Iceland Day 1: Jet lagged

After flying out of Boston late on Wednesday night, our 5.5 hour flight landed at KEF at around 0700 Iceland time. It was pretty chilly when we stepped out of the airport terminal:

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Then we headed to Touring Cars Iceland (they picked us up at KEF) and rented out motor home. The process was pretty straightforward, and after watching a video of how to use the motor home (including a smiling couple emptying the poop container), we had an actual intro and walk through of the camper. This whole process, while straightforward, took a couple of hours, as there were two other groups renting at the same time as us. The bottom line, is that when traveling to Iceland from Maine, even though the flight isn’t that long, the first half day is mainly about travel and getting set up with a rental car and provisioning with food.

Eva and I then went to Reykjavik for a short walk. Of course, we had to see, at the end of Skólavörðustígur street and in front of Hallgrímskirkja church:

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the statue of Leifur Eiríksson

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and then, after a short walk, we had lunch and headed out of town along the south coast. The wind was rather fierce on this first day, and coupled with severe jet lag, I had a difficult time staying awake while driving east. Eva smartly fell asleep and woke up as we approached the waterfall Seljalandsfoss. Here’s Eva in front of the falls:

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Okay, notice the rainbow? My USM physics students should note that the general brightness inside the bow is greater than outside. Remember why? If not, we’ll derive all of the physics of a rainbow next semester in Physics 375 :-).

It’s cold this first day, but it was the wind that was most challenging. Eva returned to the camper, and I climbed off trail to the top of a cliff for another view of the falls that most people here do not see:

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I was going to continue upward, but the wind was so strong that a scramble up the couloir to the top was not so safe. However, climbing up to this point made it obvious that there was a very nice little peak just waiting to be climbed. When I returned to the camper, I dropped the hint that the next day, we could try to hike over to the base and climb the ridge to the summit.

Do to the wind and the setting sun, we camped in a far parking lot pointing our camper into the wind, and used informative signs as a wind break. It was a rough windy night.