We made it to Reykjavik!
We left Detroit yesterday afternoon and flew into LaGuardia. From there, we traveled to JFK, checked in for our next flight, dropped off our bags, hopped in a cab and went to dinner at a restaurant Jon found in Queens via yelp – Don Peppe. We had an 8 hour layover, so why not?
The food was fantastic and the staff was exceptionally friendly and helpful. It was a great way to kill some time.
Our flight to Iceland left at 11:30PM EST and arrived here at 9AM local time. It was a 5 hour flight, so we both tried to sleep as much as we could to mimic a typical night. I generally don’t sleep on flights, but I was exhausted, so I slept a few hours.
We did something a little different this time around and booked some aspects of our trip with a travel agency – Icelandic Farm Holidays. This is what their website says:
Icelandic Farm Holidays is an award-winning, leading expert in rural Iceland with over 30 years of experience.
We offer a wide range of self-drive packages, guided tours and day tours all year round in addition to a vast accommodation network of bed and breakfasts, country hotels, self-catering cottages and apartments and traditional farms all around Iceland.
The Icelandic Farm Holidays Association was founded by farmers in 1980 and the travel agency by the same name is still majority-owned by the farmers themselves.
As an EarthCheck certified organisation, Icelandic Farm Holidays is committed to sustainable tourism.
We chose one of the self-drive tours. They have provided us with a basic route and some suggested things to do along the way and they have booked our accommodations for each night along the way. They also picked us up at the airport this morning and will be providing our rental car.
We can do whatever we want (completely on our own) – but they have provided lots of information.
Today was spent in Reykjavik, so we were picked up at the airport and dropped off at our hotel (where we were able to check in despite it being just barely 10AM). We wanted to do nothing but shower and sleep, so that’s how we started our day. We wound up sleeping just an hour, though, so we wouldn’t screw up the entire day.
We ate lunch at the restaurant in our hotel when we woke up, which turned out to have a buffet.
They had a bunch of gorgeous desserts out. I, of course, wanted to try every one of them – but I refrained from going too crazy. Jon and I each got some to sample.
After lunch, we figured out how to take the bus into the city so we could walk around (and find a bank to exchange currency).
It started pouring rain, so we just stayed on the bus as it made its way around and got to see a bunch of the area. I’m glad things worked out that way since it offered us a chance to see a lot of stuff we probably wouldn’t have bothered to see (i.e., residential/outlying areas).
We walked around a lot once it finally stopped raining and we were brave enough to get off the bus we were on.
Stopped for coffee + beer + bathroom once.
Stopped for dinner at Le Bistro. There were only a couple of other people there since it was fairly early, so we had a quiet dinner together (by a window on a busy street so we could people watch).
(Jon and I split a cheese board and beef bourguignon.)
We headed back to our hotel after dinner since we were both pretty exhausted. There was some minor confusion about what bus we were supposed to take (or rather, what direction) back – but it all worked out and we got on the right one.
I was ready to sleep by 7PM, but we needed to kill time – awake – so we went back to the hotel restaurant for dessert and hung out for a while.
It’s 10PM here now and I’ve been awake for some ungodly amount of hours and am delirious – but I think I’ve made it long enough and will able to get on track. Time to sleep.
Super fun first day.