Sept.11, 2019 – We have arrived in Reykjavik, Iceland

The flight to Iceland was uneventful.

We are traveling with a small backpack, one large and one small suitcase, a hand carry, soft, zipper topped bag, and my wife is crying a small cross body purse.

Our luggage is made by Tumi, and black, of course. It is made of a woven ballistic material and it is soft and expandable. It is not inexpensive, but the last set we had lasted forever and we gave it away after twenty-five years of hard use. We have a newish set now. There is nothing worse than to have your luggage breaking on vacation, so always buy the best that you can afford.

We have arrived at the Hilton Nordica, after a drive through green hills and lots of flowers.

The highways here are modern by any standard. We are passing the Atlantic Ocean on our left and wide lava fields on our right side. They are covered in every fall color of moss you might imagine, and there are small, low bushes as well.

The hotel sits on a hill covered with many hotels, restaurants and shops. We can see the Atlantic Ocean from our room. Very nice. We are in a modern, busy city.

Let me say here that I live in a small-craft harbor at home. We live on the water and love the sights, sounds and most of the smells that reach us through our sliding glass doors that face our small patio and the water.

It is a little noisy here when the seagulls hatch every year. No, I’m not complaining, just stating a fact. We love having a chance to live on the water and never take it for granted.

We took a chance and bought this tiny place many years ago when we were too naive to understand how big a bite we were taking. We promised each other that we would do everything possible to stay here, but we kept our other little house just in case.

Thankfully after thirty-five years of living here we are debt free and can live the life THAT WE HAD PLANNED AND WORKED SO HARD FOR. No mistake here with the capital letters. IT WAS VERY DIFFICULT.

The point of those previous remarks is to say that we love the ocean and enjoy being as close to it as is safe, and that good planning is the answer to most issues.

We will be very close to the water on this adventure. Let me just say here that the ocean can be very unforgiving to those who travel upon it. Our ship is a small one and our lives are in the hands of the captain, his crew and nature. We understand that.

The food here has been very good and the hotel gets high marks from me as they have lox every morning. But there are plenty of other things here for everyone’s taste.

I love fish and am determined to eat as much of it as possible on this trip. My wife does not like fish and we seldom have it at home. When I say seldom, I mean never.

Tourism has now surpassed fishing as the number one industry in the country. There are 330,000 people living in Iceland.

There is a building boom going on here right now. The country has slowly recovered from the economic downturn that occurred in the past. There are cranes dotting the horizon in all directions. New housing and hotels are being built everywhere.

This is a land of contrasts. The ride here to the hotel showed us that. The countryside is full of rocky outcroppings everywhere that the lava has come to the surface. The rocks nearby us on the highway look like giant iguanas looking over their domain. Then, as we drive further, we can see flat grassy areas for farming with tall mountains standing at attention in the far distance. There are a few homes dotting the shoreline.

The terrain looks rugged and our guide mentioned that walking in the countryside over these lava fields can be dangerous as the ground may be thin and can collapse under your own weight.

By the way, I intend to eat carefully and try to loose a few pounds on this trip. I have lost around seven pounds on average over the last cruises that I have taken. I don’t snack and try to eat smaller portions than at home. We’ll see how that goes. Fruit will be my first choice for dessert.

It’s a little cold here.