Note: The final chapter (containing the unpublished 57 pictures) was added in November 2011. Scroll all the way to the bottom, then click on "Older Posts".

On a Whim, an Adventure

It all began with one of those super-discounted, act-now, package deals — fly to Iceland for a few days at the end of April, 2010. Okay.

Due to ash from Eyjafjallajökull, the Keflavík airport was open only sporadically on the day we flew, so our departure was delayed six hours, then we were diverted to Glasgow, where we waited several hours and finally flew back to Iceland, arriving at midnight, rather than seven in the morning.

An unexpected day of sightseeing, in airports.

Despite every effort by the airline industry and the governments' security theatre to make the passengers' experience as unattractive and miserable as possible now, there remains the fact that flying is just downright, breathtakingly, magical.

We were billeted at the Hilton Nordica, which was somewhere between a 20-minute and 45-minute walk from the city center (depending on how often I stopped to photograph).

The hotel was clean, comfortable, and quiet, and had an exemplary breakfast buffet.

I tried just about everything at least once, and it was good.

The Hilton did provide each room with its own tourist trap:

A prime example of technology conjoined with corporate American greed.

It says it is an "Automatic Refreshment Centre"and the sign inside the door says it is an "automatic mini-bar, fully computerized" and "every item you take out will immediately be charged to your account".

This essential information was printed in English, German, French, and Spanish — but not in Icelandic.

The other Hilton 'service' was wi-fi Internet access, but it was not free, like at other hotels and even at McDonalds now. More like forty U.S. dollars.

So I went without the Internet. Amazingly, the world is so much a nicer place when you don't know what's happening!

I did try the television once, and noted that American, English, and French international weather reports all skipped Iceland.

Ah, but what a lovely time it all was! Strange and wonderful food, courteous people, and brilliant weather for my tastes.

Blog Notes:

I am doing some things differently this time. First off, the blog will be completed when you first see it; there will not be ongoing posts, so it is more like a book than a journal (although I might make changes). Also, like a book, it begins at the top/front and ends at the bottom/back — as Mother Nature intended.

And I am trying a larger format for vertical pictures — being forced to look at tiny images on the Web makes me grumpy. As with the other images, clicking on them will open a larger version. Your browser should scale the image to the monitor and window size you are using, automatically. Clicking again on that picture may make it even larger, depending on the size of your monitor.

To go back to the 'normal' blog view, press the Command+left arrow keys [alt+left arrow keys on Windows] or click on the Back button on the browser menu bar.

The other difference is that, rather than having comments posted on the blog itself, I have set up an e-mail account (see "Comments/Questions" in the left-hand column), so we can communicate directly. The current method of posting for all to read is too much like people using mobile phones in public.

Alternatively, you can just send e-mail to this address:

113Reykjavik[at symbol]