Monday, October 6, 2014

The Adventure Begins

First of all never EVER EVER go anywhere requiring 3 different flights on 3 different airplanes!! I never will again! NOT that I planned it that way. No, the original plan was to fly from Halifax to Heathrow which required 1 stopover in Iceland. A LONG stopover mind you.

But since I came home to London I couldn't fly out of Halifax and had to add a Toronto to Halifax flight. Oh my. So much waiting time what with also taking Robert Q from London to Toronto. But I survived and have learned many lessons about what to do and what NOT to do on my next adventure.

 I decided early on just to "embrace" whatever came along and try to maintain a sense of humour. The fact that I am sitting here typing this is testament to the fact that I succeeded...sort of. Happily I enjoy many solitary pursuits - crossword puzzles, reading, sudoku, listening to music, journalling so was able to keep myself busy during all the down time. In fact, it's really the only time I've enjoyed those pursuits since I retired. (I am 101 days into retirement now, I just noticed my counter today!!)

Just about to land in Halifax and I noticed this weather front moving in just as the sun was setting.

I had a suitcase issue once I collected my bag in Halifax - one of the wheels was broken in half and left black marks on the floor as I dragged it around! Oh poo! I  couldn't imagine having to drag a suitcase throughout my travels so I was forced to purchase a new one - I didn't need that $150 did I? Do you suppose the airlines and conveniently located luggage stores at the airports are in cahoots???
Here I am repacking into the new suitcase which has four wheels instead of two and travels easily in any direction - a cut above my two-wheeler I must admit. 

Ok, I am all repacked and my suitcase is checked - I have about a two hour wait so I went to a pub and had a lovely bowl of soup and a salad along with a cold refreshing amber ale :) So far I'm happy!

My next flight leaves at 10:10pm. I've been on the road since 8am and I'm only in Halifax! :(

Well, now I'm in Iceland and have lost three more hours. The terminal and concourse at Iceland's airport has won many awards over the years with its unique shops and good food.

I had two meals while I waited at Iceland airport for my next flight to Heathrow - yes, I was there THAT long. And I actually managed to sleep for a couple of hours while lounging on a bench. The above was a veggie omelet with whole grain toast that I had for breakfast - plus freshly squeezed orange juice. It only came to 1.980 krona, not bad eh? Sounded cheap to me! Of course I had to check my mastercard bill for the transversion - $18.82 Cdn!!! Yikes!

Later I had a tuna sandwich and a container of raw veggies (TRIED to eat healthy!) and that came to $19.72 Canadian! Oh must eat!!

Did you know that the "toilets" are called "Snyrtingar" in the Icelandic language?  I think I might adopt that term - "excuse me, I have to go to the snyrtingar"!! Snort!!

I amused myself by exploring the concourse...many times! There were many people lounging about on benches trying to get a bit of sleep. The above is the shape of the island of Iceland made up of many of the items that are for sale in the many shops. Below are a few closeups of what they have for sale...

Yes, most Icelandic people are blonde...and beautiful...but not identical lol!

There hasn't been a polar bear in Iceland since one swam there in the l980's but let's not quibble.

However there are 45,000 horses at least in Iceland, many roaming freely.

Those colourful domes are made out of sand dollars...and of course there are the inevitable bottles of alcohol :)


I'm guessing cinnamon buns but not sure about the other delicacy??

Iceland is home to MILLIONS of puffins...even LIVE ones!!

And of course what would Iceland be without its elven creatures?? I bought one just like the green fellow there in the middle - I thought he could hang out with us at Christmas!

 One of many artistic installations around the concourse.

 I really wish I could have seen more of the amazing landscape of Iceland besides that which I could see out of the windows!

More of the native artwork. 

Iceland airport is undergoing major construction so we were bused to our airplane. On the way I spotted the WOW airlines, which is a lower cost Icelandic airlines.

Then we were finally off - next stop Heathrow and the loss of another hour totalling a 5 hour time difference in all. I missed an entire night between Halifax and Iceland. Am I having fun yet?? Sorta :)

Dear Diary: its taking me longer than I thought to get re-oriented now that I'm home. I'm sure part of that is the head cold I'm suffering from. My sleep pattern is pretty much back to normal thanks to taking melatonin and calcium at bedtime. But I still feel kinda groggy and am having a hard time keeping myself awake til at least 10pm. A friend has wanted me to go hiking with her but I've had to say no. I need more recovery time. And I need to do some grooming - my hair needs cutting and I've totally given up shaving my legs recently...

Today will be devoted to losing a bunch of hair and then cleaning up after Luna and Lily. They are doing really well except for the fact that Luna won't leave Lily alone when she's in the litter box. I wonder how they will like the sound of the vacuum cleaner? So far today they've had their breakfast, chased each other around the one room they're allowed to be in about 1,000 times and are now having a nap. Tough life!

Kazi starts her new job today at "Garage".  She interviewed for a lower management position and she got it! I really hope it goes well as she needs to settle into a job for awhile so that she and Steve can get their own place.

Now I'm going to read some blogs, then read the Free Press then I'm going to get busy...maybe...YES!!


sluggy said...

Welcome home.

I have always wanted to go to Iceland since studying it in the 5th grade.
Next time you go to sure and go on a glacier hike and then to the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa to recover. And eat some Svið

(boiled sheep's head)......Mmmmm
Did you see any fairies while you were hanging out at the airport?

Jane said...

I find plane travel incredibly boring..I browse the stores in the terminals, I don't want to spend any longer than I have to sitting down. Last time I went to the UK I upgraded to a private lounge...worth every single dollar!
Jane x

Sonya Ann said...

I agree with you that you just have to roll with it when you travel. A man tried to commit suicide at the control center and set it on fire. It grounded 1500 flights. We left the next day late but we still took off. A positive attitude helps, oh and liquor.

Lena said...

Yikes, food is expensive there!! I remember when I first came to the US, I would constantly do a conversion into rubles and than cry (not even joking...). I couldn't make myself to use a debit card for more than a year because I constantly felt that we are gonna go broke if I do

Tania said...

Happy thoughts-- happy thoughts! They get us through some hard times. And ouch on your carriage. My carryon bag broke while we took a bus to NY, and boy, was I mad. But since I am my father's daughter, it was nothing a few clips, a piece of a hanger and a wood plank couldn't fix... until I got it to my dad for some proper fixing.

I <3 Puffins. Had a plush one when younger. Glad you had a fun trip!

Jerry E. Beuterbaugh said...

Surely this is a site well worth seeing.

Sharon said...

Glad you are back! Yep, being in an airport for layovers are a bummer.

Deb said...

Do they not offer direct Toronto to London, England flights at all? Just curious why the wacky route!

Jane Harrison said...

Yes, they do, but my original plan was to fly out of Halifax as I was living in PEI at the time. Then I moved back to London and had to add on the other leg from Toronto to Halifax. Now that I'm living fairly close to Toronto I won't have to go through that ordeal again!

Jane Harrison said...

Thinking of you today Sharon! I'm absolutely positive all will go according to plan.

Jane Harrison said...

You're funny :) I actually did bring a roll of duct tape which as we DIYers know can fix many a problem but I couldn't make a WHEEL out of it unfortunately!

Jane Harrison said...

I was warned that everything is expensive in Britain and it's true.

Jane Harrison said...

I heard about that when I was away - SCARY!! I did my best to drink all of the local craft beer in every village :)

Jane Harrison said...

I walked and walked and walked and walked.

Jane Harrison said...

No fairies, just elves ;)