Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Day 1 in Iceland. I'm a Viking Now!
My first day or really 12hrs in Reykjavik, Iceland. I got here by taking the non-stop from JFK to Kefavlik airport, the flight was not full at all, on a Boeing 757. I was in economy and must say while its been a year since I’ve been on a plane the seats felt cramped, thankfully I had the middle row to myself. The flight was about one hour delayed due to rain in NYC, well that would be just the start of the rain I would be experiencing over the next 24hrs.
Slept about 2.5hrs of the 5hrs flight, landed in Iceland at an airport that looked like it would be in the middle of Montana, meaning there was NO ONE AROUND. Off the plane in a new york heartbeat and after a short bus ride I was into the terminal, the cold hit me hard at first but now its not that bad, the listed temperature was about 40 degrees. The wetness well that is another story, its been raining all day long, I’m giving my new reebok rainproof jacket a run for the money for sure.
The immigration was probably the easiest I’ve ever had to get into a country and now this is 36 and counting. I mean the last time I went to Canada the border guard asked me since I was driving how many DUI’s I had and the purpose of my trip, if I told him the truth it was to rape and pillage the women while drinking cheap good beer I wouldn’t have gotten in, so I used the old friends and family line. Well for Iceland it was as simple as how many days are you staying.. my answer 4.. after that I never heard or saw from another immigration person, fresh stamp in the passport achieved.
My bags were there before I was even done getting some cash from the machine, at first the exhange rate got me. 1 USD is 112 ISK, lets just call it 100 to be fair, well my jetlagged brain tied to take out 60,000 ISK.. yeah just a bit above my max limit, I don’t need my card canceled on me the first day that I’m here, so I went with the more sensible 10,000 ISK.. but as I would learn that would barely make it for the first day, the roundtrip bus from the airport into the city was 4500, or $40 USD, am I at JFK or what?
Now the not-so-fun started since it was 8:30am when I got to downtown rejkjavik and my place I was staying didn’t do check-in till 3pm. I was able to stash my bags inside and then went to get some tea and croissants, yeah I’m not Iceland I know not Paris.. I wandered about the city for a bit and found the national museum of Iceland was free on Wednesday, so at 11am I checked out the 2 floors, where I was able to pose as an 11th century Viking warrior as such the picture above. City Hall was right on this pond full of ducks and had plenty of English language reading material.
In killing time I found a great place, called the Laundromat NYC. Its café with food and adorned with pictures of various Laundromats all over NYC. Knowing from past travels its not that easy to find a Laundromat when you got dirty draws, my get away from it all idea of a bar where you can hang out when you was your clothes well this place got into my dreams one night, as I went downstairs to piss they had 3 washing machines, not in use and if I was here long I surely would make sure to give them a whirl.
YAY finally check-in time, let me tell you the place I’m staying at Apartment K is one of the best deals/bargins I’ve ever had. For $55 bucks a night, I get an apartment that would make many a people on the lower east side of NYC totally jealous. A sectional couch, full kitchen with a fridge, stove, microwave(how the hell do I use one of these things??), freezer.. nice sized bathroom. Also a 32” HDTV Samsung with good English channels, also a mini-mac hooked up via HDMI to the TV with a ton of movies saved on in, some music also… Very happy with the room and would recommend to anyone, check-in was a bit rough with having to make phone calls all over the place, but once done its all good…
The city of Reykjavik is dead on a Wednesday for sure, after walking about the center city and basically in 3hrs seeing everything and having a good feel for things I have found a few bars that show sports. Watched some of the most meaningless champions league quarterfinals I’ve seen ever. Both teams who were down Tottenham and Inter Milan needed to score at least 4 goals to even have a chance and anything, and both epically failed in that quest. The semi-final between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid will be an epic 2 leg tie, it will be the 4th game between the teams in a 25 day span, talk about re-defining El classico.
Internet is fast here, 11Mbps at the apartment I’m staying and I’m about to try to stream some Rangers vs Capitals at the bar to hope its as fast at the bars. Beer is average at best, I’ve tried Gull, Viking and other local brands and its never cheaper than $6 a pint, and could go up to $9 each.. but then again this country didn’t start brewing beer till 1989, so they still have years to go..
Ok day 1 almost over, time to watch some hockey!