Day One: Friday, October 16th
Packing… now isn't that fun?! It seemed to take me all Thursday to pack and even into the early morning. I stayed up to finish laundry & made sure I had more than enough just incase. Needless to say, I ended my “night” at about 2:30am and needed to get up at 3am to get a shower and finish placing my essentials in my two bags. Which means I reset my alarm and actually got up about 3:20am. We left the house at 4:15, a little later than planned to catch BART at 5:13am. Thankfully we made it on time because traffic wasn't as bad as it could have been. We rode BART all the way to SFO with a transfer in the middle which was easy. I enjoyed not having to drive that’s for sure.
Once we made it to SFO we checked in with our first airline, Alaska. The woman was nice even though she overshared a bit. We came to find out that her ex husband was originally from Iceland and that pickled shark is not all it’s made out to be. We continued thru a short line in security and to our gate with about an hour or two to spare. Grabbed a couple morning coffees and some breakfast foods to get us through our wait.
The plane boarded on time. It was a small plane and we sat completely in the back. Last row on the left to be exact so we couldn't recline but at least we got the window seats. Unlike the stranger next to us who happened to be the last person on the plane. He was a quiet neighbor which was a good neighbor in my opinion considering we were both so tired. The next hour flew by as we both fell asleep. Christian was such a gentleman letting me fall asleep on his shoulder, I didn't even know he had also fallen asleep until later. I fell asleep so quickly and woke up to him grabbing a drink from the lively flight attended. She had taken a photo for us upon boarding after getting comfortable but not without a friendly photo reminder of herself too for me to go back and find in my phone.
We took our time getting off the plane because we had a few hour layover so we were in absolutely no rush which was nice. We found a little bar like restaurant as we approached the terminal we were going to later be needing and sat to replenish our bodies. We both ended up getting a salad with garlic bread which ended up being really good and just what I needed. I also had a beer, just because. Unfortunately, as we ate we were waiting for a terminal to be assigned to our next flight and it never happened. As we waited and waited our upcoming boarding grew near and we were questioning where we needed to be. Easily enough we slowly made our way down the terminal and found our plane no help from the flight directory.
The plane didn't seem to board when we had expected and yet it was showing it was on time. However that works, I don't know?! Either way we finally boarded and made our way into the sky where we feel asleep, missing the sunset. With five hours of the flight remaining we woke up to crunched necks and not the most fulfilling of rests but we made ourselves busy with electronics and the touch screen tv in front of us. We continued our flight with some food and rest only to arrive in Iceland the following day, Saturday between 6-7am with the whole day ahead of us. Adventure, we have arrived!!!!
Day Two: Saturday, October 17th
We landed in Iceland after many hours of traveling to find ourselves stepping out into the cold chilled air down stairs from the airplane onto the ground near the landing strip to take a shuttle to the airport terminal doors. Shortly after arriving we were in search of sim cards, our rental car, and a little bit of nourishment. After taking a stop in the food court while trying to find where we needed to go I found myself surprised to see the language barrier is more prominent then I would have expected but everyone speaks English so I can easily communicate. I also heard rap and r&b playing loudly from the closest espresso bar which was unexpected as I sat and readjusted since three sweater/jackets are not ideal inside. Then we found this place called, “Joe & The Juice”, which looks like a coffee shop but seems to mainly sell juices. It’s a relaxing little stop for me as Christian waited in line for the rental car shoeing me off so I would wake up and leave him to relax a moment. I sat and waited to receive my drink listening to what else but a song about San Francisco.
Our time now rested on the outcome of our rental, which come to realize wasn’t booked till 12pm and it wasn't far past eight am yet and of course the only rental company with a line was the one we needed. So we crossed our fingers hoping they had one available!
We were luckily able to get a car right then and there. Thank goodness. We made our way out into the gusty rain to find our little Ford Fiesta. We ended up with a manual but only have it for two days until we get our camper van, (shriek) I can not wait. Until then Christian is stuck driving since I don't know how. Once we got to the car we put the new sim cards in our phones and headed off. Easily enough the signs on the side of the road led us straight to Reykjavik which was perfect. They even had arrows which would be amazing in the US. Even though we did take one wrong turn but it was okay because we stopped at a bakery and grabbed a really yummy bread and chocolate milk.
It took us a couple signs to realize we actually made it to Reykjavik but as we drove we found a couple places we had been planning to visit. Since we could not check into our apartment hotel until the afternoon we decided to explore on foot for awhile. We parked near the waterfront and made our way to the Sun Voyager first. As we were here it started raining a little more so we went back to the car to get a couple things like our lens hoods and continued to the Harpa. We wondered around there as much as we could but they were having a conference so we were very limited.
We decided to walk to Hallgrimskirkja from here, it is the tallest church in Iceland and a good 10-15 min walk from the waterfront so we got to see a good amount of the area just in walking there. The town reminds me somewhat of San Francisco in size but smaller, however just as easy to walk around. The shops are small and seem somewhat tourist based but cute none the less. Once we arrived at Hallgrimskirkia we got to see the beauty of the architecture and made our way inside and then up to the clock tower which had an amazing overlooking view from all four sides of the city.
At this point we were hungry and tired from the little sleep we had gotten the past two nights. So we walked back to the car stopping in a shop or two & taking photos on the way. We decided to eat at The Laundromat Cafe since it was recommended to us by Pei (@pketron). Unlike what is to be expected their are no washing machines here only food, coffee, and a constant flow of people. We both got types of pancakes, which I would recommend, and chocolate milkshakes. It seems like they use actual grounds of chocolate in the shakes here which was unique to me but not something I would get again. Side fact about Iceland. They do not tip, so unless you have some money to leave on the table, if you so choose, you can not add it to the bill when you use a card.
The next twenty minutes were used to wonder the streets by car just to see a little more of the city. After reaching our peak of exhaustion we called to see if we could check in a little early & made our way to our apartment hotel. At this point I fell asleep hard core and Christian got us all checked in and even upgraded for free (Thank you!!!). He woke me up to get out of the car and we made our way to the room which was beautifully lit with open windows, a little balcony, and nicely decorated. We were originally supposed to be in a studio but instead have a full bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and lounge area. It feels so homie I could easily move in for the week. However, our stay here will end Monday. (I will let you know the exact location after we leave- just for safety purposes.)
Once we kicked off our shoes, I laid down and could not believe it, the bed was like a cloud in heaven. Laying down and being able to stretch out was the best feeling in the world. Shortly after we fell asleep until about 7pm.
Waking up to an empty stomach had me in search of food. I was pleasantly surprised to find that most restaurants here close at 10pm or later. We got ready and went to Roadhouse for dinner. A ten minute walk and we were seated right away. This place is pretty much an American style barbecue restaurant and one of the best I have ever had, ever! I got a pulled pork sandwich (which was pretty much a burger with pulled pork instead of ground beef) and Christian got BBQ ribs, they both came with fries & we also got Cokes. They were both so filling and really enjoyable. I may add, if you are ever get a burger in Iceland you can expect to still get a fork and knife since they don't use their hands.
The walk back was relaxing with the crisp cold air and only slightly sprinkling compared to the rain we experienced on the walk there. We stopped at one of the little markets on the way and grabbed some things including these chocolate eggs that Christian has told me so much about. He used to get them special as a little boy and they happened to have them here so I had to try one since I’ve never seen them before.
We are currently back in the room enjoying each others company. Time for bed soon and ready for so much more tomorrow, I can not wait to tell you what we have planned…. Thanks for reading, join us tomorrow for more of our Iceland trip.