Trip to Iceland day 1 / 2022-04-24

2022-04-24 Trip to Iceland day 1
We filled the two week holiday in April/May with a trip to Iceland. My wife and I have visited Iceland before, and this time our son visited Iceland for the first time in his life.

The first day was filled with the interesting project of getting to Iceland. Because we didn't want to add days of sitting on a ferry to the trip we booked tickets with Iceland airways and rented a car to pick up and return at Keflavik airport.

Our plans for Iceland were a general idea to drive the ring road also known as route 1, beginning with going North from the Keflavik/Reykjavik area and generally keeping to the ring road in clockwise direction.

The easy way to get to Schiphol airport is by train. Our flight was leaving at 14:10. This Sunday was right after the first problems on Saturday with long waiting times at Schiphol so we made sure to be really on time So we had breakfast and left after that. Train connections worked as planned.

We just had to drag the luggage from the house to the station and in most other places luggage carts were available. We had two duffel bags with us, and payed the fee for the luggage with our booking.

At Schiphol we searched for our check-in desk and saw it behind a long line of people. The mood in the line was positive and we slowly moved towards the check-in desk where our luggage was accepted swiftly. The next line was for the security checks (I could write a huge rant about this security theater) which was long. It's almost an "Efteling" experience with "there is a waiting time of 40 minutes from here" signs. Eventually we made it through the checks and the people manning the security checks weren't too grumpy this time. By the time we were at the security checkpoint our water bottles were empty and we refilled them after the checkpoint.

After the security check and long distances walking through hallways in Schiphol we had about 20 minutes left before boarding the flight started.

Boarding was fine. We had seats really far in the back of the plane but I was able to get my legs in the space available. The unexpected bit to me was that the seatback in front of me had an entertainment screen. I expected those screens to only be available on longer flights. So I came prepared for the flight with new books on my e-reader but I also was able to watch some episodes of The Muppets a series I didn't know existed!

The flight was fine. The interesting change was from around 22 degrees Celcius in the Netherlands to about 14 degrees Celcius in Keflavik! So it was chilly when we got out of the plane. We picked up our luggage and .. took it easy. We expected more delays in the airport so we had the pickup of our rental car planned for later in the afternoon. This means we had some time left before we wanted to get in line for the desk at the rental car company. We used that time to sit down and get something from Joe & The Juice at the airport.

Eventually the time came to get moving. We walked over to the Hertz rental desk and everything was prepared for the car rental. We booked a "Skoda Octavia with all-wheel-drive or comparable car" in advance and they had a Toyota RAV-4 automatic with all-wheel-drive available for us. Which was fine with us. Everything was organized perfect so we showed drivers licenses, added the second driver and insurance against broken windows and got the extended instructions on driving in Iceland. Keep the maximum speed, switch on the headlights and taillights when driving and make sure to arrange payment for the toll-tunnel on the Iceland ringroad beforehand because the rental company adds a serious fee when they get billed.

We walked with our luggage to the car. It had one feature that took a bit of getting used to: an automatic rear door which wanted to be opened and closed with button presses.

We had a room arranged for the first night in Keflavik in the Hotel NĂºpan Deluxe. It was easy to find in Keflavik and we checked ourselves in. We found a nice restaurant Kaffi Duus with a good view of the harbour of Keflavik.

In the evening we walked along the main street of Keflavik to get an idea of the place and see the options for getting something for breakfast the next morning. Temperatures were really lower than we were used to in the Netherlands so we made sure to wear extra layers!

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