Day 2

Waking up on another planet, not really but figuratively.

Day 2

Awaking in Iceland

Waking up in Iceland after a short night of sleep (from 01:30 - 08:00) turned out to be easier than expected, at least in the moment of waking up. Later in the day I would come to seriously reconsider this thought.

The first thing that dawned on me was that my surroundings were way different than I had expected, despite knowing what location I was in. To clarify what I mean, the expected part was waking up in a building that looked identical to the 5 or so buildings left and right of it. This stems from the fact that a part of the former Naval Air Station Keflavik (later on just being called Keflavik Airport) was adapted for civilian development after not being used by the USA or NATO anymore. Today this part (which by some hotel and airport staff is still referred to as "the base") has been taken over by housing projects, hotels and businesses.

What was unexpected was the fact that the geological makeup of my surroundings was somewhat different. To give an example, the area outside my hotel window that I normally would describe as a lawn between several buildings was just patches of grass within a field of (for lack of a better description) volcanic looking field of small rocks.

Rental car

The second difference became clear when I got to the pickup and return lot of the rental car company. The striking feature about the place, and in fact the whole surrounding was that, left and right from the street black gravelled areas that were used for parking cars, trucks and other machinery.

And by black I mean, picture a freshly tarraed ashphalt road but forget the smooth surface and only take the color to imagine an area covered in dust and gravel.

In this surrounding I got presented with my travel companion for the next two weeks, a 4WD Dacia Duster, exactly what I had booked. Let's see what the experience will be, driving an eastern european made car with nearly 120.000 km for approximately another 3.000 km on varying road conditions.

The car makes a solid impression, both from the outside and the interior. Only the wheels look like they have been pulled out of the next dumpster but I guess that is to be expected when you travel through a country in which sand and ash insurance is a part of the big insurance package that is mentioned separately.

Looking back on picking up the car, I've never before been told by a disclosure form to hold on to the door in windy conditions because a storm gust might rip it out of your grasp and destroy the hinges. Considering that for every rule and form there must have been a reason and occasion, I do hope that I won't find myself in such conditions.

The other funny point on the disclosure form should be known to anybody driving anywhere near farms which is along the line of, don't park too close to any fence where you can see or expect animaly to roam freely. It might not end well for the side of your car. In the case of Iceland tha warning is that horses or sheep might start nibbling at your door handles.

Off to Reykavik

After the necessary red tape and taking the wheel of "my" car, I am off towards Reykjavik. If it weren't for the patches of grass in between, the paved road I am driving on and the regular 1G earth gravity, looking inland, you could sell the view for something between Mars (a little less red) and the Moon (quite a bit darker though). Granted, the other bit giveaway of still being on earth was the view of the north Atlantic on the other side of the road.

As I want to get on as fast as possible towards Reykjavik and all travel guides assuring me, that this part is about average for Iceland standards, there are no fotos of this stretch of the journey.