Wednesday, July 4, 2007

See Iceland in Two Hours! Only $1100!

[written June 30]

On 30 minutes' sleep, no less. I've never boarded an airplane from the tarmac. But then, I'd never been to 66 degrees north latitude, either. Iceland's airport seemed to be roughly the same size as Orlando-Sanford International, but lacked the gate tunnels that sanitize boarding a passenger jet. This meant two things, from my point of view.

First, I've actually been to Iceland, outside the airport, albeit only for 45 seconds or so. It's very cold there, about 45-50 degrees Fahrenheit. Amusingly, the locals were wearing shorts. I guess summertime is a relative thing. Second, I realized that I flew all the way across the Atlantic Ocean in what is essentially a large winged tin can with rockets hanging on the sides. It's a bit unsettling.

I have a skewed perception of Iceland, not only because of the duration of my visit, but also because I was there at 6am local time. Like most of Europe, the security personnel were not nearly as intimidating as our TSA screeners. In fact, their uniforms were a bit cartoonish and they seemed completely disinterested in looking at my bag. In general, the locals are good-looking people, mostly tall, fit, and fair-haired, but they seemed shy.

Reyjavik International has many large glass windows providing interesting views of the scenery, such as it is. There are mountains in the distance, but the terrain looked very barren, with little ground cover and no trees. Everything was brown and a bit depressing, even though it's summer.

All that said, I was running on 30 (poor) minutes' sleep when I saw the place, and my opinion should probably be taken with a grain of salt.

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