Since it really was her trip, I let her do the planning. I told her, "You put the trip together, and afterward I'll write you a big check." So she decided where we would stay, when we would get the rental car and where we would go, etc. And she did a great job! She was so organized, which I appreciated. I felt safe and secure; I was in good hands.
|Our WOW Airlines flight attendants looked just like this. I felt like it was Pan Am in the 1960's! Everything else was pink/purple, too: the lights on the plane, the WOW planes themselves, etc. Image found here.|
We arrived at 7am, but because of the four hour difference, it was already 11am when we touched down. Getting through security wasn't too bad, and we made it easily to our bus to take us to BSI, the main bus terminal in Reykjavik (the international airport is about an hour from the capital city). I slept on that bus ride, too; I swear that the best way to prevent jet lag is to take naps whenever possible and get as much sleep when you can.
From BSI we walked about 25 minutes to our hostel. After sitting on an airplane for seven hours and then being on the bus, it felt good to stretch our legs. I noticed lots of purple and yellow flowers as we walked, as well as some starlings and what looked like a robin.
|We saw many of these yellow flowers as we were walking around.|
|Since we hadn't had breakfast, I was afraid I would get hangry on the long walk to the hostel. So I bought this HUGE pastry to hold me over on the walk. It's nearly the size of my face! Picture by Hannah Churn.|
|The Oddsson Hostel is so colorful! It was right on the ocean, so we couldn't get lost: just follow the water!|
|This was our room. It was small but served its purpose. We were just ecstatic that we didn't have to share a room!|
|This was the view from our tiny room. The smaller islands in the water would completely disappear at high tide.|
|The little orange thing at the top is a tiny My Little Pony!|
|This one was my favorite, obviously.|
We spent most of the day walking around downtown, window shopping along all the little shops. I had read (and Hannah confirmed) that souvenirs would be cheaper at the duty-free store in the airport, so I did not buy too much stuff while shopping. It was fun just checking things out. There were many restaurants, and several specifically targeted tourists: there was a Hard Rock Cafe, a Chuck Norris restaurant, and on one block all next to each other were an American bar, a British pub, and a Parisian bistro. I was actually surprised how quiet the city was for a Saturday afternoon; not many people were out and about, but in the main square area there was a crowd gathered to watch soccer on an outdoor screen. It was fun to spend the day wandering the streets and exploring the city.
Our pastries held us over through lunch, but for dinner we wanted to check out a restaurant for true Icelandic food. So we went to the Reykjavik Fish Restaurant, where I had fish and chips along with their daily vegetables (beets and carrots). The food was very good, and it was a filling dinner that was quite satisfying after a long travel day.
We walked back to our hostel along the coast so we could see what "sunset" there would be, since there are only a few hours of darkness during the summer in Iceland. We had a few drinks at the bar at the hostel, then showered and cleaned ourselves up, which was very refreshing after our long day. We went to bed pretty early so we could get a good night's sleep for Day 2!