Iceland Recap: Day 1
Our Icelandair flight departed D.C.’s Dulles International Airport (IAD) the evening of Tuesday, April 24, and landed at Iceland’s Keflavik International Airport (KEF) around 6 a.m. the following morning. Neither Rob nor I got much sleep on the 5-½-hour flight, so we were a little zombie-like for much of the day.
Nordic Visitor, the tour agency, had arranged for a driver to pick us up from the airport, transport us to our hotel and deliver all the maps and vouchers we’d need for our trip.
We arrived at our hotel — Kex Hostel — several hours too early to check in, but we were able to store our bags and get a little breakfast. We came to really love the place during our stay. Kex is fairly new, in a converted biscuit factory (hence the name). It offers both shared dorm / bunk accommodations and private rooms. (We had a private room, with communal (and very clean) bathrooms down the hall.) We loved the look and feel of the place — particularly the common areas, with the warm light, piles of books, mismatched furniture and cozy chairs.
With time to kill before our 2 p.m. check-in, we headed out to explore a bit of downtown Reykjavik. Our first stop: Harpa, the new, architecturally interesting concert hall near the harbor. We were among the first non-employees in the building that day (until a huge school group appeared), and we wandered around quietly, snapping photos of the structure. We returned late that evening to see it lit up for the night:
(If you can’t see the video above, it’s available on Flickr.)
Afterwards, we wandered around a little of the (touristy) city center, came upon a graffiti-covered square, then took the city bus out to the Perlan building to check out the Saga Museum. (I don’t know that I would recommend this side-trip to others — though there are some lovely views from the roof.)
When all that was done, it was finally time to check into our hotel — and take a very long nap.
Afterward, we ventured back out for dinner at a nearby Indian restaurant (delicious, but kind of expensive), went for an evening stroll and then crashed for the night.