Iceland

A Lazy Day

Happy Summer!
Niagara Falls
Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Sleeping in until 8 AM was a good feeling. A large familiar bed facilitates a good sleep. We often had eggs for breakfast in England but had not eaten eggs in a week. Brian made delicious fluffy scrambled eggs and there were still some of my chocolate banana bran muffins in the freezer. I made another dozen bran muffins this morning to keep my father-in-law supplied.

I drove, for the first time in a month, to Virgil to visit Margaret. Her gardens are looking splendid. Our nephew, Frederick, had not quite finished his great landscaping job when last we visited, but all is done now and Margaret has added many flowering plants from friends. She has also planted vegetables with her flowers and everything is thriving.

It is always a pleasure to visit with my sister. We exchange hiking tales. Margaret had an amazing Adirondack hiking experience. It sounds as if she and her friends are more than ready for their tour of Mont Blanc next week. I look forward to hearing of that adventure. We are hoping Brian’s knee will improve rather than worsen and we too will do the tour one day.

We visited my mother-in-law in her nursing home. She was happy to be wheeled downstairs to the garden. We showed her photos of our trip on the iPad. As we look back at these photos some of them from a month ago seem so much more removed than that. We covered a lot of ground in a month.

I am thankful that I wore hiking boots rather than shoes. In the Lake District and especially in Iceland the rubble and rocks underfoot were good for twisting ankles. Although the ground was not as rough in North Yorkshire, shoes would have required gaiters or we would have had water in our shoes even though the bogs were not as wet as they could have been. For those of you who red my Camino blogs, you may remember me complaining that the soles of my feet were burning. I wore orthotics this time and am happy to report that there were only two occasions when I had burning feet. Changing socks helped alleviate the burning.

We did some grocery shopping. Brian prepared beef ribs for supper. They were awesome with new potatoes and fresh corn on the cob. I have not had a feed of fresh strawberries yet, but I did have a few berries on vanilla ice cream. I hope to buy some strawberries at a roadside stand on our way home tomorrow. Failing that maybe this will be a good year for “Pick Your Own” en route to Sauble Beach.

I trimmed some shrubbery and pulled weeds, getting warmed up for our return to our own garden.

I walked 4.68 kilometres around the neighbourhood this evening, a leisurely stroll with Brilynn for company even though she was walking in Toronto. Aren’t cell phones wonderful?

Google is great for calculating distances. From Toronto to Reykjavik is 4168 kilometres. From Reykjavik to Manchester is 1654 kilometres. Flying distance return is then 11644 kilometres. Cobble Beach to Niagara to Toronto is 410 kilometres and Manchester to Gosforth is 115.5 kilometres. Both of these road trips are doubled for the reverse trip thus 1051 kilometres for a grand total of 12695 kilometres. That is enough to make me want to go back to bed. Good night!

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Reykjavik to Niagara

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!

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Walking Around Reykjavik

Visiting Reykjavik
13 kilometres of walking around
Sunday, June 19, 2016
Happy Father’s Day

I woke up with a crushing headache this morning. Probably a caffeine withdrawal headache. I have been taking cold capsules that have caffeine and have been cutting back on them. After drinking half a cup of coffee, which felt more like taking medicine than something to be enjoyed. I slowly came round. Brian did not fare as well today. We walked to the bus station to see if we could trade our bus tickets so that tomorrow we could spend time at the Blue Lagoon on the way to the airport. No such luck. The Blue Lagoon was fully booked. I guess we needed to book this when we arrived from Manchester! A number of locals have said The Blue Lagoon is over-rated.

The bigger problem is that Brian’s knee locked on him as we walked. It is puffy and the pain is sharper. We still walked around Reykjavik but very slowly and tried out benches here and there. We also had two cappuccinos during the day, each time making use of the wifi and sitting for an hour or more. No one was anxious to shoo us away. The better coffee was at Hornid, a pizzeria, but the more agreeable ambience was in a cafe on the waterfront that had an open fire, actually a part of the fancy Icelandair Hotel. The chocolate peanut brownie was a delicious addition. It was a bonus that it only rained while we were inside the cafe.

We are so fortunate that Brian did not have this knee problem to this degree at any other time on our trip. Tomorrow we will be flying to Toronto. It is time!

