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Iceland Day One – Keflavik to Reykjavik

Whew, today was a seriously long day. Started out on Thursday morning in NYC, and is finally coming to an end Friday night in Reykjavik, Iceland.

To maximize my vacation time, I took the night time flight out of EWR to Keflavik Airport, just outside of Reykjavik. With the time difference, that meant that the flight left Newark at 8:30pm Thursday, and landed at 6:00 am Friday – but the flight was actually only 5 hours long, so with the combination of ascent/descent, meal service etc, I got about 30 minutes of “plane sleep” en route.

After landing in Keflavik, I picked up the rental car from the super nice kids at Dollar, and then headed off south to Valahnukur, a spot on the southern tip of the south-west part of Iceland that consists of vast, steaming volcanic fields, and sheer cliffs that drop straight into the sea. Iceland’s oldest lighthouse is down there, and between the eerie lighthouse, swirling steam from geothermal vents, and flatiron-like rock formations creating massive cliffs into the sea, it really does feel like you’re at the end of the world.

I also managed to make a stop or two at a large geothermal plant, and at a petrol station for a quick bite to eat. The afternoon was spent winding my way on volcanic gravel roads back up to Reykjavik.

In Reykjavik, I took a long walk along Laugavegur? Street, a trendy shopping street that ends in the old Reykjavik harbor. The harbor is now filled with commercial whale watching ships, coast guard cutters, and is overlooked by the massive new “harp” opera house, being build on the south end.

The final stop of the day was the iconic Hallgrimskirkja church. The church is all concrete, and to me resembles a modern interpretation of kind of basalt columns seen in igneous rock formations similar to those around Iceland.

Tonight, Sari’s plane has been delayed from Barcelona a bit, however she should be getting in soon, and tomorrow we’re looking forward to a possible dip in the Blue Lagoon with some friends of ours, and then a leisurely drive up to Bloundos.

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