Travel plans often end up with going A too B but in the case of today we have gone from A to A.2 with no B in sight, but it hasn’t been a complete disaster….
Leaving for the airport in good time at 7:00hrs we learned along the way that our flight would be delayed by an hour, this was fine as we would still reach our connecting flight in Reykjavik with time to spare. London Gatwick’s South Terminal isn’t exactly the most pleasing to the eye, it’s a time warp tunnel of an airport with many dated features leading into some of the most modern features of this century. Check-In & Security went by in a breeze and before we knew it we were sitting in departures having a spot of breakfast to fuel our day of flying half way around the world. At this point I should mention who we are flying with, a small yet well traveled Icelandic airline ‘WOWair’ offering to WOW all its customers with its cheap connecting fares between Europe & Northern America, although the price may wow you it comes at a bittersweet price of having no in-flight entertainment or any sort of complimentary beverages.
Our 12pm departure quickly turned into a 4pm departure (after boarding the plane at 14:30 having our safety demonstration only to be told that we had missed our take off slot, meaning a further hour wait onboard the plane) noting at this point we realised that we would miss our connecting flight onward to Toronto we had no choice but to wait till arriving in Iceland to resolve that issue. For the most part WOWair was organised when we landed and had already arranged us a hotel in Central Reykjavik with more information regarding our new flights arriving in the morning. This meant that our 55minute layover had become an overnight stay, which both of us having wanted to do for some time, so as you can imagine this prospect excited us for the evening ahead.
The Icelandic Adventure
We finally arrived at our hotel around 20:45 to be told we had 15minutes to eat dinner before it stopped completely, thankfully we checked in with time to spare comfortably allowing us to eat and freshen up, our hotel room is a small ‘box’ with an eggy drain smell and a window that when opened appears inside the corridor of the hotel, a real luxury living. Not knowing how much time we would have in the morning we decided to make the most of the night and explore as much as we can within a time of us not passing out from exhaustion. We first made our way towards Hallgrímskirkja church before filtering our way through the streets taking in the Icelandic architecture, the colourful streets almost seem like they have been plucked from a toy village set and spread amgonst the new modern semi high rise builds that are scattered throughout the city. Perhaps the local climate does not allow for tall architectural expanses what makes Hallgrimskirkja yet even more impressive as it ventures up to the sky which in summer only goes dark for barely 5 hours.
Experiencing the Icelandic summer cold (a hot 13degrees) we decided to grab an Icelandic brewed beer at a small yet cosy Islandic Gastropub just a stones throw away from the old harbour. Our unplanned and free visit to Reykjavik happened to be on the last day of 6 days long Reykjavik Gay Pride and visiting shops and the Gastropub we encountered many positive tributes, including countless LGBT flags. Eye catching ‘Harpa concert hall’ was also near there and at this point it was past 11 with still enough natural light to think it was still late afternoon. Everything in the city was just a walk away, although an unbearably cold one, for the fact that we landed in Keflavik in shorts and t-shirts.
On this whistle stop tour we’ve come to love the laid back relaxed culture, Volcanic scenery and friendly locals but we both are desperate to get to the warmth of Canadian Summertime and luscious greenery.