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To Reykjavík i Go – Day One

15 September, 2014

I had dreamed of visiting Iceland for so long that even up to the time I climbed aboard the coach to the airport, it didn’t seem real. But as we drove through London I began to realise that it actually might be happening. And the closer I got – waiting for check-in, hanging over my bags, taking off my shoes, waiting for my gate number, boarding the plane – it grew more real. When the plane touched down in Keflavík airport, I looked out the window and a swell of excitement filled me. I couldn’t stop smiling. Then the cabin attendant came on the tannoy and said “Welcome to Iceland” and for five minutes I couldn’t stop crying. I had made it. It wasn’t a dream anymore.

The bus trip from the airport to Reykjavík gave me my first proper view of the country, and the stories I had heard were true. The landscape was alien, barren, a thin green scrub was the only vegetation between the rocks dotting the plains which extended to the high mountains beyond. The earth wasn’t brown like at home, it was black, evidence of the fact I was visiting a country created by the volcanic force of two tectonic plates butting together over millions of years.


As the bus approached Reykjavík, I could see the spire of Hallgrimskirkja, the gleaming dome of Pearlan – both places I had visited through the PC screen thanks to Google maps, but now I was seeing them first hand. And when we transferred to a minibus to be dropped off at our various hotels, we set off on an impromptu tour of the city and I recognised more streets, shops, bars, corners, from my virtual streetwalking over the preceding months. I knew this city already, I had my bearings before I arrived.

After checking in to my hostel, I took my map, my camera and my insufficient knowledge of the language, and wandered the streets, taking in the reality that I was there, marvelling at the multi-coloured houses and the sound of Icelandic voices.




It wasn’t all straightforward though. As I browsed café and restaurant windows it became apparent that options for the vegetarian diner were limited. Icelandic cuisine is based around fish and lamb, and some menus offered nothing I could eat apart from a salad. This wouldn’t deter me though, I would just have less of the dizzying number of eateries to choose from, and for a ditherer like me this was an advantage. So I found an Italian restaurant and had one of the best pizzas I have had.

Due to sleeping in the airport the night before, it was then back to the hostel for a couple of very well priced beers, and then an early night.




  1. Hooray… You made it!

  2. Wait… You’re a vegetarian? I didn’t know that. Thanks for the first look. 🙂

  3. Hope it lived up to all your wildest dreams and can’t wait to see more

  4. I expect the Icelandic people eat lots of lamb and fish for the fats, as it helps them keep out the cold in the winter. When I was a vegetarian for ten years, I shivered more in the winter, although root vegetable stews with veg suet dumplings helped a little!

    • In the old days that was all they had, and i guess the tradition stays. I rediscovered my love for soup on this trip! I grow a lot of my own veg so i will be throwing together all sorts of broths over the winter

      • There’s nothing like home-grown veg. We grow our own, too, at an allotment. Still waiting for a frost to bring our parsnips to their best flavour — not that we get many frosts where I live.

      • oooo, i’ve got an allotment! it takes over your life, doesn’t it? 🙂
        I use most of my parsnips for wine – they make a very nice clear white

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