Saturday, March 21, 2009

Day 1 - Reykjavik

After far too much time thinking and talking about this trip, we're finally here.

Iceland. Reykjavik. Small island in the Northern Atlantic, not too far from Greenland.

Just over 300,000 inhabitants, about 2/3 of them in the greater Reykjavik metro. 7.5 people per square mile. For perspective, I just looked up the population of the Greater Boston metro - 5.98 million inhabitants, about 12,300 per square mile.

This population density, or lack thereof, is evident while driving around. During the 45 minute ride from Keflavik International Airport to Reykjavik, we noticed an amazing lack of cars driving about. Granted, it was dawn on a Saturday morning, but I have a feeling rush hour here does not exist.

Since our vehicle is a standard transmission, Ken is this week's driver. I cannot drive a stick shift, and don't intend to learn right now. Therefore, it's my job to navigate.

Icelandic street names are rather difficult to remember. Every one appears to have 15 characters, the combination of which is unpronouncable for Americans like us. We are staying at Hotel Holt. Simple name. It's located on Bergstadastraeti, Yeah, not so much.

Somehow, we found the hotel rather smoothly (granted there's one way to Reykjavik from the airport, and signs are marked to the "Centrum," or city center...from there it was just a matter of matching street names with our map). We registered with a very nice front desk agent named Anne. She was deeply apologetic that they had our room as a single bed, even though our printed confirmation called for two beds. After a few minutes, she switched us into a two-room suite, complete with a bed and pull-out couch. Awesome!

She invited us to enjoy breakfast while the room was to be cleaned. European continental breakfasts are always interesting mixes of meats, cheeses, yogurt, granola, fruit, and a few other random items - far more intricate than the waffle bar at a Hilton Garden Inn. Somehow, my eye shot to a bottle of yellow liquid amidst shot glasses. I thought it might have been some hearty Icelandic morning cocktail, so I poured a small taste into the glass, and sipped it. Having just ingested some type of Icelandic fish oil (I think), I scrambled to find something sweeter to cancel the disgusting taste.

We left breakfast and drove around a bit before returning to the hotel for a well-needed nap. A 4 1/2 hour redeye does not leave much time for slumber. But's time to grab the camera and tool around a bit.


Brian said...

Co-worker says don't miss the Blue Lagoon. Also says the hospitality is first you have experienced. Nyjoe! That's Icelandic for enjoy ;-)!

Kathy said...

LOL at the fish oil !

Hope your next adventure has photos included!

: )