October 24, 2018
Lambafell to Keflavík
We woke up to a dark sky. Like most mornings it was hard for Laurie to get out of bed.
We kept the day’s itinerary simple – swimming pool, return car and head to airport.
It was a 90 minute drive to the outskirts of Reykjavík where we wound through a neighborhood to the Árbæjarlaug pool.
This pool was used to foreigners as they had the instructions for the changing rooms written in English. Apparently this was confusing initially to others as well!
By this time we were pros.
We quickly changed and jumped in the pool at the base of the slide. The water in this pool was not as warm as previous ones but it was much warmer than the outside temperature and falling rain.
It had an exposed (as in not enclosed and thus colder) stairwell to the top of the slide. The 5 degree weather did not deter us from playing on the slide for a good 20 minutes. A few slides in Andy showed Laurie how to use a swinging motion to gain momentum and go even faster.
It was not as fast or exhilarating as the slides in Akureyri but it was faster than the ones in the previous pool.
Laurie swam some laps while Andy hung out in the hot pots and massaged his neck and shoulders under a powerful fountain.
We spent about 90 minutes in the pool splashing about and moving our bodies before the 9 hour flight home.
The car drop off was uneventful other than a few trips past a round-about trying to locate the entrance to a gas station.
Andy did let the rental car company employees know he was displeased with the brakes of the first car and got a haphazard apology. He believes Europeans don’t do apologies very well.
We paced through the airport multiple times stretching our legs prior to the flight.
As US citizens we had the privilege of multiple extra security checks. While most people procedeeded through the passport check with green lights, us Americans received a red light and loud buzz as we attempted to go through the turn style.
We were corralled to a separate line and had to answer questions on our purpose of travel, where we had gone, where we had stayed, etc. The agents were very friendly, particularly after Andy talked them up and Laurie made them smile attempting to pronounce the names of various places.
Once through Passport control we figured we were good so we wandered the extent of the terminal.
Our gate was through another checkpoint where they sent all Americans into a small room and patted us down and went through our bags. Apparently they do this because of TSA requirements. Or maybe it is a way to employ a lot of people..
In any case, the agents were all friendly and we had plenty of time to spare so it wasn’t a big inconvenience.
By the time we got to our gate people were already lining up. We joined them and waited another 20 minutes before they began loading the plane.
Wow airlines has very specific guidelines on the size of “personal items” vs “carry on.” One couple on our flight got in a huge argument with the airline staff because their carry on did not fit in the plastic measuring containers. Apparently they took off the luggage wheels to make them fit to avoid the extra charge.
We were glad we had payed a little extra to check in bags in addition to carry on luggage and a personal item to avoid this hassle.
We took a bus to our plane, inhaling our last breaths of cool, crisp Icelandic air before ascending the steps to our bird.
Once on the plane we settled into our seats, Laurie eyeing the empty rows in hopes of snagging one to sleep across. The suspense grew as the time between the buses extended.
There were no announcements but it seemed too good to be true to have so many empty seats. Eventually the facial expressions on the flight attendants relaxed and a large number of people boarded the plane. We had waited for a few dozen travelers who had been delayed and were connecting to our flight.
Suddenly the chances of sleeping comfortably on the plane diminished and we resigned to our original seats.
The flight was fine – long but fine. We snacked, napped, walked and repeated.
Coming home is never as fun as leaving but we were content with our trip. We had a great time and will certainly visit Iceland again in the future.
Tonight we are grateful for sleeping in a horizontal position and loving family who welcomed us home with salad!