Sunday, May 17, 2015

Spring Break in Iceland

Day 1

So my plane arrived at 6:45am in the morning and I got off the plane at around 8:30am. What happened you asked the wind was so strong they would not allow anyone to exit the plane. Also while the plane was on the tarmac it was literally rocking from side to side. So imagine if the plane is rocking side to side what would happen to the jet bridge.

So we retrieve our bags and they arrived quickly. Then we realized we booked the only rental car company that's not offsite. So I called the Enterprise and was told the driver is on his way and should be there in ten minutes. I purchased a Telesial SIM card from STA travel so I was able to call from my iPhone, being that my iPhone is unlocked if your iPhone is locked it will not work with another sim. Telesial however have really great packages with unlocked phones and SIM cards. I purchase my package through STA travel because it was cheaper for just the sim. Back to enterprise now 20 minutes goes by so we called back to make sure we were waiting in the right area and now he says the driver should be there in 5 minutes. The driver finally arrives and if we were not paying attention he would left us. We walk out to the truck and the wind is literally pushing you from behind. We get to the truck and the driver does not help us put our bags in the van. He however was young so we overlooked that, what was absolutely ridiculous was the fact that the place was 3 minutes away and it took him so long. So we got the rental car but our Airbnb check in time was 3:00pm. So our host advised us of our nearby bakery were we could have breakfast. We arrived at our Airbnb apartment, which was exactly as pictured and in great location between Reykjavik and the Keflavik airport. It was also close hotel Hafnarfjordur were Reykjavik excursions pick up passengers for tours. So we checked in and then we drove to the around the neighborhood and went grocery shopping and spent $172000 yes that the correct amount one hundred and seventy-two thousand we could not believe the cost. So after grocery shopping we went out to dinner at Ban Kunm Thai Restaurant. The food was so amazingly good; there curry sauce had the right hint of coconut.

I can't even remember what my dish was called but it was great and everyone enjoyed their meals. This place is definitely worth trying if it's convenient for you. We then when back to our apartment and decided to book the Warm Bath Cool Lights tour with Reykjavik excursion for the next day, with a pick up from the Hafnarfjordur Hotel which was about 3 minute away from our apartment. One of the funniest things about our first day in Iceland is that we literally experience all types of weather. Strong winds, snow, hail, rain and it was sunny for a short period.

Day 2

We all strolled out of bed around 10:30 an made breakfast. Then we drove to the Hafnarfjordur Hotel and waited on our pick up. Our pick up arrived about 12:40 and our tour left the Reykjavik excursion location at 1pm. We arrived within 7 minutes and waited to board our tour bus. When we got to the front of the line and was told I needed to have my ticket printed and was told that I could do it inside at the front desk, which they did without any problems. We boarded the bus and was off to our excursions. On our way to the Fontana Wellness Springs we got a brief history of Iceland. We learns that the reason for all the hot sprints in Iceland was because Us plate and the Euro plate booth meet in Iceland and we also saw it from the bus how true is this IDK. The ride to the Wellness Spring was really beautiful Iceland is so under populated that it was just the beauty of the mountains and the every 20 miles or so if not more you would see a house. I feel a sleep being that my body was still on the U.S. West coast time, which is seven hours behind Iceland. I woke up as we arrived at the wellness spring and I was so excited to get into the hot spring.

We received a key and was told that we need to shower before we got in the hot spring, we however showered before we arrived and did not put on lotion and already had our swimsuits on so we were good to go. This is one thing Caribbean people know how to do is get ready to for any body of water so we hoped right in the hot spring. We got in and it was hot hotter than any hot tub I have ever been in but it was perfect for me.

Everyone was friendly and the conversation started with who wants to take a dip in the 3 degrees Celsius water which I was totally up for. We did it and it was so weird the water was freezing then you take a step and the water would be biting hot.

Then we hopped back in to the hot tub there was for a while and decided to go to the buffet which was included in our tour. The buffet was ok but me being a vegetarian made it a little difficult so I just went with the fruit salad. Which was odd to me because I am vegetarian but I allow myself seafood when I travel because I find it so difficult to be completely vegetarian when am in other countries. There was smoked salmon but that also looked in uncooked. We then got back in the hot spring and there were less people then I looked up and there it was the northern lights Aurora Borealis.

