Its 4:35 in the morning, we’ve just landed in Keflavik, Iceland. We haven’t slept but a few hours in the last 24 hours thanks to my ER visit. I landed myself in the ER at 1am yesterday. I woke in the middle of the night trying to clear my throat to find there wasn’t anything to clear, that my throat was actually swelling shut. The left side of my neck looked like I swallowed an orange. It was a fiasco. We almost had to cancel the entire trip. Myself being a nurse, I knew the doctor’s initial diagnosis of an abscess was wrong. My husband was not happy with me when I told the ER doctor he was wrong. I think the doctor was also surprised by my bluntness. After spending 4 hours in Boston Tufts medical center ER the ENT specialist determines it’s an allergic reaction. The specialist actually just recently came back from Iceland and reccomends restuarants for us to eat at. They provide me with some oral steroids and send us on our way.
Anyways we finally made it to Iceland. We make our way to the Flybus stand to purchase our bus tickets to 22 Hill hotel in Reykjavik. I’m beat dead exhausted but my husband is giddy and excited. Its pitch black outside and the windows on the bus are tinted. He keeps poking me, whispering my name and pointing to look out the windows, bless his heart.
We spent nearly an hour on the bus and arrive to our hotel. Of course our room isn’t ready and I didn’t think I would feel like a giant turd arriving in Iceland. We talk to the hotel receptionist and he informs us that there are no spare rooms, but there’s a couch in the lobby. I’ll take anything at this point. I pass out next to my husband on the couch until about 9am.
A nice Scottish couple joins us in the lobby for coffee. We have a genuinely good conversation about their travels and our itinerary for this week. This is why I love traveling. Meeting new people from different corners of the world and enjoying each other’s company. They were old enough to be our parents, old souls with young spirits. The receptionist politely comes to inform my husband and I that our room is ready. We stop in the room and drop off our luggage.
Making our way towards the Hallgrimskirkja church on foot, we window shop in the Laugavegur shopping district. Full of chic modern colorful buildings with murals around each corner. In the distance between roads and alleys we make out the blues of the ocean and the snow-covered mountains. It’s cloudy and overcast and it’s starting to drizzle. The temperature is about 35 degrees, but with this constant 15mph wind it feels more like 25 degrees.
We take the elevator to the top of the Hallgrimskirkja church or as I like to call it Hallgrims church. As soon as we climb the stair to the top observatory and open the door my hair is like a tornado. The wind up here is insane. The view from the top is incredible. All the colorful city buildings with the teals of the ocean and the snow-capped mountains in the distance.
We make our way to the Sun Voyager statue which isn’t far. The wind and the rain begin to pick up. We zip up our coats, pull on our hoods and carry on. Tourist think that this boat is the frame of a Viking ship, however the dream boat is actually meant to be an ode to the Sun representing hope, freedom and progress. As we head back towards the hotel the rain dissipates, the clouds clear and the sun begins to shin. Near the mountains behind the bright and colorful city buildings we catch a glimpse of a rainbow.
Later that evening after we’ve rested awhile we head out to eat. Potturinn of Pannan is the restaurant around the corner from our hotel. I order the salmon, my mouth is literally dripping just thinking about it. Hands down the best salmon I have ever had in my entire life. It was worth every penny! It’s much more expensive than I anticipated here in Iceland. But you can’t not experience the food in Iceland. Its Ah-MAZING!
We head to the famous Kex hostel and Bar. This is my husbands first time at a hostel. He is completely impressed. He had no idea how sociable and fun they were. Probably just thinking of the infamous movie Hostel. Soaking in the atmosphere and enjoying our icelandic beer, we forget what time its is, lost in coversation with one another.