Sunday, June 19, 2011

Garður --> Berlin

Photos: (1) View of Keflavík from the plane; (2) The crater of Eyjafjallajökull volcano; (3) Grey ash on the glacier

I’m awake at 4am and my back is killing me from the hump between the seats that tortured my back all night. It’s beautiful weather in Garðaskagi, not a cloud in the sky. I have time for a short walk to the lighthouse. A French couple is awake and packing their tent. The man asks me if I have jumper cables for the car, since his car won’t start. Sorry I can’t help, but I ofer him my phone to call the rental company. If they come right away from Keflavík, they should still make their flight. I drive slowly to the airport since I have plenty of time. It's sad having to leave. It’s easy to find the spot to drop off the rental car and the guy drives me to the gate. The desk for Iceland Express is open and there are only 3-4 people in line. At security the guy wants to check my backpack. I ask him what he’s looking for and he says a bottle of water. No, I certainly don’t have any water - I fly a lot and know the rules! Later I realize he must have seen on the x-ray the plastic bottle filled with volcanic ash :-) But he couldn’t find it, and I had forgotten about it.

I check the display, and my flight is delayed an hour. Later I learn it was waiting for a connecting flight from the US. This is getting to be old news with Iceland Express. Delays seem to be more of the rule than the exception now and this one turns into nearly two hours. At least it’s better being stuck in Keflavík than in Berlin so I use the time to shop.

The flight finally leaves at 10:45. I had reserved a seat online and it’s indeed a throne! Last row window seat with no one next to me. I’m treated to a clear blue sky, tiny cotton clouds and an amazing view. I realize that I can identify every village, road, river and lake from above and feel a bit proud of knowing my favorite country so well. It’s interesting to see both recently erupted volcanoes from above. The glaciers are all grey with ash. This is certainly a highlight to end my trip. I’m not even bothered that there’s no skyrdrykkur on the plane.

I feel incredibly relaxed and clear after such a short time in Iceland. No other place on earth has this effect on me. I’m ready to face the world again, and I’ll be back to Iceland in just a few weeks.
Bless á meðan!