We did fit in a visit to the sculpture garden. There are many bronze sculptures through the city, all interesting. We also took the elevator to the top of the landmark in Reykjavik, Hallgrimskirkja. We were able to look over the whole city with its colourfully painted buildings, harbour full of boats and mountains not far away. There appeared to be very little traffic all of which was moving slowly. There were many more pedestrians, many in the vicinity of this Catholic Church. Mass was just ending. We took the opportunity to sit for a while on the upholstered pews, admire the simple altar and enormous organ and feel peaceful even with hundreds of tourists walking silently through the church taking photos.

We came back to our room to relax for awhile before going out for supper. We returned to the Sea Baron where we shared a lobster soup. I had a scallop skewer and Brian a shrimp skewer. The restaurant is such that you sit at long tables along with whoever else comes in. We visited with a couple and their twelve year old son from San Francisco. After four days in Ireland they were renting a car and doing the circle tour of Iceland for ten days before flying home.

Chocolate covered licorice is a popular product in Iceland. I am not a big fan of licorice, but I like this. For lunch we had a hot dog at the famous hot dog stand, Baejarins Beztu Pylsur, by harbour. It was okay but definitely over-rated. It was boiled, not barbequed. Imagine that! Not my favourite. I thought there were to be lots of toppings but fully dressed meant mustard, ketchup, mayo, fried onions and raw onions. I skipped the ketchup and raw onions. Seriously what is a hot dog without relish? People were lined up to buy these hot dogs.

We have been thinking about what we brought in our backpack. We used everything except our ponchos, gaiters and flashlights. The last item was on the list the Trekkng Behind the Mountain company gave us. They must not vary the list by season. Certainly no flashlights are needed in June in Iceland unless you are in a windowless cave. If we had not brought the extra rain gear, the weather gods may not have looked as favourably on us. We considered these items weather insurance.

For those of you soon to be driving in Iceland, Marie and Jim, we hope you rent a good four wheel drive vehicle. At this time of year, driving on the ring road around the island looks easy, especially compared to Ireland or England. The roads are wider with no stone walls or hedges to hem you in. Traffic is light. Off this paved road is a different story. Be careful! Be safe! There is much to explore.

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Hiking and Travelling

Hiking Stakkaholtsgyja and returning to Reykjavik
15 kilometres hiking in 4.75 hours
3 buses and a taxi van in 4.5 hours
Saturday, June 18, 2016

I was up at 7:30 AM even though Paulina said we would not be having breakfast until nine. I guess those who did the longer hike wanted to sleep in. I did my morning yoga for the first time in more than a week. It felt great in the morning sunshine on the wooden deck. Brian came out to do yoga as I finished. Everyone was up earlier than anticipated. We had our breakfast, packed our bags, made lamb sandwiches for lunch and cleaned the bunkhouse ready for departure.

As we started out for our third hike, this one fourteen kilometres, and mostly flat, to the delight of all (yesterday’s big hikers were feeling their muscles) the sky was changing rapidly. It was eerie. The glacier at the end of our valley was obscured by wind-driven ash and cloud. The forecast was for a big storm by 2 PM with winds of 120 kilometres per hour. Paulina assured us the winds would not descend to our level but she did not recommend any ledges this day.

As we hiked the valley floor the wind changed directions a few times and more than once we wondered how we would stay upright. To cross the Hvanna River we had to take off our boots and socks and don water shoes. Brian and I had brought these; so, it was good to be able to use them. Some had flipflops, Martin went barefoot. I can only recommend water shoes or hiking sandals for that rocky crossing. Although we rolled our pants above our knees, the icy water dampened our trousers. The current was strong. It was a relief to dry our feet and put our boots back on. It only took twenty minutes to feel our toes again. We knew we would have to cross back over the river later.

There is only one “road” through this wide rocky valley. The road changes places each spring depending on how much the rivers change their courses. Snow melt has a lot to do with that. The valley is about a kilometre wide. The Hvanna and Krossa rivers twist back and forth throughout the valley causing ruts and holes as they run. Only four wheel drive vehicles can make the several river crossings. On our way to our bunkhouse on Thursday four people abandoned their four wheel drive rental car at a river crossing and boarded our bus.

We walked this road for nearly five kilometres to get to the Stakkholtsgyja Canyon. This meant we had to climb off the road whenever a car was coming. Brian and I were a little concerned that our fellow walkers were going so slowly on the way out because we wanted to be back before the storm and we wanted to make it back in time for our bus to Reykjavik. Paulina seemed unconcerned. We kept looking back over our shoulder as the sky continued to darken and change.

