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Day One - Arriving in Iceland

I arrived at Keflavik Internation Airport about 8:00 local time and was pleasantly surprised at the ease in which I cruised through immigration control and luggage claims. No lines and a very friendly immigration officer. It was a good start.

The Driving Route
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My Traveling Companion
The Unusual Scenery on the Way to Reykjavik
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I had arranged a car through Sixt car rental, which was not right at the airport, but instead about 100 yards away or so. I just went ahead a trekked over and picked up my fairly well used Citreon C3.

Being June and near the middle of summer, I was less concerned with needing an all-terrain type vehicle and much more focussed on the roughly $8.50 a gallon cost for fuel. I went for the smallest car I could get.

So, with basically no idea where I was going, I started driving away from the airport. It wasn't long before I came across signs directing me toward Reykjavik, which made me feel better about not having a map at the ready. Just minutes from the airport I began to see that I was in a very unique place. It was as if I had landed on another planet, with scenery unlike any I've encountered. There is black lava rock everywhere, often covered densely with moss, creating a very strange colors and terrain.

I found that driving in Iceland was very much straightforward and logical. The signs are graphical, rather than textual, making it easy for all to follow. Headlights must be on at all times and I had heard from various sources that you really do not want to get a speeding ticket. I did not plan to find out for myself. Before I knew it, I was approaching Reykjavik and I began to look for the Church of Hallgrimur. When booking a hotel in an unfamiliar city, I generally try to find one near a large and recognizable landmark. It makes both driving and walking to and from the hotel so much easier, particularly for those who are directionally challenged such as myself.

Viking Ship Sculpture at Reykjavik Harbor
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Guesthouse Sunna was an ideal place to stay in the city. Not only was it right next to the very identifiable Hallgrímskirkja, but also it was merely a few blocks from the heart of the city. As a bonus, there was a small grocery store right around the corner. The staff at the hotel was very helpful and friendly.

Reykjavik, the world's northernmost capital city, is very small by customary standards, with a population of less than 120,000. This is smaller than my current hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan, for comparison sake, which is not a major city by any means.

I walked around to the "downtown" area and visited some pubs, sampling a few pints of Viking, and finding a nice place for a salmon dinner. After that I continued to visit the local bar scene, waiting for the Stanley Cup Finals Game 3 to begin, and found that if you order a generic "beer," you will always get a Viking. There are other brands available, however.

Reykjavik very much comes alive at night, with the very stylish residents just getting started around midnight or so, creating a definite buzz around the bar and club scene throughout the area. It is also very light out at midnight, feeling much like 7:00pm or so in the US. I was pleased to see the Red Wings pull out a victory and I was more than ready for some sleep about 3:00am, after a very long day of travel and exploration.

Day Two

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