Cykelnerven Day -2 – Iceland


I can see this may be impossible to keep up with in real-time.

Quick Thoughts:

  • I did not go to the airport from Aiden’s baseball but went home instead and avoided a six-hour wait at the airport
  • IcelandAir had a relationship with AirFrance for their lounge but AirFrance in Terminal A was closed by 8:30 p.m. American Airlines (I have a pass) did not have a lounge.
  • The flight was smooth. They served dinner after midnight (did not eat) but no breakfast for a 9:00 a.m. arrival.
  • It was VERY windy on arrival.
  • If I had my bike to ride I wouldn’t have ridden in this wind. Very brutal.
  • Make a reservation to rent a car. Three hours waiting in lines.
  • The good stuff in Iceland was too far to drive to. Not in a literal sense but I was very tired and operating on 40 minutes of sleep.
  • It looks like a barren moonscape until you get to Reykjavik which itself is a pretty city.
  • The North Atlantic Ocean was very angry today.
  • Plan B Burger was perfect.
  • Hilton upgraded me to a King Suite on the 9th floor.
  • I’m tired. Very tired.
  • Sunset is at 11:34 pm
  • Sunrise is 3:17 am
  • Don’t try to see Iceland in half a day. If you have half a day stay at the airport. Rent a car then come back. Icelandair lets you extend your stay which makes sense if you want to see Iceland.
  • I can’t tell you what to do in Iceland but I can tell you what not to do.

First look at Iceland

A Boeing 737. We parked far from the terminal and at least two buses carried passengers to the terminal. Passport control was quick and easy. No line. The agent asked where I was going and how long I was staying. And quickly through.

The plane I came in on

Getting a rental car was difficult without a reservation. In the terminal, there was nothing. A woman at Europcar told me I could walk 10 minutes offsite and try over there. I sat down, made a reservation with Enterprise, and then looked for the lot. I saw Europcar and went in. No lines. The guy couldn’t find my reservation and I realized my mistake. Europcar and Enterprise are not the same company but they are both green. Nice guy and when I asked one thing to see he said, “Blue Lagoon.”

Inside the airport at Europcar

I went to Enterprise and waited. Long lines. Once I got a car I had no clue where I was going. My phone and Bluetooth weren’t syncing at first and I had a difficult time locating addresses. Apple Maps, Waze, and Google Maps all gave different directions to Blue Lagoon.

Just a rental car

I just decided to drive a little and then go to the hotel. This section of Iceland is the volcanic Reykjanes Peninsula. It is a barren moonscape with black sand and rocks and not much else. It was my impression of Iceland and I was so wrong.

Barren moonscape

The Blue Lagoon is a major tourist attraction. I never found it as I was uncertain if the road I was on was open or closed at a construction point. I turned around and was content to find any roadside pull-offs I could.

North Atlantic Ocean

I stopped at Brimketill lava rock pool on the North Atlantic Ocean. The ocean was very angry and crashing on the rocks. Every 60 seconds or so a large wave would crash and the spray would cover the walkway. I went for a photo op and got gobsmacked by one of them. It required holding onto my phone/camera with both hands.

Brimketill lava rock pool

I found a bridge between two continents. The western part of Iceland is in North America while the rest is in Europe. A divide runs through here where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet or separate. This one is more symbolic as the actual plates can be seen in Þingvellir National Park.

A real continental divide

The wind here was very strong and there was grit in the air from the black sand. People were unsteady walking on the sidewalk as the winds were so strong.

Bridge between two continents

And I found a geothermal spring. It appeared to be like Yellowstone but without buffalo. There was a boardwalk and steam was coming out of the ground. There was also a geothermal plant here. I don’t know enough without researching whether they produce electricity from the steam or capture hot water.

Thermal spring

I was driving to Rejkavik and was getting very tired. On the plane, I watched a video about driving in Iceland and it warned that because of the nearly 24-hour daylight, one may be getting tired while it’s still light out. Or perhaps you just arrived and had 40 minutes of sleep. That was me. I pulled off at a picnic table. I didn’t nap but closed my eyes for 60 seconds. It helped.

Plan B Burger Reykjavik

I arrived at the hotel and went through the parking lot. I saw a sign next door in a plaza for Plab B Burger. I went and got a burger meal (fries and drink – free refills!). It cost 3000 ISK or about $21.


Lodging was at the Hilton Reykjavik Nordica. It was a very nice hotel with excellent staff. At check-in I was upgraded to a King Suite on the top (9th floor) with access to the executive suite. It was nice sitting in the suite and drinking Pepsi Max which is an acceptable alternative to Coke Zero.

King suite, Hilton Hotel

Reykjavik is a pretty city with lots of green and buildings. It looks much like many European cities. I didn’t have time to explore.

U.S. Embassy

My impression of Iceland and its terrain was formed by driving on the volcanic peninsula getting from the airport to Reykjavik. But the rest of the country it out there to be explored. I probably won’t be back but I would love to – maybe for Northern Lights.

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