Day 1 started like any other day… that is if every other day you get up at 1:45a.m., passport and bag and hand ready to travel the world. Okay so maybe Day 1 started a little unlike any other day, and maybe the 1:45a.m. wake up was supposed to be 1:30a.m., and maybe there was a minor “Where’s my passport?” scare, but either way Kestra and I were finally on our way to Iceland! After arriving at O’Hare International Airport and making our way through security, we caught our $50 flight to Miami. While there, we managed to pass the time of our 7 hour layover by downing a pizza and taking a quick nap. A few hours later we boarded our purple plane and left the U.S. for Landið á eld og ís– The Land of Fire and Ice.
Tried to enjoy the warm weather of Miami, but that was hard to do when we dressed for Iceland!
It was absolutely surreal to be 30,000 feet in the sky, watching the sunset to our west while simultaneously watching it rise to our east. Iceland was off to a great start! We made our way out of the Keflavik Airport around 3:30a.m. Iceland time, 10:30p.m. for our internal clocks, and picked up our trusty steed at the car rental company. Through the next installments you’ll begin to understand why the Renault Clio truly was our trusty steed, and how we managed to push the car farther than even the rental company thought possible.
After a long 8 hour flight, we got to walk on magma columns along the coast while being greeted by an awesome sunrise!
We filled our first day by watching the sunrise over Mount Esja, eating way too many donuts for breakfast, walking through the war relics at Perlan Observatory, and exploring Reykjavik by touring the Harpa Concert Hall and Hallgrímskirkja Church. Oh yeah, and lots of naps. After over 5,000 miles traveled, 32 hours without sleep, and not enough deodorant, all of Reykjavik looked like a great place to nap! We managed to get up for a quick Italian dinner (if we’d known how much pasta we were going to consume throughout the duration of our incredible adventure, we might have chosen seafood!) and then it was back to bed.
We lucked out with a beautiful morning to explore downtown Reykjavík!
Day 1 was great because we were finally in Iceland, but we knew it was just the beginning of our adventure. The weeks ahead will tell stories of whale sightings in the Westfjords, dangerous drives through blizzards in the mountains, 100mph winds, and all the secret gems Iceland has to offer. Stay tuned next Monday for Kestra’s retelling of Day 2 in The Land of Fire and Ice!