My first day in Iceland began with my arrival at Keflavík Airport around 6:30 am Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). (I should add that it is not Daylight Savings Time, which is not needed when it’s light 24 hours a day.) In Los Angeles time, it was only 11:30 pm on the previous day. I knew that my sleep pattern would be massively disrupted if I tried to hit the sack at that point.
What I did was to go all over the place so I wouldn’t sleep until around 11 pm GMT. To that end, here is a partial listing of what I did on the first day:
- The first stop was the excellent information center of The Icelandic Travel Market at Bankastræti 2, where I picked up a 3-day Reykjavík Welcome Card and some local bus schedules.
- In 2001, I never got a chance to visit the original saga manuscripts; so I took care of that right away by stopping in at The Culture House.
- Then I walked over to the city’s famous hot dog stand: Bæjarins Beztu and got eina pylsur með öllu (what they call a hot dog with everything). Very tasty!
- Then it was off to the old port to book a Sea Adventures puffin tour by boat to the Isle of Lundey (“Puffin Island”) in Faxafloi Bay.
- I had some time to kill, so it was off to the Settlement Museum, also known as Reykjavík 871±2, where I saw the ruins of one of the original farmhouses from the 9th century A.D.
- I hung around the Old Harbor waiting for the puffin tour, which I loved.
- Next: Get a great fish dinner, using my Reykjavík Welcome card 10% discount at The Fish Company, where I dined on arctic char and other Icelandic fish delicacies. It was what my British friends would call “splashing out,” but it was worth every penny!
- That put me in the mood for GoEcco’s Haunted Walk of Reykjavik at 8:00 pm local time.
By the time the Haunted Walk ended around 10:30 pm, I was feeling a bit haunted myself; so I trudged back to the Guesthouse Odínn, ready to hit the sack.
I expected to have trouble dealing with the sun being up 24 hours on the longest day of the year, so I had purchased a sleep mask. All that did was make my head sweat, so I decided I would just deal with it. I laid it aside, never to pick it back up, and sank into a deep, dreamless sleep. I woke briefly around 3:00 am and saw the sun still up. Having warn myself out with all my running around, I had no trouble sinking back into sleep.