So we get off from Bordentown right on time and make it to our arranged off-site parking right near the entrance to JFK. Only one problem. Seems that the parking operator has shut down; no cars in sight and a demolition crew taking down the building. Some fast, expensive maneuvers get us a spot and an easy arrrival at Terminal 7. After a nice dinner at an airport restaurant (Icelandair only serves not-too-nice food for a price), we and Nancy and Jeff finally (can’t get away without some trauma at Kennedy) get into our previously closed gate for an hour-late departure.
The pilot makes the delay up with the help of tailwinds in only 4 1/2 hours!
We join up with our SmarTours group in a below freezing blowing snow in a nice warm bus at 6:40 am.
After a hearty buffet breakfast in a little fishing village on the way to Reykjavik we continue our 45 minute drive toward the city. The dawn just begins a little after 10 am with a very special light. Semi-full daylight only lasts a little over 4-hours this time of year and this close to the arctic circle.
We continue over the sparce, barren, lava-field landscape getting closer with a few stops on the way.
A lovely old church (Lutheran is Iceland’s key religion) just in front of the President’s mansion. The president is more a figurehead as the prime minister runs the government. We actually see the First Lady driving back from dropping her child off at school.
A stop at the Harpa Concert Hall for a bathroom break…we’ll be touring it completely next week. Interesting building designed by he same artist who did the artificial waterfalls off the New York City bridges a few years ago. Designed after some of the multi-faceted geological formations if Iceland.
Near the Reykjavik harbor is the house where Reagan and Gorbachev met to start the end of the Cold War.
Opposite the house is a section of the Berlin Wall.
Lief Erickson standing proudly in front of this magnificent Lutheran Church….
With this incredible organ.
From there a stop to taste some wonderful pastries (Danish influence of course) at a renowned local bakery before going back to the hotel.
We take a little rest (has been in short supply) at the hotel before meeting with Nancy and Jeff in the lobby for a quick game of Mahjong with our new portable set, reinforced by some vodka and cranberry juice.
Then to dinner at the Icelandic Fish and Chips, a restaurant serving the absolute freshest local fish, today cod, Pollack, and Wolf fish. Not anything like ordinary “English” fish and chips. Early to bed for an early wake up and 12 hour journey to and around the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Good night…er…something.