Iceland! Day 1

So for those that care, I indeed made it to Iceland. The first day was…well the first day. It took me some time to get adjusted to being here. I kept feeling that the next door I walked out of would bring me back to Vancouver, like magic or something. Ok, story time.

Transfer flight from Vancouver to Seattle: nothing that special other than getting put on an earlier flight cause I arrived at the airport early. Kudos Alaska Airlines! It helped me avoid a narrow time frame for a transfer flight. I only have a carry on and a personal bag (did not want to deal with checked luggage) so when we land I’m off to the gate for the next leg of the journey. Getting on the Icelandair flight was surprisingly exciting. I still get excited by the idea of flight and I just love looking out the window. The plastic/dry air aroma of the cabin brought back pleasant emotions. I started getting excited at this point. “Holy crap I’m actually going!”

Flight over Canada! Somewhere over the prairies

By the time we land, I should have been sleeping (give or take a few hours) back in Vancouver. I didn’t get very good sleep on the plane so I knew jet lag was going to be a bit of a problem. Off the plane, through customs, and the airport is not really what I expected. It was a very fancy looking airport, but it didn’t feel like anything special. Just another airport. Ok, no big there. Having about an hour of time to kill before my rental car pick up, I ended up having breakfast (which was actually lunch, dinner, and breakfast). This consisted of a nine dollar (910 ISK) sandwich which didn’t have that much in it. Whatever, it’s an airport and a guy’s gotta eat.

Car rental pick up time. Painless and Blue Car Rental gave me a thorough explanation of what to expect. Thanks Blue Car Rental (By the way, if you wanna have your own adventure it is REALLY best that you rent a car)! I’m surprised to find out that there is a USB that I can use to play my iPod through the car’s speakers. YES! And at this point I drive off to my first destination, which frankly doesn’t have much. I never made it to my planned destination as the side road I was supposed to take…was covered in ice. That wasn’t the bad part though. I had a bit of fun slipping around on there (not at speed!). What turned me off was the steep looking downward hill I had to go down about 1km in. Nope, I do not plan on getting stuck on my first day in Iceland. No thank you. Ok, off to a grocery store and then to Selfoss, my first hostel stay. Ever.

Rental CarMy trusty steed, the Suzuki Swift

Ok, screw it gonna go grocery shopping. I make my way to a grocery store I had in mind and along the way I seem some interesting things, but nothing that made me want to give a second look. At this point I decided I would just head straight to the hostel. No point doing things reluctantly while tired.  Time to get myself adjusted as soon as possible. Ok, grocery store, wander around, find things, be confused, go around in circles, buy a few things, get out, sit in the car and look at a map. Honestly, it isn’t hard to drive around in Iceland. However, the first little while I kept going to the wrong exits, missing exits, and yet again going in circles. It doesn’t help that I can’t read the signs quickly. At this point, I’m thinking that Iceland is not what I imagined it to be. “Sweet jesus, driving around is stressful”. I’ll take that thought back in the future though. Finally going in the right direction, I just keep driving in a tired and unamused manner. Then suddenly BOOM! The landscape changes and I’m thinking: “Holy crap, this is what I was expecting!” So as with anywhere, out of a city is probably gonna look better. Anyways, there’s snow everywhere and nowhere. What do I mean by that? Well the road was mostly clear of snow and the sides of it was covered in snow. Beautiful. Such great contrast. But there was some snow on the roads and there were some butt-hole clenching moments. It was my second time driving over snow, but the previous ice encounter did help. Off I go, unsafely admiring the views while driving.

First viewMy first…view. Wasn’t all that inspiring.

I finally make it to the hostel in Selfoss, and I’m way early. Let’s just say that I was the only one there for most of the day. So I sat, watched TV, went online, sent some texts/messages over data, ate, and napped. Also started off a batch of postcard writing. It was at this point I was wishing I was in Iceland with someone else. The boredom would have been lessened (just fyi, now not so much). In the end I had some chat time with the few other people who ended up staying at the same hostel. I guess that’s what I like most about hostels so far. You get to meet random people, hotels don’t really do that. That’s it for day!

First proper viewSo the first proper view I drove up and down for

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