Sunday, February 28, 2010

Spring Break Iceland - Part One

Greetings from the frozen north! I'm typing this as I look at this view outside of my hotel room in Hofn (pronounced HEP, which led me to chirp HEP! HEP! all day long). Hofn is a small fishing village in the eastern part of Iceland.

But, I get ahead of myself. The first step was to take a overnight flight from Boston to Iceland, which, unfortunately was crowded and only led Jon and I to sleep about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Despite the fact that even the seat covers make attempts to be helpful to you. We then stood in the big line at immigration, got through pretty fast, picked up our bags, and decided to stop in the airport for breakfast. It wasn't light outside yet, but we noted where the rental car area was and sat down to a nice leisurely breakfast, completely walking pass the guy from Sixt Rental who was holding a sign with out name on it because Sixt doesn't have an office in the airport. Well, since we didn't see him, he left as we were eating, unbeknownst to us. After we ate, we looked for Sixt, and of course couldn't find them, and started an adventure to find out how to get to the Sixt place. We ended up taking a taxi for a 3 minute ride and found the lone Sixt guy sitting behind a counter. Apparently we were the ONLY customers for the day, because once we got into our cute little car and drove away, he got into HIS car and passed us 10 miles down the road.

Driving definitely had its ups and downs. First, the view was gorgeous, as you can see from the pictures. But the road was different around every corner. Sometimes pretty, sometimes treacherous. Sadly, it's winter here and there was a LOT of wind and snow blown over the roads, causing the road to be clear and sunny one minute and covered in snow and windy the next. Very frustrating, when you consider that both of us were exhausted. Jon eventually had to let me drive for a while so he could take a nap, and after a quick stop in the town of Vik for lunch, he took over again so I could rest. Of course, as SOON as we head off from Vik, a truck passes us, throws a rock at our window and makes a tiny crack in the windshield, which we'll have to fix on the sly or pay a gazillion dollars to Sixt for. Additionally, at one point we got out to take some pictures, but then we couldn't start the car without the alarm going off, and the only way to turn it off was to turn the car off. We repeated this process a few times until we managed to get the alarm turned off, but I thought we were going to have to drive 150 km to Hofn with the alarm blaring.

It took a LONG time to drive the 450 kilometers to Hofn, and we are a sleepy duo. The restaurant for the hotel is about to open, so we plan on gorging ourselves. The hotel clerk used to live on Newbury Street in Boston, so that's kinda fun. We're hoping he can point us to someone who can fix the car. Might be difficult though, given that the WHOLE island only has 200,000 people on it, most who are around Reykjavik, which is on the other side.

Also on our agenda tomorrow is geocaching! See previous entry on geocaching from July of 2006 for more information on that. We'll also be stopping at a few sites along the way that I'll hopefully be able to post pictures of. Until tomorrow! Bless!!! (That means goodbye in Icelander-speaky)

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