Day 1 – August 30, 2016
Doug and I made it to Iceland! It was rainy, cold and early. We headed to baggage claim. As I waited for our luggage, Doug headed in to the travel store to try and get a phone card. They were sold out! We decided we would get one from a gas station or something later. Our luggage came quickly and we headed to the car rental booth. Twenty minutes later we were wading through the rental lot to find a “green Suzuki SUV”. By green, it was turquoise. We also paid extra for a GPS.
TIP: Rent a car with 4WD. There is an upcharge for an automatic car instead of standard.
Now almost 7AM (Icelandic time), we needed coffee and breakfast. We headed in to Reykjanesbær in search of sustenance. We drove and drove, but we couldn’t find anything that was open. We stopped in a nearby gas station, where they told us to go to a hotel down the road, which was the only place open for breakfast. Doug and I entered the lobby and were pointed to a room in the back, where the hotel breakfast was located. The spread was amazing. There were all sorts of mini sandwiches, sliders, fish, coffee, pastries, eggs, it was overwhelming. We ate to our heart’s content, and then went back to the reception desk to pay. We were shocked – 5,000K (which is about 50 USD). Pricey, we needed food.
With almost everything still being closed, we drove around the area, taking pictures of the water and taking in the town.
We found a bakari (Kornið) and found PASTRIES! And also more coffee. STRONG coffee we sipped while waiting for the Rock & Roll Museum to open, then we would head to the Viking Museum. Oh, and we were still trying to find a phonecard.
We learned that the Viking Museum (Viking World) was open , so we drove down the rainy roads to a lone building. The museum was super neat. You get a set of headphones and media player, and walk through scene after scene explaining the Iceland folklore and tales. Outside of this, there is tons of information on the Vikings. There is a life-size Viking ship suspended from the ceiling that you can board.
Fighting jetlag, we needed more caffeine. Finally some of the local shops were starting to open, so we went to Bókasafn Reykjanesbæjar (the library) for some more strong coffee.
When the clock struck 9AM – we headed to Vodafone, where we purchased a data card for about $20. It was WELL worth it (it lasted the whole trip). We ended up using our iPhone’s as the GPS instead of the navigation that came with the car (it was often wrong, and it was difficult to spell things).