When we arrived at the canyon we were already an hour behind schedule but we picked up the pace and Paulina was determined to take us to the end of the canyon. We were glad she did because it was magnificent. We climbed boulders where the canyon faces almost touched and where one large boulder was lodged high above us. A beautiful waterfall dropped in a strong torrent from at least eighty feet above us.

We made our return to the bunkhouse much faster although we still had to wade through the icy river. We ate some of our lunch as we walked because we were so hungry. What was to have been a three hour walk took four and three quarters. We walked fifteen kilometres. We had one additional stop en route at the “marriage cave”. Two of our group trudged up the ashy slope then slalomed down it. Paulina said that a number of locals had been married here, but that the number of weddings had begun to fall off as most of these marriages ended in divorce.

Our return to Reykjavik was much the same as our beginning but in reverse with three buses and a taxi van. The rain did not start until we were safely inside the first bus. We did not envy those who were dropped off at campsites. One young woman was picked up at a campsite to return to Reykjavik. She was visibly shaking with cold and I am sure I could hear her teeth chattering. The young ticket taker loaned her his jacket.

The Airbnb we have for two nights is the least appealing of any of our accommodations on this trip. We accessed it through a basement door from the back garden of a house in serious need of a paint job. We were looking forward to our hot shower since we were very dusty from our hike. There was a tiny two piece washroom for the three basement rooms rented. We had to look for a shower. Just when we were about to despair we found one on the other side of the laundry room…a concrete space with exposed pipes and a hand held shower head for which the holder was broken, a bunch of tiny empty shampoo and shower gel bottles littered a basket, a too long pink shower curtain covered the doorway. The good news was that the water was hot and plentiful. There was one good large bottle of shampoo and we had our own shower gel. Our room is the smallest of the three but it is clean and the bed is comfortable.nthere is a large window right at street level so we see legs walking past. We were close to the harbour and found, quite by accident, The Sea Baron, a hole in the wall style of restaurant. Customers were lined up out the door. We joined the queue and were rewarded with excellent lobster soup and a basket of fresh bread with butter at a lower price than expected for Reykjavik. We will return!

We found the cheaper grocery stores, Netto and Bonus. The former is open twenty-four hours, the latter had already closed at nine o’clock. We bought some juice, tea, pastries and Skyr for breakfast. Our tiny kitchen at our lodging had lots of coffee but no tea.

Two guys from Ohio have one of the other rooms. They had just arrived from ten days of driving a Suzuki four wheel drive rental around the island. They loved the western fjords the most but thought the country could splurge and install a few guard rails. They said driving there was very scary but magnificent.

Iceland’s 72nd Birthday

Happy Birthday, Iceland!
Hiking 10 km Strakagill and Thorsmork
Friday, June 17, 2016

Last night, Paulina and Martin prepared a delicious pasta with smoked salmon, pepper cheese and onion sauce. I made the salad and dressing. Paulina had “Chernobyl” cake for dessert: a store bought vanilla loaf cake with a chocolate glaze which she said could survive anything.

The evening before Brian ate at the Icelandic Bistro in Reykjavik where we shared a lamb soup and each enjoyed salmon with a mango lime sauce and a salad.

Today is Iceland’s 72nd birthday. The Norse landed in Iceland in the ninth century. Iceland became part of the Kingdom of Denmark in 1814. In 1944, the Icelanders sent Denmark a telegram with words to this effect: “Too bad about the German thing you are dealing with. We are independent now. Bye.”

There may have been a variety of celebrations happening in Reykjavik where two thirds of the Icelandic population lives but at Basra, the bunkhouse/campsite where we were staying it was a very quiet day.

Brian’s knee was swollen from yesterday’s activities; so, we elected to not join the group but do flatter hikes on our own. The group hiked up between two glaciers in the direction of Skogar, slid on the glaciers, came down a steeper route than had been planned, completing eighteen kilometres in nine hours. The original plan involved fourteen kilometres in seven hours. We made the correct decision not to go. We did not want Brian to be using a wheelchair to return home.

Brian and I hiked the canyon valley of Strakagill following the winding River and fording it a couple of times, making it across the rocks without falling in. We had 170 metres of elevation change and hiked five kilometres in just over two hours. We returned to the bunkhouse where we sat at a picnic table and had our sandwiches and cookies plus a cup of tea. The tea was a bonus!

In the afternoon we crossed the Krossa River to Thorsmork and hiked two of the paths on that side, another five kilometres in just over two hours. We took our time and photographed flowers and rock shapes high on the mountains. We could see why Icelanders have so many sagas involving trolls and such. There are so many unusual shapes that make the imagination run wild. There was a particularly striking eagle’s head with a small human crawling towards it.

