Day 11: Travel day, arrival in Reykjavik and most hilarious pic EVAR!

Oh MAN!! I caught A unawares in our hostel as I snapped a pic of her from my top bunk while she was e-mailing. Thanks for being a sport about my posting this, A. It’s too hilarious for the rest of the world to not see!!

Anyway, moving on … We had a thankfully less dramatic departure from the Netherlands this morning, thanks to the hours of packing we put in last night (though I hardly slept last night, and am really feeling the burn now). We said our goodbyes to U around 9:45 after the taxi guy pulled up, and then we began the fun task of lugging all our bags downstairs and out of her building, and then through the train station and onto the train itself. Thankfully, it wasn’t rush hour — it’s like India times 10 in the train stations then, there’re so many people — but it was still taxing. Thankfully, we had some assistance with bags here and there from some other train riders.

Once we got go Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam (after about a 30-minute train ride from Utrecht), we checked in our bags and then set off to do some duty-free shopping, mainly for items requested by our Dad. We found one item he wanted (Sennheisen [sp?] headphones), but we’ll have to try for the others in Keflavik Airport here in Iceland. Our flight from Amsterdam to Keflavik was about three hours long. We had a great view of Iceland as we flew in; A snapped a few pics from her window-seat vantage point:

As you can see, it’s pretty barren! Though I don’t think we passed over Reykjavik itself, which is where I think the bulk of Iceland’s population resides. After we arrived at Keflavik, got our bags, and began heading toward the exit, we two, among the sea of white people, were of course pulled aside for a random Customs check!! Thankfully, it was painless; they just re-x-rayed all our bags, and then we finally were on our way. We stepped out into the frigid air (-2 degrees C/28 degrees F) to hop on the FlyBus that most people seemed to be also hopping onto. This took us on a 50-minute drive into Reykjavik, and then we hopped a smaller shuttle at the bus terminal that took us to our actual hostel.

Our hostel is right in the middle of downtown Reykjavik, which is really convenient. And though our room is a 10-bed, female-only ensuite (meaning, we share one bathroom inside our room), there’s only one girl in here besides A and me. The guy at the front desk, who I believe is Australian, has been amazingly helpful. He even, at our request, booked a day tour for us (more on that in a sec) and charged it to the hostel. We then paid the hostel back with our own credit cards. After plonking our bags down in our room, we consulted our (via Johanna) Lonely Planet guidebook, and decided to walk a couple blocks down the street to a tapas restaurant. After dinner (which was good, but nothing exciting), we walked a bit further into the downtown area, and swung through a grocery store to pick up some food for tomorrow’s outing. We then came back to the hostel around 8, and are now getting ready to head back out to chillax at a cafe. Apparently the cafes become dance clubs in the late evenings, so A and I will take separate key cards so she can stay out late and party and meet “people” if she so desires.

As for tomorrow’s outing, we’re actually going on a glacier walk, which sounds super amazing. I think we’ll be gone for 10 hours total, but four of those hours will be spent on the road getting to and from the glacier. We get to wear crampons and wield an ice axe and everything! If you want to know more about what we’ll be doing, there’s more info on the Icelandic Mountain Guides’ Web site. Think it’s supposed to be partly sunny tomorrow (or, at least, not wet), so this should be a really special experience. More tomorrow night, of course!

And I must of course toss a huge thank you to Johanna, for the guide book, e-mailed/phone advice and even helping us find this great hostel!


3 Responses to “Day 11: Travel day, arrival in Reykjavik and most hilarious pic EVAR!”

  1. My pleasure!!! Just write a recommendation for me when I start up my future Seattle-Iceland tour company, hahaha. :)

  2. Btw, awesome that they include the crampons and ice-axes!! I always wanted a pair of those when I was slipping around on the glaciers.

  3. Hey, anytime, you know I'm good for it!!And there's NO way we could've even begun going uphill on that glacier without the crampons — the surface was sheer ice! Even with the crampons on, all of us had some scary moments now and again; I especially wasn't fond of going downhill (i.e., into an ice cave/tunnel) with them, but we got more and more used to them as the hours went by.

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