Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A City View, a Bunny, and a Long Flight Home.

After a decent night's sleep, Zach and I got up, grabbed breakfast, and went back up to our room for a bit. I repacked my bags while Zach took a nap, and after a little while we decided to head out and try to see some more of Reykjavik before we had to leave for the airport for our flight back to the US.

We had hoped to head back into downtown Reykjavik for a bit more sightseeing, but it was so foggy and misty that we wouldn't have been able to see what we wanted to. Instead, we walked across the street from the hotel to walk along some of the paths that lead up to Perlan.

There were purple flowers here, too.

Perlan, or The Pearl. It houses a set of hot water tanks, but also has an observation deck, a restaurant, a museum, and a few small shops.

We walked around the outside, grabbed some pictures, and went inside.

Mark and I stopped here a couple years ago but it was closed at the time. It was pretty neat to actually get to see the inside!

The restaurant is on the top floor. It slowly revolves, so you get a neat view of Reykjavik while you eat.

We walked up to the top floor to check out the observation deck. It was pretty cool to actually get to walk around on the top!

It was still misty and kind of gross. Our original plan had been to go to Hallgrimskirkja (in the upper left corner) and go up in the tower, but I'm glad we decided to come here instead.

Our hotel, as seen from the observation deck. You can see the little airport in the back and the control tower off to the left side.

After checking out the view, we walked back downstairs and started to make our way down the path toward the beach. It was a little chilly, but definitely a nice break from the 90+ degree weather we had back home.

At one point we saw a huge black bunny sitting on the side of the trail. It didn't seem to care that we were standing right there.

Zach, of course, wanted to grab it.

Bunny said no.

We found a snail, too, which Zach was able to grab.

After a little while we came to the beach and walked down on the rocks.

Nauthólsvík is also nearby. It's a geothermal beach, and even when it's chilly outside the water is still warm. If we had more time I would have gone in!

We walked around for a bit and watched a sailing class out in the water.

Zach even managed to squeeze in a workout.   :)

We were starting to get short on time and still had to finish packing and check out, so we made our way back to the hotel. By then, a whole bunch of little kids had arrived at the beach and were playing in the water. Must be nice!

We got back to the hotel, packed up, and checked out. We still had an hour before our shuttle to the airport arrived, so we spent our time looking through travel brochures and enjoying one last drink from the bar.

Make that two last drinks! The bartender from the night before was there again and he remembered me. He mentioned that he still owed me a drink of the day from the day before since they were out of it, and I didn't think anything of it until about 15 minutes before our bus came, when he walked over with a very pretty drink of the day, on the house! The drink was fantastic, and that was a really cool way to end the trip. I love the people here.   :)

Our bus showed up right on time, so we hopped on, made a quick stop at the bus terminal to switch buses, and were off to the airport. Since we had already checked in and printed out our boarding passes at the hotel we zipped right through the airport and had plenty of time to make it to our gate. We grabbed lunch and one last Icelandic beer in the food court, did some last minute shopping (I picked up some Blue Lagoon stuff and a very nice winter jacket), and made our way to the gate.

When I booked the flight all we could get were middle seats in different rows, but I managed to swap us into two seats next to each other just a couple rows behind the main cabin door. Zach had a much better seat neighbor this time, so he was a bit more comfortable. We settled in and waited to push back.

Bye, Iceland! I'll see you again soon.   :)

Zach and I had picked up a couple mini liquor bottles in one of the airport shops, so we spent the flight making our own drinks and watching movies. We got back to Dulles with no problems and were among the first people off the plane. I'll have to start booking seats near the front more often! We hopped right on a people mover, zipped right over to customs, and zipped right THROUGH customs since we were apparently the only flight there. The customs agent was even in a good mood and joked about me bringing things back, including my little brother. We got outside and made it to the parking shuttle pickup just as a shuttle for our lot pulled up. I guess I'll have to take Zach on more trips with me, since he's apparently the key to flying right through all of the arrival stuff.

Since we were both starving by the time we got back and we still had some of Mark's race winnings left over, we ended the day with a trip to Buffalo Wild Wings and inhaled some wings while we told Mark about the trip. Overall, we really had a good time! I love traveling with Mark, but I really had a good time traveling with Zach and it was fun to see a familiar place from a new perspective. I already asked Zach where we're going next year.   :)

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