Lazy Day in Reykjavik

Trip Start Jan 18, 2012
Trip End Jan 24, 2012

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Flag of Iceland  , Gullbringusysla,
Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hmmm, I should have gotten my act together better.  Oh well.

Yesterday was a day of traveling.  I left home around 10:30, hit the bank, drove to the train station and parked in the long-term lot because the garage was full.  Caught the 12:05 to Penn Station, where I took the LIRR to Jamaica Station and then caught the AirBus to JFK.  I managed to get to the correct terminal over an hour before I could check in.  No on-line check-in.  Next time I ask for a window seat, I should inquire whether there is a trade off.  I had a last row seat, but it did recline a bit AND I had an empty seat next to me so it wasn't so bad.  It was very hard to sleep so I don't think I got much sleep at all.

We arrived in Iceland shortly after 6 am.  They are on GMT.  There appears to be a 5 hour difference between home in NY and here.  I got the optional Shuttle to the hotel and got here around 8 am.  I was delighted that I could get checked into my room and get a little sleep before going out to check out the city.  Unfortunately, the Hilton is a bit out of the city center but has its own shuttle into town.  I hadn't checked to see when it ran so when I got up from my "nap" after 1 pm, it had stopped running until 6 pm.  I briefly entertained catching a city bus and then getting the shuttle back at dinnertime.  I did go out to the 24hr supermarket, got some money from the ATM, picked up a few food items, including Skyr the local yogurt drink, and booked my Blue Lagoon trip for Sunday when I got back to the hotel.  I also have a pass for the spa here in the hotel that I should have used today since I didn't do much of anything else.  I got engrossed in a mystery The Draining Lake, a Reykjavik thriller, by Arnaldur Indridason, an award-winning Icelandic author.  I just finished it.  It was obviously good since I couldn't put it down to be a proper tourist.

It is winter in Reykjavik.  As we drove in, I could see the snow banks that look as if they have been there for a while.  The road in places still had snow on it.  Maybe there was a recent snow storm.  I can hear the wind through the hotel windows.  On my brief walk outside, I realized I should have brought my rubber boots since my dress boots aren't that great in water.  The roads, some sidewalk areas are covered in a mixture of snow, ice and water.  Tomorrow I'll put on my goretex hiking shoes for the glacier walk.  There is an almost hostile feeling - for me - from these cold, dark and icy surroundings.

The days are short - I read it gets light around 11:30 and dark around 3:30 but the light probably lasted to about 4:30 today and I am not sure when it got light.  When I first looked out of my window,...  This hotel is listed in the very expensive category in my guidebook - although my room could be in a Best Western somewhere - apparently Yoko Ono said this hotel reminded her of Japan because of its modern design.  I think the "excursion" rooms are not the same as the Yoko Ono rooms.  The Business suites on the upper floors are supposed to be more posh but all of the rooms according to the guide book have bathtubs in spacious bathrooms.  My room is fine - has wi-fi - but no bath-tub in the teeny space.  Long digression.  When I looked out of my window, I had a sea view!  I could see the mountains/cliffs across the bay and a ship was gleaming in the sunlight as was a sand bar or something white across the bay.  It was quite stunning so I am anxious to get out and see things.  Tomorrow.
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