Sunday, March 30, 2014

Immigrant Song - Iceland 2014

We're baaaa-aaack! That applies both to my nearly one-month silence, and also our trip to Iceland and England.

Here's the low-down. We spent a whirlwind 3 days in Iceland, mostly exploring Reykjavik, but also getting in a bus tour to some of the beautiful natural wonders outside the city.

Hallgrímskirkja church, Reykjavik.
I've wanted to visit Iceland since about forever. It's a short 5-hour flight from NYC to Reykjavik, and the prices are usually pretty good. And that's because when they get you there, it becomes very expensive. But I'm jumping ahead.

We flew in Icelandair, which is possibly the most hit and miss experience I've ever had. First off all, if you ever have to call them for assistance before your flight, they are not very helpful, and it seems like you're bothering them by calling. But checking in at JFK in NYC, we had the nicest, most helpful agent ever. especially when it came to checking in and boarding with an infant. Awesome. Then, flying from Reykjavik to London was the worst experience. Truly terrible, and unhelpful, and the boarding agents were the worst. Then checking in and boarding at London, back to Reykjavik - one of the nicest, most helpful agents I have ever dealt with. Connecting in Reykjavik, back to JFK, back to crap. Weird, huh?    

We stayed at the Hotel Odinsve, which was a decent price and very nice. In fact, we had a nice little suite - 2 bedrooms and a living-room-type area, which was especially great with the wee one in tow. The only downside was that it was on the first floor, which didn't really matter in the end, since it's located on a quiet street. I guess the other downside is that we were charged for checking in early (50 euros). But get a couple parents and a 9 month old off a 5-hour overnight flight, and yeah, they will pay that for an early check-in.

Reykjavik is an easy place to walk around. It's pretty small. But it has lot of nice little shops, especially lots of nice ceramics galleries that will tempt you to drop big krona on lovely handmade doo-dads. Like a tiny handmade mug that cost - well, let's not discuss. It cost a lot. But it is our handmade souvenir of Iceland.

Anyhou. Day 1 we spent walking around Reyjavik, seeing the sights, shopping the shops. And napping. Let me say this about the Hotel Odinsve - their beds are magic. So comfy. Last night on returning home to our own bed, H. and I reminisced about the beds at that hotel .

Viking beds, probably not as comfy
Day 2  we booked ourselves onto a 6 hour afternoon tour with Grey Line. On that tour we visited Þingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall and the Geysir hot spring area.

Þingvellir National Park
Gullfoss Waterfall
Thar she blows!
Day 3, back to walking around Reykjavik, in the wicked, cold wind.

I'm not sure I mentioned this, but Iceland is expensive, and many of the shops and restaurants in downtown Reykjavik seem to be catered to tourists. If you're in the market for $300 sweaters and $1200 blankets and $200 throw pillows, this is the place to be! And an entree at most restaurants that we browsed seemed to be around $50. So, if you're going, be prepared to spend some cash.

I'm not a travel blogger, so I'm not sure what else to say. Except, if you're flying to Keflavik airport, take the FlyBus. We took the FlyBus into town, and a cab back to the airport when we left. And a cab is very, very, verrrrrrry expensive.

The moral of this tale is pretty, but expensive. 

Well, that's about it. Next time, I'll discuss traveling to Iceland with a baby.


  1. Such lovely, lovely pictures. I definitely want to visit someday.
    Also, what is up with those prices? It's the same thing out here in some of the shops. I'm sorry, but $1200 for a blanket is ridiculous.

    1. I know, right? What happens when your cat inevitably barfs on your $1200 blanket?


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