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First glance at Iceland

Okay, I believe I figured out the problem with using e-mail from my phone in Iceland. It seems there are two competing networks. One provides the required advanced services, and the other doesn’t. Right now, I’m connected to the one that does. I’ll keep my eye on it …

The flight to Iceland was uneventful. After a late start due to the mechanical problem I mentioned, the arrival was only slightly behind schedule when it arrived yesterday morning. The international airport in Keflavik is small but seems very modern, although the lack of a jetway was surprising. I was through immigration control in a few minutes, and I arrived at the baggage carousel at the same time my bag did. I don’t think it took more than 15 minutes from leaving the plane to leaving the terminal.

The sun was shining, and it was about 50 degrees. It felt awesome. It didn’t last long. Mostly, it has been wet and windy. The temperature hasn’t really changed. It just feels colder.

A bus took me from the airport to Reykjavik and then to the campground where I’m staying. In a bit of luck, it was sunny when I put my tent up. I’ve rarely seen the sun since, despite it being in the sky 23 hours a day. The rain and wind pounded away all night long, but somehow I stayed warm and dry.

I spent yesterday familiarizing myself with the city, and I had my first hot dog, which are reported to be made from lamb here. (I have not verified the report.) I took in a few sights. Mostly I tried, unsuccessfully, to catch up on sleep, which has been sporadic since leaving Phoenix Sunday morning.

The campground is adjacent to the youth hostel, so they share some services, including breakfast. I went there this morning to eat, and it was pleasant for about five minutes, until several school groups descended on the breakfast room at 8:00 sharp. I’m now very glad I didn’t stay there. My sleep was a bit restless last night, but at least I slept.

I spent most of the day today taking a bus tour around Iceland, hitting a number of the major tourist attractions. I saw waterfalls, hot springs and geysers, and a national park where Iceland’s national assembly, the Alþing, first met in 930. The park is located on the ridge between the North American and European tectonic plates, creating two great ridges as the country gets pulled in opposite directions.

I’m back at the campground now. The rain is letting up. I may do the town this evening, if I feel I can survive another night without sleep.

Happy Independence Day!