I have a long running fear of flying. I don’t mind being on a plane. Yes, it can be long and boring, Yes, it can be cold and turbulent. But, none of those things especially bother me. The science of metal birds flying very high very fast is sound, I’m sure, but it’s still scary. For someone who really hates heights, I get on planes pretty willingly. However, what that convinced me flying might be more than ok was watching the sunrise from 30,000 feet. That in combination with seeing sparkling snow on an overnight flight and the Rocky Mountains from waaaayyy up made me realize that, for me, the best part of flying is the views.
This means that sitting in the middle of the middle row was kind of a bummer. And the guy who thought it would be cool to lean all the way back into my lap was not so cool. I managed to crane my neck over my shoulder to see the color schemes provided by the sunset, but sadly I was far too far away to admire it properly, let alone get a picture to post. All in all, a totally fine flight.
Once I landed in Keflavik I had to take a bus to Reykjavik. (Fun Fact! The Reykjavik International Airport is not actually in Reykjavik. The Reykjavik Domestic Airport is, though.) The bus from Keflavik is pleasant and the views of the bay are amazing. You can see Hallgrimskirkja—the tallest building in Iceland—from Keflavik as well as the all the colorful houses that Reykjavik is famous for. Once delivered to the bus station, I got to wait in the industrial part of Reykjavik for two hours! Yay!
The bus from Reykjavik to Akureyri was really cool. Going around about a third of the country on highway allowed me to quite a bit of what Iceland has to offer (spoilers: it’s mostly sheep).
If you want to get really technical, Iceland is divided into eight regions (I’m unclear if this is an official, political division of the country, like US states are, or if it’s more of a general thing, like saying “the Midwest” in America). On the bus ride(s) I passed through four of these regions. I may have actually passed through five, but I’m not sure. I started in the Southern Peninsula, in Keflavik. This is the smallest region. Next was the Capitol Region, where Reykjavik is. It doesn’t look any different from the Southern Peninsula. They are both pretty flat, rocky, and covered with moss or grass. There are mountains in the distance, though.
After leaving the Capitol Region, we drove through the Western Region which bears a slight resemblance to Big Sur—cliffs that fall right into the sea. Once you turn away from the ocean, though, it’s mainly steep hills and streams winding through them.
This is where it gets tricky. We miiiight have passed through the West Fjords, but if so it was brief and not at all distinctive.
The Northwestern Region was slightly higher elevation and full of sheep and Icelandic horses. It still had mountains and streams and rocks, of course.
By the time we were almost to the Northeastern Region—where Akureyri is—it was getting dark and I took a nap. I woke up when we were about an hour from Akueyri and essentially driving through a cloud. It was dark, misty and wet. I arrived in town just before 11 pm or 23.00, and the rest merits it’s own post.
By the way, it’s cold.