Friday, August 19, 2016

Iceland; another land of midnight sun

Studying geography at university, Iceland was an oft cited case study of hydrology, glaciology, geomorphology and other now forgotten ~ologies. Our first long haul flight since the arrival of Ailie we thought to jump off in Reykjavik for a couple of days to taste the fish and geothermal waters.

Never strong planners, we did pull together accommodation before leaving, booking an airbnb a couple of miles from downtown.  Everything else we figured out as we needed it; airport transport, baby sleeping spots, activities.

The three of us look quite the carnival. When we pack the truck in the states for an adventure there is an average of 10 wheels accompanying us. Wheelchair, third-wheel, hand bike, baby trailer for pulling baby and my bike. Always we focus on going light, wanting to move easily and unobtrusively through terminals, terrain and towns, able to enjoy being as unburdened as possible when it comes to pushing, peddling and rolling.

For this trip we added a stroller to the mix, thinking that we could put more walking miles in and use public transport. With plans for driving while is Scotland we took the stroller base and carseat for the baby nomad, with Mike and I each carrying a duffle. 

Only having a couple of days we focused our time not on big adventures or epic miles or logistically intensive plans but on walking through the Reykjavik area and the famous Icelandic swimming pools.

We visited Sundlaug and Vesturbaejarlaug pools, opting for a more low-key local experience of the famous Blue Lagoon. The pools are more utilitarian like than the atmospheric, spa style Blue Lagoon, but perfect for us. The lack of tourists gave us the full experience, it's funny trying to navigate a country and culture where you speak one word of the language and cant pronounce a single destination. The pool culture in Iceland is pretty strict with an expectation of enthusiastic naked showering before entering the low chlorine pools and then drying off in the shower room before re-entering the dressing room.

Accessibility was overall really good. Instead of the standard 'Flybus' option from the airport to Reykjavik City we chose the local cheap bus. Again the language barrier meant that we didn't really know the details and while a good price (I think around 1/3 of the Flybus price) this route involves changing from the airport bus to a local city bus 1/2 way through.  The local buses where all equipped with a wheelchair ramp, but the airport bus was the old "bum-up-the-stairs-with-wife-carrying-legs."

The biggest surprise of the trip? Red peppers costing $10 a piece. With so much important things are not cheap. Iceland is a perfect for travel with babies. With only 300,000 souls it's tiny; crime is pretty nonexistent, the living standard is high. We packed puffy clothes and rain gear, knowing that the weather can be cold and wet. It was cooler and windier than Colorado and we used the puffy layers but got lucky with the rain.

The highlight of the trip? The geothermal hot pools, and the meal of fresh smoked salmon, bread and cheese.

1 comment:

  1. Such a neat experience! I would love to hear more about what you learned about geography!