Iceland: Day 1

quiet streets of Laugavegur

flight was a bit delayed. it’s starting to snow outside. i think it’s going to be colder here in london than in iceland at least for the next couple of days.

we’re scheduled for a 1300 flight via IcelandAir. left at 1345. it was snowing but not settling. we were watching the ground crews spraying de-icer on the wings.

touched down at keflavik airport around 4:30pm. exchanged some currencies. £1 = ISK177, ang baba ng value ng pera nila, but everything is so expensive here. got the tickets for the bus transfer to the city centre. flybus ferries passengers from keflavik airport to the BSI bus terminal in reykjavik – takes about 45-60 mins and the bus terminal is about 15 mins walk to the city centre, or they can drop off people at hotels within the centre if you pay a bit more.

keflavik airport is very quiet. almost provincial.

on the way to the city, i’ve noticed they like their christmas lights here. almost every window is lit with strings of lights or various versions of christmas candles. lots of lighted christmas trees on the streets.

CenterHotel Klopp

we’ve checked in at CenterHotel Klopp. very centrally located, in Klapparstigur, just off Laugavegur, reykjavik’s main shopping district. plenty of shops and restaurants in Laugavegur. the hotel sits opposite a restaurant that has live music almost every night that we were there. if you book here, make sure that you get a room in 4th or 5th floor. we were on the 4th floor and can still hear some of the music from the resturant and the occasional shouting and singing of drunk people making their way home. Rooms are basic. Though a bit roomier than most european hotels with space for a wardrobe and bigger desk. tiny toilet/bathroom though. shower only, no bath. equipped with tv, towels, liquid soap, tea-making facilities, minibar. Water from tap is safe to drink, but don’t be surprised if the water has a bit of a smell – water here is heated thru geothermal power and they add sulfur gas into the hot water as it keeps the metal pipes from corroding. 

dinner at Tivoli Cafe at Laugavegur. i had good lobster soup and al had carpaccio. but everything else was just too salty. seafood pasta with cheese (the italians would frown). good friendly service. and you don’t need to ask for tap water. wednesday nights were always very quiet. bill was expensive compared to London prices. ISK13490 for 2 with appetizers, pasta dishes, glass of wine and tea. eeks!

 we had a little stroll down the Laugavegur and towards the coast to see if we can get a glimpse of the northern lights (clear skies tonight and a new moon). streets were quiet, lots of flats in this area, all lit up with christmas lights. it was cold, but was still feeling cosy under my layered jacket. no luck on the northern lights. but i still kept looking out the window.


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