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Friday, October 7, 2016

We Made It!

After one of the roughest landings in recorded history, during which I was alternately chanting the Litany Against Fear, and screaming, we made it to Iceland. Interestingly, we deplaned directly onto the tarmac, then walked, dodging airport service vehicles, into the terminal.

Passport control took about 30 seconds, and Customs was nonexistent - just a green hallway with a sign that said "Nothing to declare" on it.

Renting the car, on the other hand, was a bit of a trial. The travel agent said we'd booked a minivan. Unfortunately what was actually booked was a mini car, which would not have fit the four of us, much less our luggage. We upgraded, for about three times the price, to a Subaru Forester.

Finding the AirBnB was interesting since none of us read Icelandic. By random chance, the parking lot we pulled into to consult the "how to find us" directions was the correct lot. We got settled, and crashed for naps. Afterwards, we pizza'd up and headed for town. For a town of 200k people, there are a lot of pizza shops. There's a little independent one across the parking lot, at least three Dominos that we saw, plus over a dozen pizza delivery vehicles and even a pizza bus.

We spent about three hours walking around Reykjavik. We walked the main shopping drag, visited Hallgrimskirkja, visited the tourist information center to book a "Horses and Hotsprings" tour, and saw Harpa. My dear mother spent quite a while in the Handknitters Association store picking out a nice blue wool sweater. We discovered that while my sister-in-law is allergic to wool... not this wool. At least she hasn't blown up like a balloon and stopped breathing yet.

After dinner at the American Style restaurant (we'll try local cuisine, I promise), it was back to the apartment to plan tomorrow. We'll be taking a pay-what-you-like walking tour of the city, and exploring all over.

Sunday is the annual lighting of the Imagine Peace memorial, built by Yoko Ono to honor John Lennon after his death. We'll take the ferry out to the island it's on, and I'll try not to mention her breaking up the band. Monday is our visit to the Blue Lagoon, and we'll spend the rest of the day exploring southwest Iceland. Tuesday morning is the horse trip. Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday are TBD.

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