Wednesday, May 7, 2014

April 22nd-23rd - Off to Iceland

Because it had been so long since my last trip (three whole weeks), it was clearly time for another!

Mark unfortunately couldn't get the leave for this one, but I was still looking forward to this trip brother Zach and I were going to spend a couple days in Iceland, then fly on to Amsterdam for the rest of the week! Now that Zach has a new job he's been pretty busy, so I was looking forward to hanging out with him for a bit. Mark took the dogs up to NJ to visit family for a couple days so I had the house to myself the night before Zach and I flew out.

The day we flew out was crammed with way more stuff than I originally planned. Since we weren't scheduled to leave until 8:30pm I had the whole day free and boy, did I put it to good use! I got up disgustingly early, met one of my buddies at the airport and spent 2 hours flying his plane in circles over the airport to put the very first couple hours on his new engine and run some tests. I went right from the airport to a dentist appointment to get the buttons removed from my teeth (I'm completely done with my braces - yay!), and went home and ran 1.5 miles on the treadmill. Zach was almost to my house when I got an email from Icelandair...turns out our flight was delayed 3 hours because of a strike at Keflavik airport. I used the extra time to squeeze in a longer run, then grabbed a shower and some dinner and finished packing. On the plus side, there was no traffic on the way to the airport and absolutely no line at security in the airport!

The flight was ok; we started out with our own row, but some random guy asked for the middle seat after we took off and we couldn't exactly say no. He was kind of tall and he took up all the extra space and kept bumping into me, so I slept pretty bad. We landed at Keflavik around 9:30am, cleared customs, grabbed our bags, and hopped on the bus to the hotel. By the time we checked in and got up to the room it was close to noon. We were beat.

The view from our hotel room. It looked out onto the edge of one of the runways at Reykjavik Airport, and you could also see the mountains, the water, and way off to the side (not in this picture) the Pearl in the park across the street. It was a pretty sweet view.

We slept for a couple hours, then I eventually dragged Zach out of bed with the help of some coffee and a granola bar. As nice as some extra sleep would have been, we only had a day and a half in Iceland and we had things to do!

Things like taking a bus ride through lava fields... the Blue Lagoon! As far as I'm concerned no trip to Iceland is complete without a stop here. Zach and I grabbed a couple Gull beers and headed to the far corner to soak in the steamy water and compare how many naked people we saw in the locker rooms (answer: not nearly as many as last year).

I told Zach that we needed to get more pictures together this year since I only had one picture of the two of us from the entire trip last year. We managed to get one nice picture of the two of us...

...before we defaulted to our normal selves.

Super classy, that's us.

We hung out in the water for a while until our fingers got all crinkly and we drank all the beer they'd let us charge to our little swipey bracelet things. We eventually got cleaned up and turned in our bracelets so we could get some food. We had planned to grab dinner at the fancy restaurant, but it was closed for a private event! I was kind of sad, but we grabbed some sandwiches and chips (and beer) from the cafe instead and wound up with a bunch of time left over to wander around.

This part of the Blue Lagoon is right outside the cafe. Normally there would be people in here, but almost everyone was already out of the water by the time we went back outside.

We still had plenty of time before we needed to hop on the bus, so we wandered out along the paths outside the bathing area.

There was even a bridge further out! It was pretty neat. The steam in the background is from the geothermal power plant nearby. We eventually took the bus back to the hotel and promptly passed out. It had been a looong day!

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