Arriving in Reykjavik

Added 23 May 2014

We enjoyed our quickest run ever to Heathrow from Kent. Whether it was lucky timing or the new 4-lane section being open we don’t know, but we arrived early and even had time for a coffee before the Icelandair crew opened up for check-in. Our guests started to arrive early too. Check-in went very smoothly despite two large school groups. At one point we wondered if there would be sufficient seats on the aircraft for everyone in the check-in queue. However we then realised that more than half of the people in the queue were parents waving the children off! The Icelandair staff coped well considering the chaos. The American TV and film actor Stanley Tucci also checked in to our flight. Icelandair have regular routes from London via Reykjavik to New York so we guess he was on the way home.

We took off late from Heathrow but made up some time on route. Landing at Reykjavik International Airport we cleared immigration and headed to the luggage carousels. Next to the baggage hall is a huge duty free shop. The idea is you buy as you arrive! Unfortunately two suitcases do not arrive. Icelandair trace them to Heathrow. Somehow they missed the flight but they will be flown in late this evening.

It takes us around 45 minutes to drive from the airport into the city centre. We are staying at the new Marina Hotel which is situated near the Marina. You knew that was coming, didn’t you? To one side of the hotel are some city centre buildings. To the other side is a working ship yard. Two ships are in dry dock being painted. To both sides of the hotel are the quayside – one of which will be used by our ship, the FRAM on Sunday.

As we arrive at the hotel the normal approach road is blocked by road works. Our coach driver goes around the block and tries from the other side. One the corner there is a large concrete flower pot which prevents his access. We have to drive into a port and turn around. In the port there is a fork lift truck that gets in the way. Will we ever arrive? Eventually we do. The Marina Hotel is buzzing! It is popular with locals and happy hour and a Friday! It is fun too. We settle in and enjoy dinner at the hotel’s Slippbarinn Restaurant. Richard and Dawn foolishly ask if anyone would like a glass of wine or two to celebrate our arrival in Iceland? 25 bottles later we have had a wonderful evening! And why not, this is a Furlongs tour!