That blurry person above is my mom. It was amazing it changed around every fifteen seconds, the lights that I saw was mostly green there were small hints of purple which I was a little bit disappointed about, because I wanted to see more purple. However when I think of how many people have come to Iceland and have not seen the northern lights I felt so lucky. Then we changed and headed to the to cool lights part of our tour which was out on a dark road, it was so dark that they gave us light reflectors just in case anyone got lost. We're we saw even more lights unfortunately my camera was unable to capture what I was seeing. All it capture was completely black shots that's show dark it was which is why I will be investing in a camera for my next trip. My IPhone camera is great but it not as good as a DSLR or a decant digital camera would capture.

We were there for about 45 minutes of not more and it was super cold. We got back on the bus and headed back to the city. The tour guide then check everyone's drop off location and the drop offs began our hotel was last on the list, which was fine. We were dropped off a little bit after 12am and the we drove back to our apartment I really enjoyed this excursion everything was flawless my only gripe would be with the food but being vegetarian it is normal to me and I almost expect that part. When we got back to the apartment is when the jokes began to flow, this one of the bests parts about traveling when you have great company that are as fluid with their plans as you are. We attempted to book our tour at 1am in the morning while joking around about the golden circle and the geyser. However there was a cut off time or the tour was full so we were unable to book it

Day 3

Our day was very fluid so we decided to go to downtown Reykjavik and the outlet mall. First we when to the American Style restaurant. Where I got my lobster burger without the beef patty, which was okay. My Mom however go the fish and chips, which was much better than my choice, and she had so much I practically ate half of her food.

We then went to the outlet mall, which was one singular store. I could not help but to laugh, however the one store carried many different labels such as Topshop. I purchased a skort and a fluffy sweater. We then headed into downtown Reykjavik were we just had fun running into different stores, gift shops, coffee shops and one of the many bakeries.

After running around downtown for quite some time we decide to head back to the apartment and cook dinner. When we reached back at the apartment I realized I had left my bag of souvenirs in the coffee shop were had just left. Luckily I was able to get on my phone find there number through trip advisor and call them. They found the bags and placed them behind the counter for me. We went back and there were the bags. I was so happy and thankful for their great customer service. We returned back to the apartment and cooked and amazing dinner and had great conversations.

Day 4

Around 2:30am were still up talking and having a good time and we decided to book a Whale Watching Tour and then drive to the Blue Lagoon. We all finally went to bed around 4am and we had to be up in time for our 12:15 pick up. We woke up started to get ready and made breakfast and headed to the hotel. We arrived at the Hotel Hafnarfjordur once again for our pick up. Ten minutes past there expected arrival time we asked the front desk to contact the tour company. Its 12:40 and our tour leaves at 1pm so we are starting to wonder what’s going on. The tour company tell us we did not schedule a pickup, which I knew I did but it was too late to argue with them. We hopped in the car and drove down to the docks were the whale-watching cruise left from. While in the car I am angrily going through my email to get my receipt, which of course stated that I had requested a pick up. We rush in I explain what they gave us our tickets but and with literally three minutes to spare we rush on the boat.

After we get off the boat I walked right back in to Elding Tours, and asked for a supervisor. I was told that there was not one present and was there something that they could help me with. So I began to calmly explain the mistakes made on their part and how if we did not have a rental car how we would have missed the whale-watching cruise. I explained that it was not fair that we paid for a pick that never showed up and at the last minute had to rush and drive down here. They contacted their supervisor who offered us a refund for the pickup cost, which we promptly used to even more souvenirs’.

We hung out a little bit in downtown Reykjavik before rushing to the blue lagoon. We taught the blue lagoon closed about an hour and a half early so we assumed we were going to miss the experience. We arrived and it was and had over an hour and a half to chill out and had fun. Below are some of the pictures

Day 5

Departure day we had breakfast, and finished packing before. Then we headed into down town Reykjavik, to check out the National Museum of Iceland. I had to check out a couple of exhibits for my art history assignment. Then we rental car locations to return the car, we had no problems with the return and they dropped us off at the airport and we made great time for check in. Also if you do any shopping in Iceland save your receipts I believe its for purchases over $3000 and you get cash back. After I got my cash back I purchased quite a few things from the gift shop a lot of candy for my friends and my mom got a lot of little bottles of alcohol. We got on our flight and wished Iceland farewell, then got Seattle were we got stuck for the night. Which was fine with me because when you fly standby its all part of the adventure.

Iceland Top Four Moments

1. Northern Light (While at the Fontana Wellness Spring were I ran into 3 degree water then back to hot spring.)
2. Blue Lagoon
3. Whale Watching (purely for the comedic factor).
4. Great travel companions

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