Monday, September 05, 2016

Journey's End

As always at the end of a journey, leaving is bittersweet. I wish our adventures could continue indefinitely and I have so enjoyed this beautiful country and it's simpler lifestyle. At the same time, all vacations must come to an end. 

Today we leave the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and head to Reykjavik. Our route takes us through a 4-5 mi tunnel under the bay from Akranes to Reykjavik, a much shorter drive than circling the peninsulas. We visit, not soak at the Blue Lagoon, finding it to be too much like Disneyland for our taste. Hundreds of tourists come on tour buses and descend on the place. I take a quick look  inside and think the hot spring pool at Lake Myvatn is much more beautiful. 

In retrospect, staying in Keflavik near the airport the night before our early morning flight proves to be a poor choice. We have to return our campervan to Hafnarfjordur outside of Reykjavik. There is no transportation to our hotel in Keflavik other than Bus 55 and a mile walk. Seeing rain in the forecast, we drive to the hotel to drop off our luggage, drive back to return the camper, then take the bus back to Keflavik. 

Taking local transportation is always an experience! We had absolutely no idea where to get off and neither did the bus driver. A young lady told us to follow her as her boyfriend lives across from the hotel. We chatted the entire way- she is from Germany studying at the U. of Iceland where her boyfriend is. They travel between Germany and Iceland. She finds the landscape and weather in Iceland somewhat melancholic but doesn't admit it to her boyfriend. She says Icelandic students are never on time. She tells me they are renting an apt that is 800 sq ft and costs $1,600 a month. I told her that is like Silicon Valley. Her boyfriend was in NY and Florida and didn't like it; I told her he was probably aghast at the density of cars and people! It surprised me to hear her say Icelanders are too much into consumer goods as I see their lives much less so than ours! She tells me the town right before Keflavik used to be a NATO base and the barracks and concrete block buildings is now affordable housing. Keflavik is a small town with a smattering of hotels and Hotel Keilir is a very bare minimum place. The town has very limited food options- the pizza place is closed tonight, the pub only serves liquor, the hamburger place has closed permanently, leaving only a Thai restaurant where everyone is eating tonight. It feels like a town that has seen better days. An evening in Reykjavik would have been more lively. 

Outside the wind is gusty. We are told to arrive at the airport at least 2 hours ahead of time as the check in process can be long. We will plan to leave on the 6am shuttle. 


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