The Iceland Stopover

An Iceland overnight stopover… not much time to get to know the country, but enough time to figure out how things “work” in this country. The primary impression the island makes is of mostly cloudy skies all day long – upwards of twenty or more hours of “daylight” during the summer months (I am very thankful for the shade and curtain in my hotel room that kept the daylight out!), but not much sun.

Figuring out how to purchase a bus ticket and where to catch the bus to take over to Keflavik/Reykjanesbær from the airport were not easy, but thanks to live bus tracking on the straeto.is website I knew that/when a bus was approaching and kept an eye out for the #55. Dinner was at Kaffi Duus (very close to my hotel), a lovely mixed seafood and vegetable grill (including a tiny Icelandic lobster tail) that was accompanied by a mandatory Icelandic lager… typical unpretentious flavor of grains and light bitterness, but easy to drink.

gull

The trip back to the airport the following morning was quick; the driver of the courtesy hotel shuttle turned out to be a young German girl who was studying Icelandic (a difficult looking language, despite many visual cognates) while working at the hotel, and we had a pleasant conversation during the brief ride. Having been mistakenly told that multiple bus tickets would be necessary for the #55 to Keflavik/Reykjanesbær, I went back to the little airport grocery store where I had bought five tickets to see if I could return the four unused tickets; having kept the receipt (word to the wise), I was rewarded with a refund in the local currency which I turned into a cup of hot water and a pair of souvenirs tucked away in the suitcase.

birch whisky

They were purchased after the airport security check, so I am assuming that they do not need to be placed in my liquids bag (which is full anyway) and will make the trip back to the US without being seized. I did not have an opportunity to sample either of these distilled spirits before purchasing them, so I am crossing fingers that at least one of them will turn out to be palatable enough – I am quite confident that they will not taste like any single malt whisky that I have had before! We’ll see….

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