Iceland 2016: Here We Go. Again.

2 07 2016

Monday, May 23 to Tuesday, May 24, 2016

My husband Brian, daughter Annalise, and myself are headed for Iceland, the second time for Brian and me.  The trip is a graduation gift for Annalise.  With her college graduation behind her and job teaching high school looming ahead of her, it may be the last major trip we get to take with her.  For us, it is the culmination of three years of yearning to get back to Ísland, the island country we visited and fell in love with in 2013.

I’ve been asked several times, “Why go to the same country again?  There are many other beautiful places in the world to explore.”  I respond with another question: “How many times have you been to the beach, the mountains, or a certain park?”  I have no words to describe the immense beauty, the raw wildness of the high country, the majesty of the jagged peaks, the strength and splendor of the ocean beating against towering bird cliffs.  There just are no words.  But I will try.

5-23-16

Matching wool socks: The HORROR!

Our least favorite part of our trip is getting there and back.  But for once, all goes according to plan. We leave early afternoon taking Delta from Augusta, Georgia for Atlanta and then to JFK Airport in New York.  After a five hour flight across the Atlantic, we arrive in Keflavík International Airport about 6:30 AM Iceland time on Tuesday, May 24, which was 1:30 AM our time.  Yawn.

5-23-16 plane ride

Airplane Selfie

At the airport we meet up with my brother David and his wife Nancy, who had flown from Santa Clara, California to Seattle, Washington and then took IcelandAir across North America to Iceland in far less time than it took us from the east coast.  Life just ain’t fair.

We had booked our travel arrangements through IcelandGuest!, the same travel agency we had used before, so we exchange the  travel voucher they had provided us for a bus ride to our hotel in Reykjavik, about an hour away.

Arriving at Hotel Frón in the historic district of Reykjavik, we dump our luggage in the one room that is ready and take off to explore the city on foot.  And when I say “we” I mean everyone except Brian, who stays behind to catch a few winks in the quiet comfort of the room. He’s always been smart like that.

5-24-16 Reykjavik (5)

Reykjavik manages to mix tradition with a more modern vibe

After lunch at a nearby café (veggie wrap for about $12 and $5 coffee, ouch), we explore the harbor, the main tourist shopping street, and the cathedral.

5-24-16 Reykjavik (4)

Harpa Concert Hall

5-24-16 Reykjavik (6)

5-24-16 Reykjavik no diet mt dew (5)

Hallgrímskirkja church with statue of Leifur Eiriksson

Later in the day, Brian and I do some shopping at Bónus, the budget grocery store, and load up on skyr, fruit, bread, and other lunch items. Bringing food along with us in the rental car will not just be a way to cut costs; it will be a necessity as villages are few and far between and rarely do they have any fast food options.   Brian is dismayed that in spite of the many soda options available, his Diet Mountain Dew is nowhere to be found: the first of many sacrifices we must make as we explore again this gorgeous but relatively undeveloped country.

5-24-16 Reykjavik no diet mt dew (1)

Sodas, sodas everywhere, but not a diet Dew to drink!

 

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3 responses

2 07 2016
kbfenner

It’s so much better the second time, I think, because you can plan around the things (like no fast food on the road and high food prices).
I think you ladies were smarter than Brian: experts tell you to get on local time right away, and when traveling east, to get a lot of morning light to reset! Maybe he wouldn’t miss his Diet Mountain Dew!

3 07 2016
eberteach

Yes, I agree. And it felt like introducing new folks to old friends. But the smartness came from letting Brian recharge with some down time by himself!

3 07 2016
kbfenner

Yeah, I imagine he, like me, benefits greatly from recharging time…

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