Posted by: tim ellis | August 21, 2005

Reykjavik/Rockport, Ma. – Friday 30th July, 1999

I check in early at Heathrow and thus secure a window seat. The plane is a 757, and my seat is towards the front, so it is quite late boarding (which we have to do across the tarmac, as the bridge is out of commission). I have just settled in when the stewardess asks if I would mind swapping with the husband of my neighbour, as he is about 12 rows back in the middle seat. I can’t think of a good reason not to, and am profusely thanked by both the lady and her husband, (though not the chap I nearly brain putting my bag up in the new locker … Oops).

The flight is uneventful, but on arrival at Kevaflik airport there doesn’t appear to be a “Discover The World” rep. There is someone from “Arctic Experience” (DTW’s ‘other’ name) but she knows nothing about our trip, and doesn’t have our names on her list. Fortunately, at this point our driver – Peter – shows up, and taking the three of us that he has found out to his minibus, before going back to look for the other six. Being very British we don’t introduce ourselves, so at this stage I don’t know anyone’s name – it saves forgetting them!

We are dropped at the hotel and are free until 8:30 tomorrow. I plan to walk down to the shopping mall, and then to “The Pearl” – a geothermal storage facility, with a viewing platform and restaurant, both of which Peter pointed out on the way in. Unfortunately, taking a wrong turning means I miss out on the Mall, so I head straight for “The Pearl”. The views are good, if a bit cloudy, while the restaurant is extremely pricey. My new plan is to head for Holgrimskirk (which is an easily identifiable landmark) and then from there head towards the tourist information centre, which I guess will be near the centre of the town.

The Tourist Information Centre has just closed when I get there, but most of the other shops are still open, and I look around for a while before looking for somewhere to eat. Finally settle on Einar Ben, a restaurant in the old offices of a turn of the century businessman and poet. Although the meal is expensive (all meals in Iceland are expensive!) the coffee works out to be a great bargain, as I get half a (large) cafetiere & four Belgian chocolates.

I walk it off by heading back to the hotel via a different route, spotting several possibilities for a meal tomorrow.

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