One of the things about being super budget travelers (which we are) is that you sometimes find some very odd flights with interesting times/caveats to them. In order to get to London from Detroit for under $300 each, we had to have two layovers; one in Boston, Massachusetts (USA), and one in Reykjavik, Iceland. Oh, and each was 9.5 hours. Since we knew we didn’t need to be up and running right away, we decided to go for it.
Boston was great. The public transport made it easy (super easy) to get in, get around, and get back out. The weather was lovely and after some lunch, we decided to go on one of those hop-on, hop-off tours. Typically not our style, but when pressed for time, it was the perfect option (plus a Groupon and some deals from the organizer made it very affordable).
Old Ironsides, aka the USS Constitution
“Nevermore!” Edgar Allen Poe and a raven, appropriately.
The harbor area from our tour bus
So we wandered around Boston (mostly via bus, but Luke had his backpack and a computer bag, so it wasn’t all easy) and headed back to the airport around 6:30 for our 9:30 flight. Our flight from Detroit was at 10 a.m., but we were anxious and hadn’t slept much the night before, so we were fairly exhausted after our day in the city. Add to that a desire to try to get on English time and I’m sure you can see where this is headed.
Feeling bogged down with the backpack, we grabbed some jackets and our Kindles and checked the bag. Our thought was that we had done so well in Boston that Iceland could only be better, so why bother with the weight. We got a snack and got ready for our flight to Iceland!
Well, fast forward 5 hours and we had one of the bumpiest landings either of us has ever experienced. Even after the wheels touched down and we were sitting at the gate, the plane was still shaking from side to side. And there was rain, SO MUCH RAIN. It was 6:30 am Iceland time, and we were already exhausted. I had tried to book a trip to the Blue Lagoon, but the only entrance time was at 8 am, and we weren’t convinced we’d make it through immigration and customs in time to get the bus (but of course we did, so that was pretty disappointing). So, instead of a relaxing morning at a natural hot spring, we braved the cold (5°c!) and rain and hopped a bus into the city.
Leif Erikson and an ultra-modern church in Reykjavik
A view of Reykjavik from the top of the church
The first thing we came to was a huge church (Hallgrímskirkja). While neither terribly old nor ornate, it was certainly an interesting contrast to the more quaint buildings surrounding it. We ended up going up to the top (for about $9 each, but it would’ve been easy [if unethical] to avoid paying) and the view of the surrounding area was great. The wind, however, made it sound like there were sirens in the top of the tower and the rain and cold had us running back inside very quickly.
Cute Icelandic row houses
Toast! Delicious, but this meal cost us nearly $30 USD
We walked around a bit more and got some breakfast, but it was expensive, lacking in substance, and not that tasty (and super expensive). Overall, the jetlag and rain/wind drove us out of Iceland quickly. We went back to the airport, hunkered down by a heater, tried to dry off, and took a nap before our flight. Little did we know that would be the most sleep we’d be getting for the next 24 hours…