After a very early start, a packed airport and a slight delay taking off (thanks to a faulty door catch on the plane- eek!!), we set off for the two hour flight to Reykjavik. Luckily that door stayed shut. The flight was smooth, glorious blue skies and bright sunshine all the way. Until, that is, we started our descent. Then it was clouds, clouds and more clouds. On the ground there was mist, rain, 20 mile per hour winds and 5 degrees centigrade. What had we done! We had to open our suitcases before we could even venture outside the airport to pile on more layers.
We took the Flybus from the airport to the city. The airport is actually at Keflavik – another town 45 minutes drive from Reykjavik and the bus is much cheaper than a taxi. We travelled through miles of black lava fields, the rain poured down.
At the bus station, we were met by the lady whose apartment we had rented for the week. This was a lovely touch – she took us there, showed us how everything worked and gave us lots of helpful hints and tips about where to go, restaurants to try etc..
The apartment was lovely – on the 5th floor of a converted building, very modern and airy and beautifully furnished. There was one big living/dining/kitchen area with a south facing balcony overlooking the street below. No chance of sitting there sipping a cocktail at the moment though – the gales and rain put paid to that idea.
The owner of the apartment was an artist – it was full of her work, which was a lovely personal touch.
We unpacked, settled in, then headed across the street to the supermarket for some basic provisions – not cheap, we were starting to get the idea here.
We did a walking tour of the city in the afternoon. It was free of charge, you just turned up, no need to book at the whaling booking place at the harbour. You tipped the guide if you enjoyed it – we did! Our guide was a pianist and a student with a quirky and dry sense of humour. We walked through an old part of the city with Scandinavian style housing, heard stories about the Icelandic obsession with elves, saw the Parliament building and heard lots of anecdotes about life in the city. It took around 2 hours and was such a great way to get our bearings.
In the evening we dined in great little restaurant called Vegamot – good food, great atmosphere and very reasonable prices. It was so cold on the walk home, we had to pile layers and put hoods up, it was freezing.
The one great thing we noticed though, was just how bright it was. Despite the gloomy weather, even at 11:00 pm there was not a hint of darkness. We stood on the balcony, in broad daylight and fell in love with Reykjavik.