I Love Iceland Already

Reykjavik Travel Blog

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Amsterdam at 6am
Continuing on from the previous entry, I was all packed up and just waiting for my alarm to go off. 5:45am hit, and I found it on top of a locker. I don’t know how it got there but I was happy to have it. I checked out, and off to the train station I went, running on zero sleep. The streets were empty of people, but filled with trash and cleaning crews. Nightlife in Europe is big, so it is very necessary to employ a lot of people to clean the streets in the mornings.

I missed the 6:00am train to the airport by about 30 seconds so I had to wait another half hour. Fine by me. I grabbed a croissant and waited for the next train. Just before 7:00am, I found myself at the airport.

I have always liked Amsterdam’s airport. It is one of the largest and busiest in the world but it has never felt that way to me before.
Me at the train station in Amsterdam, going on no sleep
They even have an entire mall there. Things seemed a lot different this morning. All KLM, Delta, Northwest, and Air France flights use one check in area. If I had to guess, these airlines make up nearly 85% of all the flights in and out of Amsterdam. The line was incredible. As soon as I saw it, I began thinking up back up plans in case I missed the flight. No one knew how to use the check-in kiosks and everyone seemingly spoke a different language. At 7:00am, there were flights going to every continent. It also seemed like everyone was checking five bags a piece.

Somehow, I made my way through everything, including security and passport control, by 8:00am, just in time for boarding. Once on the plane, we were told that we would be delayed another 30 minutes because of air traffic in and around London.
Just about to land in Iceland!
Fine by me. The flight was short and we landed only a few minutes late.

I had about four hours between flights in London and I had to change terminals. I passed through the notoriously tough immigration desk (seriously, they question everyone for at least a few minutes trying to get all the details out of you as to why you’re visiting their country) and made my way to check-in for the flight to Iceland. I relaxed over a cup of coffee until it was time to go.

I boarded the Icelandair flight on time, only to watch a thunderstorm pass overhead and create even more of a mess at the airport. After sitting on the ground for nearly an hour, we powered into the stormy skies on our way to Iceland. The flight flew by as I slept the entire time (remember, I was going on zero sleep).
Looking down a random street in Reykjavik. Check out how clear the air is
I woke up about 30 minutes before landing and I was greeted by a rush of energy: I was 30 minutes from Iceland.

I originally didn’t plan on coming to Iceland until late April. I realized I had a few days at the end of the trip to do whatever I wanted. And I wanted to do something exotic. I first checked Egypt (not knowing I would end up there anyway) but it was a bit too expensive at that time. I looked into Russia but discovered you needed a visa. Then I found a relatively cheap flight to Iceland. I did a bit of research on the place and decided to go for it. There is so much to do on the island. It is Mother Nature at its finest. Not to mention the sun doesn’t fully set this time of the year because it is so far north.

My hostel is located right on the main shopping street in the capital of Reykjavik.
Looking out of my window at midnight, just before bed
Almost as soon as I stepped off the bus, I fell in love with the city. The northernmost capital in the world, home of 60% of Iceland’s 300,000 inhabitants, it is the cleanest and prettiest place I have ever seen. The colorful homes line the streets with the mountains as a backdrop. Pollution here is unheard of and you can see for miles and miles. The lack of pollution also allows for some amazing smells coming in from not only the local restaurants but also the nearby mountains, bodies of water, and all of nature.

The hostel is exceptional as well. Recently opened in the spring, it is spotless. The beds and people are great as well. Once settled, I took a quick walk down the main street to see what I could find. I found a ton of shops I wanted to check out the next day for some clothes (I didn’t pack for Iceland, and it was about 45F when I arrived). Of course, I found a Subway and picked up a warm meatball sub and ate it on a bench, taking in all of what Reykjavik has to offer. One interesting thing I noticed at Subway was a plaque on the wall. It was rewarding this particular Subway for being the highest grossing Subway in the entire world for a week back in 1998. I thought it was pretty interesting, maybe my store will someday earn one, even though I doubt it.

I came back to the hostel to get some sleep around 10:00pm, but I couldn’t. Even though I had been up all night the previous night, it was still bright as day outside. I sat around the hostel on my computer meeting people until around midnight, when at least it was dusk! I love Iceland!
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Amsterdam at 6am
Amsterdam at 6am
Me at the train station in Amsterd…
Me at the train station in Amster…
Just about to land in Iceland!
Just about to land in Iceland!
Looking down a random street in Re…
Looking down a random street in R…
Looking out of my window at midnig…
Looking out of my window at midni…
photo by: MadeleineGL