Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

Too Many Buses

Neither Lisa nor I nor Kuma Bear like long bus trips. We conceivably could have avoided the long bus ride to the airport by taking the now-reinstated Enterprise train back to Dublin yesterday, then a short bus ride to an airport hotel, but that would have meant throwing away our day of Belfast tourism yesterday. (We got a like back from Vicki Pipe, which makes us happy.) And the bus ride from Keflavik Airport was unavoidable.

I was up at 4:30 AM so that we would be able to get out of the hotel by 6:30 for our 6:45 AM bus to Dublin Airport. The Europa Bus Centre is just across the street from the Holiday Inn, and we got our final packing done faster than I expected, so we had time to wait.

Bus Bear

The bus ended up only half-full, so Kuma Bear got his own seat.

Bound for Dublin

It was a misty morning in Ireland, and I fell asleep several times on the trip to the airport, which is unusual for me on buses.

At Dublin Airport, we were once again very early for our flight, which gave us plenty of time to make our complicated way through Terrorization and on to the airport lounge to which we were entitled by our Saga class upgrade. The flight was running slightly late. When we got to the gate, the inbound equipment was only just arriving. Then issues with boarding several people who needed special assistance (no jetway, stairs only) slowed us down more, but eventually we got going.

Bag Bear

Kuma Bear had to hide in the book bag.

First Class Bear

But soon enough he had his space in Saga Class between Lisa and me.

Lunch on Icelandair

And he had a look at a nice fish lunch served up front. This was nice shrimp, salmon, and herring with a dill sauce.

Welcome to Iceland

The flight to Iceland was only two hours long, and was one of the most comfortable ones I've ever had.

Arriving at Keflavik, we had to board another bus for the 50 km drive to Reykjavik. Both Lisa and I think that Iceland has missed a trick not trying to build an electrically-driven high-speed-rail connection from KEF to Reykjavik, power it with the country's vast reserves of electricity and financing it by all of the fossil fuel they won't have to import to run the large fleets of buses that run between the airport and the city.

View from the City Center

After what seemed an eternity, we got to Reykjavik, where we transferred to a smaller bus to take us slightly closer to our hotel, the City Centre Hotel. It's much more conveniently located than the Hotel Leifur Eiriksson at which we stayed last time we were here. The first room they gave us didn't have a bathtub, and Lisa really wanted a tub, not a shower. They hunted around and offered the room from which the picture above was taken. It's a nominal downgrade, but rather than working out a refund (we'd already been charged roughly $900 for three nights), they offered to throw in breakfast for the three days we're here, and that's a net upgrade. The room has a mini-fridge and nine storage drawers. We really wish we'd had a room like this in Dublin.

Lisa is not feeling well at all. She worked so hard in Dublin and got so little sleep that she was dehydrated and run-down and susceptible to whatever might come along. She's been hacking and coughing for days now. I don't think it's a cold, but something allergic. Ireland is beautiful and green, but it's too much like Oregon for Lisa, where she always had terrible allergies. By the time we reached Iceland, her nose was red and raw. After we got to the hotel and got moved in, we found a nearby drugstore, got her some cough drops, overnight cough medicine that should help her sleep, and a big bag of super-soft tissues.

Lisa also found herself short one European connector. Rather than go buy another plug adaptor, she had us go to the hardware store we shopped at last time we were here and where we were going to go anyway because they sell heavy work gloves not made in China and that don't wear out like the cheap gloves I can buy at home. Besides the gloves, Lisa bought a European power plug. We also picked up some groceries from Bonus (an Icelandic grocery store chain) and went back to the hotel. Lisa then disconnected the UK-style connector from the cord she needed and wired in the European connector.

With equipment rewired, Lisa took a long bath, then (after taking a dose of cough medicine) went to bed. We hope that a good night's sleep, cough medicine, and some of the best water in the world may make her feel better tomorrow.

Finally, we got some excellent news for our trip home: our bid for the Saga class upgrade on the last leg has been accepted, and so we'll have a far more comfortable ride back to California on Friday.
Tags: iceland, kuma bear, lisa, travel
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