Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Iceland & Sweden - Day 1 - Travel Day

Travel days = the best days!! ✈️✈️

I've been completely packed for this trip for like 4 days. I mean suitcase zipped kind of packed. It's a new record. I'm usually packing and re-packing and stuffing more in up until the minute I leave for be airport! But I had a free weekend, made some progress, and actually feel surprisingly prepared for this trip! I like it. I think I'll keep this up. 

I have some pretty cool roommates who helped me out with chauffeur services this morning: one took me to work at 6:46am and one picked me up at my office and drove me to the airport at 10. (Bags were in the car last night. So on it! It's only taken me 7 years of international travel to get it down...)

(Borrowed the north face puffy from a girl at work. And the purple sorel boots were not about to fit in any carry on size bag. So I'll be spending a lot of time in them this week!)

Flight from kc to Denver was on time, and I lucked out and got the whole row to myself. Perk of flying on a Wednesday afternoon I guess. Now here's hoping I have the same kind of luck for the next 8 hour flight from Denver to Iceland!


                                                Aaallll spread out :)

Slept on and off during the flight. As soon as I got off the plane, I started this vacation off right with a pretty unhealthy sandwich for lunch:


- make that two sandwiches. One for lunch and one for dinner in case the airplane food isnt edible. Had to even that grease out with a healthy green Jamba Juice smoothie (Seriously, when is kc going to get a jamba?!)


I thought I might have to exit the airport and re-check in for this international flight, but I was able to check in online today and they sent met boarding pass, so all I had to do was hop on the tram to the next terminal and find my gate. Which took all of 5 minutes. 

For some reason the excitement really hit me as I was bouncing around on that tram tide. No idea why, but I just got giddy with the thought of falling asleep on a plane and waking up in a foreign country. Another world. A new place to explore. Endless adventures. Oh it's just my absolute favorite thing!! Like, ever. I mean I bet what I feel when I walk off an airplane somewhere new is what it feels like to be high or on drugs, haha. I'll have to imagine because I've never tried it, but for real. It's addicting and intoxicating. :)

Anyways, that started to wear off as I sat at my gate and waited.  For three hours. Ugh. 

Sent some last texts and emails, and got my Couchsurfing airport ride squared away for Reykjavik.

Yea. I'm Couchsurfing again. And it's going to be fun! So many haters out there about couchsurfing. ;) I can't even count how many lectures I've gotten about it this time around. This pic is worth sharing. My moms reaction when I told her I was sleeping on random guys' couches in Europe:  

Speechless. She just say there shaking her head for a good minute or two. Cracks me up every time I see it. Poor mom. I'm going to give her a stroke one of these days...  But people, couchsurfing is great and it's different in Europe!  Less creeps, more awesome, kind, generous people!

In fact, I found a nice guy, Mundi, that lives near the airport in Keflavik and is going to let me sleep at his place for a few hours before heading to the Blue Lagoon. I land at 6:30am and it doesn't open until 10am. Plus I'm sure I'll be tired. Or I should be tired anyways. I'll probably be wired and ready to go though! 

So he's going to meet me at a coffee shop just outside customs at the airport, take me to his house, let me sleep, and then take me to the blue lagoon. It's close to the airport in Keflavik, but about 45 minutes from Reykjavik, the big city/capital. Plans are kind of up in the air after that, but sometimes it's easier to just figure things out as you go. :) Golden Circle is a must, would love to see a glacier, maybe find a good hike or a waterfall and I'll be happy. 

I have Couchsurfing options and hostel options and tour company options, so it's all good. 

Will be in Iceland all day Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, then taking off to Sweden. I mean, I'm already half way to mainland Europe, so I might as well go, right?!

Flying in yo Stockholm then catching a small plane up to a little town called Kiruna, the northernmost airport in Sweden. (Have more couchsurfers lined up there: Tommy and Patrik)  I've heard if you're in that town during winter for four days, you have an 80% chance of seeing the northern lights. Which is the real reason for this whole trip!! Praying for some cloudless nights and magic in the sky!

Sweden - and maybe Norway? - who knows - all day Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Flying back to Stockholm Thursday morning, long layover, then back to Iceland, Denver, and KC that night. Going to be one long day. 

So there's the plan for the week! I have an international phone plan with unlimited text messaging, so I should be able to semi stay in touch. But you never know. Posts on here (besides a few sentences I can text) will require wifi. I can usually find that though :)

Anyways, back to the airport. Three hours is a long time to sit and wait. Thank goodness for my Lonely Planey Iceland book and Spotify!


And the waiting continued... They made an announcement around 3:45 (plane still wasn't there) that there were "technical difficulties" and it would be at least 45 minutes delayed. I love hearing about tech problems with the plane I'm about to get on to fly 8 hours over the ocean. Thanks for that peace of mind. ;)

The plane - with a fixed hydraulic something leak - finally pulled up to the gate at 5pm. 45 minutes after the scheduled departure. 

Thank you for not being a small, loud prop plane like my last five flights have been on..

Boarding always takes forever on international flights, and this one was no exception. Lots of people, lots of bags, big plane, passport checks...people who have no idea what they're doing!

I didn't mess with asking to move my seat to one with no one next to me. A move I regretted as I was sandwiched in next to two guys from Germany. Pretty sure it was a full flight anyways. 

Oh well. I'm putting the head phones in, just popped a benadryl, and will hopefully be out soon!! Got my boots off and a pillow next to the window. 8 hours is nothing. :)

Here's hoping for my ride to actually show up in Iceland, and some non-rainy weather!! 

Iceland here I come (two hours late...)!!


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