Iceland – June 5

Our Icelandic Air flight left on time out of Tampa and a nice dinner and breakfast were served. We also had a great entertainment selection, wi-fi and charging built in to the tv display. Steve was able to get some sleep while I fitfully tried. Bumpy flight and the seats did not reclined enough for me. Service was fantastic.

Arriving at Keflavik airport around 6:45 am we are greeted with heavy fog, thankfully no rain. The airport is very easy to go through (signage in English) and there is a nice duty free right where you retrieve your luggage.

Next board the Flybus from the airport to downtown Reykjavik about 45 minute ride. Quite the barren landscape along the roadside – lots of volcanic debris with scrubs of lupine intermixed.

Stop at the hotel and dump bags. We are overlooking the Old Harbour area. There is huge ship being refurbished in front of our hotel. Love the sea! People seem to be build cairns everywhere of the stones that line the shoreline.

Now to stay awake – Hop-on Hop-off Bus to see a few sites around Reykjavik.

We board the bus right in front of the Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre – a beautiful building outside and inside. We end here as well – here’s a few pix of this amazing building.

The bus tour gives you a bit of history and some information about the various possibilities. Since we are in the time-warp zone, we opt to only see a couple of the sites today. The first is the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland – Harmsgrimskirkja. The tallest building in Reykjavik and one photographed so many times. (My pix are pretty bad since the sun was directly in the line of sight.) Inside the altar is very stark, as is the entire church!Inside an amazing, huge organ is playing, a statue of Lief Eriksson is in front and a young boy on a beautiful horse is parade around the courtyard in front of the church while people are shooting their pictures. Here’s the Wikipedia link about the church

Next stop is the Perlan. A dome built on top of storage tanks for Reykjavík’s water supply. Inside the dome building is a museum, restaurants and an observation deck where you can get a 360 view of the city.

We decide we need food and head for the restaurant on the top floor and enjoy a nice lunch of seafood soup, bread and beer. Everyone is beginning to fade so back on the bus.

We pass the Hofdi house which is where President Ronald Regan and Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev held a summit in 1986, a first step to ending the Cold War.

Walking back to our hotel, we walk through the Old Harbour area. Yep food trucks selling in Iceland.

A shower, some rest and now I’m writing the blog waiting for the evenings event. We are going to see a one-man show about “How to become Icelandic in 60 minutes.”

My first impressions of Reykjavik – friendly, helpful people (and everyone speaks English), not very crowded, casual attire (most people are dressed in hiking clothes), buildings/houses look a lot like Northern European countries, easy to get around and a lot to see. The weather started out foggy and by 11 am the sun was out and we had blue skies. The temperature is in the 50’s – not too cold for us. A few days here will not be enough. In fact we leave tomorrow to start a road trip along the southern coast and then come back to Reykjavik for the weekend. Already, it seems to me this trip is way too short. And the sculptures around the city are very interesting – kind of like Sarasota!

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