leaves Iceland it is not allowed to return. No other breed may be imported to Iceland.
It rained all morning. Brian’s knee is puffy and sore; so, we did not go any where. We prepared our bags and relaxed on our bed, trying once again to upload the past few days of blogs. No luck. Although the download speed in Reykjavik was good; the upload was not. We tried at our accommodation and in restaurants to no avail.
While we were in Basar at our mountain hut, everything had an extra price. There was no WIFI. Cellular cost extra for ten minutes of use. If we wanted a hot shower, it was $6 for a five minute shower. We decided we could go three days without. An icy shower was not appealing. Our feet did get well cleansed in the icy river. We had a stove that burned coal and was kept hot with a large pot of water on it. This was refilled as water was scooped from it for tea, coffee and washing dishes.
This morning we downloaded a Neil Gaiman audio book to have something to listen to while hanging around the airport today, but we did not end up listening to it.
Eir, the owner of our dwelling showed up at 11 AM. We asked her to phone us a taxi for noon, the time at which we needed to vacate our room.
We only had to wait ten minutes at the bus station to board the bus for Kevlavik airport. Since we were the first ones on, we took the front seats, more legroom and a better view. The road to Kevlavik is not very interesting, mostly flat lava fields with no animals. I think the lava is greening with some rain from the past few days. By the time we arrived at the airport, it had stopped raining.
Kevlavik is a very busy airport. It is easy to see why they are building a big addition. Upon arrival or departure you have to walk through the duty free shop. You do not pay any tax in any of the shops at the airport.
We checked our supply bag and went for lunch. The fish and chips with salad was very good. We saw Serge in the restaurant. He had done a glacier walk yesterday and was headed back to Barcelona today.
We browsed through the shops and spent the last of our isks on chocolate, lava salt and small bottles of Icelandic vodka. None of the prices for the larger bottles of alcohol were very low, not low enough to buy any.
We had to walk to the far end of the airport to Gate 27 where there were no chairs. We lowered ourselves to the floor with our backs to the wall. After twenty minutes the flight monitor showed a gate change to 31 at the opposite end of the hall. The crowd began to move but our flight attendants at gate 27 had not been told of the change. One of them phoned to see what was happening. Sure enough we were herded to the opposite end. There we had to board a bus to go to our plane.
We had checked in online yesterday and were pleased to see that we could change to the exit row seats. We had not counted on our plane being changed. The end result was that we were one row behind the exit row and even though that row was empty we were not allowed to change seats. At least not for a while. Brian asked a third time and we were allowed to move forward. His knee was grateful. It also meant we were the first ones off the plane in Toronto!
Our flight was half an hour late leaving. The sun shone brilliantly above the clouds. Very interesting seeing the mountains and glaciers of Greenland. The next great frontier, Greenland will probably take cues from Iceland.
No food is served on our flight unless you purchase it. We were wiser now and bought a smoked salmon and hard boiled egg bun at the airport deli.
The lavatory light did not work. A tricky business in the dark.
I watched two movies, both comedies with tear jerker aspects: perfect – Blended and Life of a House.
A four hour time difference makes for a long day, but not as long as if we had come directly from Manchester. We came down through lots of beautiful white cumulus clouds. We landed half an hour late at 19:25. Brilynn was cruising the pick up lane for us. Got to her at 8 PM. We had too short a hug and she was off to take the train downtown while we drive to Niagara. Quite a temperature difference from 14 C this morning to 32 C upon arrival. 21C and raining in St Catharines. Upon arrival in Niagara the rain had stopped and the setting sun cast a rosy lining on the clouds. Bed seems like a good idea. It gets dark here!