I borrowed the ranger’s flower book to look up the various flowers we had seen. The book was in Icelandic but the flower names were also in Latin. Besides thyme, lupins, buttercups and wild geraniums I recognized, there were Bartsia alpina, armeria maritima, silena uniflora and rumex acetosa. Both here and in England we saw plenty of Angelica archangela.

There were three huts of volunteers here. They come from all over the world. Some come for a couple of weeks, others for months. They work as teams five days a week clearing trails, building steps or boardwalks, doing maintenance around the huts.

Paulina barbecued not one but two legs of lamb for supper. Along with new potatoes and corn we had salad which I made. For dessert Paulina simmered apple and banana slices then melted chocolate on them. Better than Chernobyl cake.

Sunset is at midnight at this time of year. We do not stay up that late of course. At ten thirty the sun was shining brightly on my face through the bunkhouse window as I closed my eyes. I did not fall asleep quickly as I have had a dreadful head cold for almost a week. I watched the sky turn pink as the sun sank, but I was too lazy to get out of bed to photograph it. I did get up at midnight as the pink puffs of clouds dispersed. It was not dark at all, nor was it at four in the morning. It certainly makes it easier to do the hundred metre dash to the flush toilets when you can see where you are going whether or not it is a cloudy night. The second night was warmer than the first; so, I sauntered rather than dashed to enjoy the daylight grandeur in the middle of the night.

From Reykjavik to Thorsmork

imageFrom Reykjavik to Thorsmork
By Taxi Van and Three Buses
7:23 AM to 12:23 PM
Thursday, June 16, 2016

Wow, what a day! Getting here was an adventure in itself although we were a little disappointed that we were in a full size bus and that we made a number of stops just to drop off and pick up passengers. We thought we would be travelling in a small group in a four wheel drive car. We were a small group of six: Serge, Anna and Angel from Barcelona, Quinn from Berlin although originally from Michigan then LA with our two Polish guides: Paulina and her apprentice, Martin. We had to get to Thorsmork though with other groups. The last two buses had four wheel drive and we needed that once we left the paved road.

We stopped at a 200 foot high waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss. We did not have time to do as some other groups did, climb a series of steps, walk behind the falls then down steps on the other side. There were also miniature people walking above the falls. They must have accessed that position from somewhere else as we could not see any path to get there.

We stopped at a glacier which had slumped away in the spring and formed a giant lake at its base the roaring waters of which scoured a deep grey valley. We stood at the brink of the valley and took photos of the glacier. There were three or four cars at the base of the glacier. They had driven there on a packed ash road and looked like dinky toys.

We let people off at a mountain hut and camping area on the other side of Thorsmork from where we were going. To do so the bus driver had to raise the bus so that the intake for the engine did not suck in water as he drove over a raging river. I think all of us sucked in our breath As he crossed and were relieved to get to the other side. Of course the last bus took us back across the same river, also successfully to deliver us to our mountain hut.

Paulina laid out the food for us to make our own sandwiches: meats, cheese, pepper spread, mushroom spread, tomatoes, cucumber, peanut butter, hazelnut spread, three different breads, rye crackers, tea, coffee, fruit, cookies. We did not go away hungry on our first hike.

We climbed from 300 m to 550 metres along perilously steep ledges with loose rock underfoot. Not a comfortable feeling for Brian nor for me. Paulina was a good guide. I followed directly behind her. The ledge was the width of my feet. Brian and I were the tallest with the biggest feet and possibly our size made us feel vulnerable to certain death with one ill planted pole or misstep. Paulina wanted us to stand on the ledge and admire the fabulous view. It was amazing but really, I just wanted to get off the ledge. We used a chain to rappel down then walked a ledge that dropped away on both sides of us. I sat down and breathed then took photos of the others. Brian arrived first and said, “That’s quite the view through that hole!” I had not noticed the hole I sat beside, the one big enough to jettison me to the valley on the other side of the mountain. Some things are best left unnoticed. We then went hand over hand to pull ourselves by chain up the next cliff face. The top of Rettarfell was glorious. It was not a ledge, but had a broad path on which I could dance and sing, but didn’t. Instead I took photos of the views and the flowers dotting the mountain top. This area is known as Gotaland: God’s Land and it truly is. We were across the Krossa River opposite Thorsmork: Thor’s forest. That’s where the birch forest grew.
Birch trees did not exceed ten feet and there was very little growth other than wild flowers. This area has only started regrowing since it was made into a nature reserve and no sheep are allowed to graze here. Paulina told us to each pocket a handful of birch leaves. She made tea with these for us after we got down from the mountain.

