Our visit to Iceland was supposed to consist of a 3-hour layover, but an active volcano on the island extended it to approximately 6 hours. While significantly less intense than the chaos caused by Eyjafjallajökull in the spring of 2010, the Grímsvötn volcano erupted a couple of days before our scheduled flight and canceled all arrivals and departures for May 22nd and most for May 23rd. Luckily, everything was back to normal by the 24th, and we left Boston only a few hours later than anticipated.

We spent our 6 hours wandering around the airport, shopping for some clothing at 66° North (www.66north.com), and reminiscing about our first visit to Iceland in 2006. Here’s a map of our flight from Boston (this year) and a few pictures from that trip in 2006 when we spent 4 days in one of Earth’s weirdest countries:

Map of our flights through Iceland

Map of our flights through Iceland

Gulfoss Waterfall

Gulfoss, a massive waterfall about 1 hour east of Reykjavik

Robin swimming in the Blue Lagoon

Robin swimming in the Blue Lagoon, a naturally-occurring hot spring about 10 minutes from the airport

Bright blue hot springs in Iceland

Bright blue hot springs in Iceland

Robin riding an Icelandic pony

Robin riding an Icelandic pony. We were told that the band members of Metallica visited the same ranch a few years before we did. Now imagine large, fierce-looking dudes from Metallica riding these tiny horses! Hilarious!

LESSONS LEARNED:

  • Iceland is on sale right now. The financial crisis of 2008 crushed its currency, so now’s the time to visit this country if you can. Judging by the prices we saw at the airport, everything is half off compared to our visit in 2006.
  • If you only have a few hours in Iceland (a long layover on your way to mainland Europe, for example), exit the airport and go to the Blue Lagoon. It’s only about 10 – 15 minutes from Keflavik airport. You can swim, dry off, change, and get back to the airport in time for your connection, and it’s really fun!
  • Be very careful when driving in Iceland. The weather can turn in a matter of minutes, and you may find yourself driving through fog so thick that you can barely see the car in front of you. Or, your road map may not consider it necessary to make any distinction between paved and unpaved roads, and you may end up driving off-road for 20 or 30 kilometers… and crossing streams… in a tiny Toyota Yaris.
  • Go see the original geyser. The word comes from an area of hot springs in Iceland.

3 Comments

  1. Ed
    June 2, 2011

    Eyjafjallajö…wha? Can you actually pronounce that Icelandic name? We all wondered whether the volcanic dust caused any changes to your plans.

    Reply
    • Pierre
      June 3, 2011

      Ha! No clue how to say it. The Icelandic people spit it out without much effort, but we still can’t come close to pronouncing it correctly.

      Reply
  2. Mark Morel
    August 25, 2011

    I enjoyed Iceland. Will go back sometime.

    Reply

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