A lifetime of dreaming, and four months of planning have finally come to an end. I am in Iceland – Reykjavik, specifically. Four days into my trip, I can say that the very little bit of the country that I’ve seen so far has already surpassed my expectations. I can’t wait to see what the next 10 days have in store for me on the trek.
But first, for you to appreciate how awesome it is to be here, I must begin with the story of my getting here.
I was scheduled to fly from Montréal to Reykjavik via Boston at 6:40 pm July 19th. With a brief layover on the Boston airport, I would have had a comfortable (not too short, not too long) hour and a half to change gates and await my flight to Reykjavik. I checked in early, and strolled through security and customs stress-free, leaving myself time for pre-travel coffee and journal writing before boarding.
However, questionable weather forecasts kept all planes grounded both at the Montréal and he Boston airport. Environment Canada predicted severe thunderstorms and, though the sun shone bright most of the afternoon, red alert after red alert created a chaos far worse than any I’ve ever seen, even compared to Christmas-time.
And though the sun was shining still at boarding time, not an agent was to be seen, and thus began a four-hour delay filled with gate changes, conflicting information, a missed connection, and multiple telephone calls to both airlines through which I was to fly.
Just past 10 pm, the clouds parted and the lightening stopped just long enough to be deemed safe for departure. Promised a hotel room and a rescheduled flight to Reykjavik, I was on my way, my travel spirit still unbroken.
Fast forward an hour and a half, I found myself in Boston without a hotel room. Due to flight complications coming from and going in all directions, everything was full. Armed with meal vouchers to feed me until my flight, and reassured that I was rescheduled on the earliest flight to Reykjavik the next day, I made the bench beside the terminal E Dunkin’ Donuts my bed for the night.
But the fun didn’t stop there. In the morning, after being forced to pay for my meals, as the vouchers I’d been given were expired, I was really beginning to feel skeptical of everyone and everything involved in getting me to Iceland. I paid a visit to the customer service desk of the airline to get my money back (which they refused), and double-confirm that I was on the flight. Not only was I not actually on the flight, but because I’d missed my connection the evening before, my returning flight back to Canada at the end of my trip was also cancelled. It took one hour to sort out.
Gladly, that was the end of my streak of bad travel luck, and 30 hours after I was originally scheduled to leave Montréal, I stepped off the plane in Reykjavik breathing in fresh northern air under the beautiful midnight sun. Awesome is being here.