Day 1 & 2: Minneapolis > Reykjavik

We drove to the Minneapolis International Airport the morning of our departure.  The Icelandair flight FI656 was scheduled to depart for the Reykjavik Keflavik International Airport at 7:30pm.  Kyle and I lugged our meticulously packed luggage up to the kiosk and rejoiced when learning that each of our 4 bags fell under the allotted 50 pound maximum! After parting with our things, we embarked for our gate.  We knew we arrived in the right place when we reached a gate practically full of people decked out in hiking appeal. Airplane The plane was about two-thirds full and we were lucky enough to have our own aisle.  Since this was a red-eye, we both banked on stretching out and sleeping during the flight, however, neither of us got any sleep for 25 hours… Flight Route The northern lights danced outside our window while a baby cried, so our flight was sleepless.  Kyle and I anxiously waited for the approach of our destination since the remnants of hurricane Cristobal were whipping across Iceland. As scheduled, we started our descent into KEF airport at 6:30am.  The wind and rain lashed around our suspended airplane.  When we went to land, it appeared as though our plane’s wings were going to slice into the earth before our wheels hit the runway.  Luckily, we landed safely! Ready to disembark, we were told that we could not get out of our seats because the wind was blowing to hard and because of this we would not be able to get off the plane until the wind died down. IMG_20140831_123735 Two hours later, we were given the approval to disembark the plane.  Excited to finally be in Iceland! The small modern airport was packed with travelers waiting for delayed flights.  Kyle and I browsed through the duty-free store before heading out to the flybus for our ride to Reykjavik. The 45-minute bus ride took us through moss covered lava fields and small Icelandic towns.  When we reached the bus terminal in Reykjavik, we were ushered off the bus into the icy wind and rain, then put on a small van that shuttled us to the Villa Guesthouse. The villa guesthouse We arrived at the guesthouse at about 10am and dropped our luggage, which was seeming more obnoxious by the minute.   Since check-in was at 2pm, we had 4 hours to occupy our sleep deprived minds.   I was in desperate need of some food and caffeine, so we took the cleaning lady’s recommendation and set out to find the Sandholt Bakery.  The bakery was on Laugavegur, which was only about 2 blocks from our guesthouse. While on the quaint streets of Reykjavik, we quickly realized that our airplane attire was no match for the Icelandic cyclone we were currently walking in.  Soaking wet and uncharacteristically lost, we were asked by many friendly Icelanders if we needed help, which ultimately helped us find the cute and charming bakery.  Since it was packed, we shared a table with another couple and sat there trying not to fall asleep. Sandbolt Bakery At 2pm, we rushed up the hill to our guesthouse.  At check-in, the amazing landlord upgraded our room free of charge!  When we got to the room, we immediately crashed! IMG_20140831_182046532 Approximately 4 hours later, we rose from our slumber and decided to go out to explore.  The rain had passed, so we decided to walk down the Sun Voyager.  It seemed fitting to start our journey at this monument since it symbolizes the promise of undiscovered territories, which is what Iceland was for us. Sun Voyager The Sun Voyager On our way, we browsed quaint shops full of Icelandic wool and other treats.  As we approached the bay, we were absolutely amazed with the views. IMG_20140831_132103947 After gazing out over the bay, we decided to head up to Hallgrímskirkja, the famous church built to resemble volcanic basalt columns.  This building sits at the crest of a hill and stands beautifully against the Icelandic sky. Hallgrímskirkja Hallgrimskirkja At about 9pm, we ordered a pizza for take-out and headed back to our room.  On our bed, we hastily ate and drifted off to sleep among our warm Icelandic duvets and the pizza, dreaming of what tomorrow would bring. Hallgrímskirkja at Night

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