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Northern Lights in Iceland - Day 6: Homeward Bound

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November 19th, 2013
As with all trips, they quickly come to an end.  Yesterday, I mentioned to Richelle that it felt like we had been here both for a moment and yet again, it feels like we have been here for forever.  There's an ease to Reykjavik that I didn't seem to anticipate.  Then again, Reykjavik is a small city.  It shouldn't be that difficult to get around.  Being a small city, things opened late and closed early.  That part took some getting used to.  And it was something we didn't quite pick up on until the end.
I was happy to discover the free breakfast on Sunday wasn't a fluke.  Which was a nice surprise.  For me.  I did feel bad that Richelle and Danielle didn't get the same breakfast surprise.  But it was my last time to consume the creme biscuits and skyr yogurt, so I took full advantage of this moment.  I didn't know the food situation where we were going, so it was a carbo-loading time.
The three of us met downstairs at around 9a.  We had c…

Northern Lights in Iceland - Day 5: Two Forms of Whales...

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November 18th, 2013

After two days of heavy touring, we needed a day to ourselves.  Good thing we had already planned today to be a day to ourselves.  We thought we'd go for a breakfast out and about in the city.  What we hadn't planned for was that Reykjavik doesn't really come alive until later in the morning.  So much so that we couldn't find a place open for breakfast.  So we wandered for a while.  Then a little while longer.  We first thought about going back to C is for Cookie.  But we remembered another bakery around the corner.  We found that one.

Bernhoftsbakari was a bakery.  Not really a cafe.  So there wasn't much room for us to linger.  We all ended up with good treats, but I think we would have been more comfortable with C is for Cookie.  Whatever though, the food was still good.

The one thing we really hadn't done yet was shop.  There was a bit of shopping on Day 1, but we didn't really know what was ahead of us.  I always like doing the shopp…

Northern Lights in Iceland - Day 4: Now Where Did They Put Those Pesky Northern Lights??

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November 17th, 2013
Back when we started talking about going to Iceland, we had one thing on our list of things to do.  The Northern Lights.  So while planning, we had to figure out the best possible Northern Lights options.  It actually worked pretty well for us since the Northern Lights are best seen starting in September/October and running through April.  Even better, the lower-priced deals from Icelandair were around this time anyway, so...Win!!
The package we ended up purchasing with the airline was pretty swell.  It included the flight, hotel and two days of excursions.  Today's excursion was a Glacier Hike and a Northern Lights tour.  It is possible that we went with this package because of the Northern Lights (or maybe because it was relatively inexpensive, but you know...tomato/tomahto).  We had high expectations for the lights.  High expectations.  (Come on...you just know where this story is going...)
We were starting the day a little later than yesterday.  This was gr…

Northern Lights in Iceland - Day 3: Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls

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November 16th, 2013
The world always seems better after a great sleep.  And passing out into a heap after being awake for 36 hours or so will make for a great sleep.  The bed at the hotel was fine enough, but the truth is I could have slept on the floor and woken up completely refreshed.  It was a new day and we were going to see everything.
I've gone on the record many times about my two expectations for staying in hotels.  Free WiFi.  Free Breakfast.  Because of this package deal, we didn't have much of a choice on hotels.  So I was delighted to see we had free WiFi.  Free breakfast...not so much.  Unfortunately, our hotel was just far enough outside of the city center that we couldn't run for a quick bite and return before our tour took off, which meant we were paying for breakfast.  
The breakfast cost 2500 ISK ($20 USD) for a really great spread.  Meats and cheeses, oatmeal with toppings, fruit, breads (the bread here...Jesus), eggs and sausage and potatoes and cereal…

Northern Lights in Iceland - Day 2: Wandering Around in a Haze

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November 15th, 2013
There's that moment when I land into a foreign country where I become slightly paralized.  I think of this trip non stop for weeks.  Months, even.  I have your ideas of how the trip is going to go.  How the country will feel.  How I'm going to manage.  And the reality is now on the other side of the jetway.  I always think I could stay on the flight just a little bit longer.  Those fantasies of the trip will be destroyed in an instant, replaced by reality.
The bright side of this flight was that we didn't have to worry about lost luggage.  We hoisted our carry on off of the plane and went along our merry way through the airport.  Keflavik Airport was beautiful.  We walked through the terminal into Duty Free Shopping nirvana.  Mental notes were taken and we figured out how to get out of the airport.  First stop was handing over our passport to the...not so happy guy manning the customs and immigration line.  He wasn't mean.  Just disinterested.  But…