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Reykjavik

Posted on Thursday, September 25th, 2003

Dave!I arrived at Keflavek Airport at 6am via Iceland Air out of Baltimore, almost a half-hour earlier than scheduled (must be nice to come and go as you please, since you don't really have to worry about disrupting schedules of other airlines in Iceland... heck, are there any others?). The airport is pretty nice, actually, with my luggage arriving at baggage claim just minutes after I got off the plane. It was -3 degrees Celcius with a nice frost covering the area, which is a big difference from the 80 degrees I left in Maryland. The capitol city of Reykjavik is about 40 minutes away via "FlyBus," which runs continuously from the airport at tight intervals. Iceland must have an abundance of electrical energy, because the entirety of the highway leading to the city is well-lit... one might even say "overly-lit"... with a glittering path of streetlights strung out over a barren wasteland in-between.

I decided to stay at the Hotel Loftledir because it is the end-line location for the bus (which means I might get an extra hour of sleep, since I won't have to shuttle in tomorrow morning). The hotel is nice enough... neat and clean, with non-smoking rooms available that are smaller than what we would get in the States, yet fairly standard for Europe. The odd thing is the smell that permeates the place, which is kind of like a lingering fart that won't dissipate. Ends up that this is a sulfur odor from the heating, which is geo-thermal steam from nearby geysers. The smell is also in the hot water, which is piped directly from under the country. After half a day, I stopped noticing the smell so much, but it's still a bizarre kind of reminder that you're not at home.

Probably my favorite part of exploring the city was when I ran across this cat who was smarter than most people I meet. After saying hello, he ran up the side of a building into a window to observe life in the city from a new perspective.

And I also ran across the best use for a top-level domain I've ever seen (Iceland is ".is" for the native spelling of "Island").


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