Traveling to Iceland


          Getting to Iceland from North Carolina is surprisingly easy. My home airport is Raleigh-Durham (RDU). I leave the house 3 hours before flight time, leaving my tons of time to get to the airport, checkin and settle in for my trip. The drive is about 75 minutes and parking is easy. I book on JetBlue and Icelandair as they have partnered together and it really makes the day easy. I check into JetBlue with my passport and ask that my check in luggage be transferred directly to the Keflavik airport (KEF). Boom...done. TSA and security at RDU is professional and efficient. I do have Global Entry so usually I get pre-check, enabling me to fly through the check point. See what I did there with the fly comment...

          First stop on the other side is 5 Guys for a Bacon Cheeseburger and Fries. The fun part about an airport is no one knows what time zone you're in so burgers at 7 am is perfect. Then off to the gate to start reading whatever book I downloaded into my Kindle app. I love books, the physical book, but, when I travel, there is nothing easier than having a few books on your smartphone or tablet. I try to book a window seat when I book my flight, something toward the front of the plane.  Just my personal preference. 

Less than 2 hours later, I'm in Boston-Logan airport (BOS). Clean and modern, I make my way to the E terminal, International departures. It's a 10 minute stroll from the C terminal, where I usually arrive into. Along the left wall are placards of great things that have happened in Boston and Massachusetts. For some reason these are not in chronological order and it kinda drives me nuts. They might be arranged with some sort of method but I've yet to figure it out. 

          The seating in the International departure lounge has receptacles and USB charging ports just about everywhere.  I settle in, charge up batteries and people watch. I like to be early at an airport. I'm very clock conscious and being "late" would stress me out and ruin my day.  I never mind waiting in an airport (usually). 

After a bit, it's time for Legal Seafood and a big ole' mug of Clam Chowder. I'm back at the gate with about an hour to spare and get ready to board. One more passport check and the plane is boarded. A totally harmless process. A bottle of Icelandair water is provided on boarding and I use it to wash down a few Alieve for the flight.  What is really cool is that if you want more water on the flight they will refill your bottle. I appreciate the concerns about the environment. Traditionally, I prebook a Ham n' Cheese baguette with an Applsin, Iceland's super delicious orange soda. I try to close my eyes, but that never works out. The flight usually departs from Boston at 5-515pm and it's just not my nap time.  A  4 1/2 to 5 hour flight and boom...you're in Iceland! Easy.

          So, there is always a flip side. Even simply traveling to Iceland has an issue. Flights from Boston arrive at 6-6:30 am. Customs and Immigration are super efficient and FlyBus will take you to your hotel in Reykjavík. You take a big clean and comfortable coach through lava fields and arrive at a central terminal to take shuttle vans to your hotel.  You'll find yourself at your hotel by 8am with a checkin time off 2pm, and you've been awake for  over 24 hours at this point. Groan, so I have my pattern that seems to make the arriving at the early hour a bit easier. Hit the lobby restroom, clean up, and if it's winter add a layer or 2, check your luggage with the front desk until your room is ready.  I like to go on walk about, although occasionally I'll find a couch or comfy chair off in the back of the lobby and nap for an hour or 2. Typically I head toward Tjörnin, the lake in the center of Reykjavík, with a 45 minute stroll around the lake, or to Sulfar, the Sunvoyager sculpture, located by the Harpa on Sæbraut, route 41. on the shore of the North Atlantic, overlooked by Mount Esja. Ali Baba, just off the skatepark in the center of town (Ingólfstorg, 101 Reykjavík) for a Chicken Shawarma and French Fry wrap and I'm ready to check in. 

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