And we did get down more easily than we went up. Though it’s we slid sideways on the rubble we did not feel confident even though our guide, a foot shorter than me, assured us she would catch us. It had not rained in the area much in the past month, highly irregular. The result was that we and especially our boots were very dusty after three and a half hours of hiking. Our boots looked experienced once again.

 

On to Iceland

From Jim’s Casa in Gosforth to Arcturus Guest House in Reykjavik
By Car-Icelandair: Boeing 757-SkyBus-Taxi
7:45 AM to 5 PM
From 15 C to 11C, Sunny
Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Since we had assembled and repacked our belongings last night, we were not long with our morning preparations and breakfast. We were in Jim’s Ford Focus fifteen minutes ahead of schedule. In spite of a tractor that did not want Jim to pass on the first part of our journey, we still arrived at the Manchester airport in two and a half hours.

The first forty-five minutes were the most interesting on curving narrow roads banked by dry stone walls and eight foot high hedges, often those same hedges disguising a stone wall. The fells rose to the west of us and the Irish Sea was intermittently visible to the east. Sheep and cows ignored our passing. Limestone houses, churches and inns in small villages often had cornerstones and doorways made of red sandstone. Since this two way route is more like one lane in Canada, the driver has to be ever vigilant on curves and wherever someone has parked on “the side” of the road, there are no sides! Jim knows these roads and its drivers.

For the next half hour the road was wider and even gave notice of dual carriageway stretches. This means a passing lane. After that we were on the M6 and Jim was able to zoom ahead, until we got closer to Manchester where we slowed to queue for no apparent reason. Jim said that this is normal where the junction of the Liverpool and Manchester motorways meet. Our queue did not last long. Those heading north would be more than an hour breaking out of their queue. So glad not to be them. Although four lane.motorways get you to your destination faster, the scenery leaves me thinking I could be in England or in Ontario or Indiana. Pretty similar.

We hugged Jim good-bye and thanked him for his hospitality. We look forward to seeing him at Cobble Beach in a few weeks. At Manchester airport we were once again in the noisy world of people on the move except where we were waiting in line to get rid of our bag. Once again at security I was taken aside for an extra scan whether this was again random or a certain eau de cow emanating from my boots, I do not know. The checker ran her scanner all around my boots and hands and let me carry on.

I chatted with a young woman from Minnesota. She was amazed that I did not have to remove my hiking boots. She had to remove hers and have them dipped in a liquid. She also did the Coast to Coast. She looked suspiciously at my boots and asked, “Are you sure you did the Coast to Coast? I do not see any mud on your boots.” Brian did a good job with beeswax on Hadrian’s Wall and those puddles yesterday were good for cleansing as well as splashing. Our Minnesota friend started the Coast to Coast to Coast five days after us, did it in thirteen days and had rain a few days with lots of mud on the last day. We live a charmed life.

We lunched on half a New Yorker baguette, enjoyed our cappuccino, and had an oatmeal crumble cookie I still had in my backpack.

I checked us in online last night and was able to move us from row 25 to 9. We do not have extra leg room seats but we do have aisle seats and row 9 is a definite improvement. We are kept waiting in the noisy food area until half an hour before boarding. Several gates use the same lounge so not enough seating otherwise. The lighting is dimmed in the lounge and it is thankfully much quieter.

Life gets better and better! We just boarded the plane only to find that row nine is the extra leg room row. Yeah for the “utgangur” row! And no one is sitting beside us!! The flight steward welcomed us and told us that we are in for fabulous sunny weather for our five day stay!!!

Our flight arrived ten minutes early at Kevlavik Airport, a two hour and twenty-five minute flight, then a one hour time change; so, still time for today’s adventures. We were the first ones off the plane and first through Customs, a snap, and almost the first to get our bags and first Skybus to leave for Reykjavik. Large patches of mauve lupins line the runways.

We believed we were buying the correct bus ticket to get us within a block of our accommodation. We were wrong. The bus terminal is not as central as we were led to believe. Okay if you only have a backpack each but with our supply bag walking an extra fifteen minutes was awkward; so, we took a taxi and have arrived in our basement room in a house that has been converted to house eight guest rooms. The bed is comfy. The window opens sufficiently to give us air at night. We are within walking distance of central Reykjavik and the harbour.

imageimageBus view going to Reykjavik