Iceland Day 1 – 05/16/2023

Iceland Day 1 05/16/2023 Photo Albums

As an avid fly fisherman for the last forty years, I devoured a lot of literature about destinations, and Iceland has always been an intriguing place for me. Fast forward to the Fly Fishing Show in Denver in early February, and I attended a presentation by Matti of Iceland Fishing Guides. Matti’s talk excited me tremendously, and I decided at that moment that I wanted to visit Iceland in 2023. When I returned home, I announced my decision to Jane, and she expressed an interest in accompanying me, although she does not fly fish. I sent a text message to Matti, and Jane and I met him for coffee at the Gaylord Resort on Saturday to ask additional questions about activities for Jane for the four days that I planned to fly fish. Ultimately Jane and I decided to invite our daughter, Amy, to join us; and Amy readily agreed. This provided Jane with a compatible traveling companion for the entire trip, but most importantly for the four days that I was committed to fish with Iceland Fishing Guides.

Once we settled on the three person traveling party, Matti’s team put together an itinerary, and after a few tweaks, the trip plan was finalized. We were scheduled to fly to Reykjavik, rent a car and drive the southern and eastern ring, while sightseeing along the way, before arrival at the Myrarkvisl lodge for fly fishing.

On Monday, May 15, 2023 the plan became a reality; as Jane, Amy and I arrived at Denver International Airport. We hopped on our Jet Blue flight in Denver and landed at Logan International Airport in Boston on time and without a hitch. We endured a four hour layover in Boston before boarding the Icelandic Air flight at 6:30PM for Reykjavik. Dinner consisted of Asian fast food in the international terminal. Amy, Jane and I occupied the three middle seats on our transatlantic four hour flight. I attempted to sleep in an awkward upright position and possibly logged an hour of rest.

Upon our arrival at Keflavik Airport, we passed through customs without a glitch. My decision to rely on Iceland Fishing Guide equipment and flies helped expedite the customs process. There was a problem with the baggage carousel, so we waited an inordinate amount of time in our grumpy, hungry state.

Waiting for Breakfast Upon Arrival

Finally the bags arrived, and we proceeded to the Europcar counter, where we obtained our Mitsubishi Outlander (Mitsy) for our time in Iceland. I took my phone off airport mode and absorbed the $10 daily pass charge for international usage, so we could navigate from the airport to downtown Reykjavik. Using the Lonely Planet guidebook we selected the Kaffivagnimm Restaurant in the Old Harbor area for our breakfast destination, and Amy completed the 45 minute drive.

A Euro summit was in progress in the downtown area, but the restaurant was outside the security zone, so we had no trouble finding a parking space. The restaurant did not open for food until 8AM, but we entered and found a table and sipped coffees and tea for twenty minutes. The counter man took our orders of breakfast plates, and shortly after eight o’clock our meals arrived. The other patrons of the “oldest restaurant in Reykjavik” were crusty, old retired men (like me). Also, ironically while we ate our breakfasts, the three gentlemen who were seated behind us on the flight from Boston, arrived. What were the chances?

Downtown Reykjavik

After breakfast we returned to the Outlander and drove to a parking lot near the center of the city. Our parking was constrained somewhat by the barricaded streets caused by the summit conference. The signs in the parking lot were in Icelandic, so we also had reservations about the meaning, but Amy and Jane worked out payments, and we were never ticketed. We spent the next hour strolling the quaint streets of Reykjavik. The capital has a very small town feel with very neat and brightly colored buildings and a very Scandinavian look.

Seljalandfoss 2

The Iceland Wellers

After roaming the downtown area, we returned to the car and drove to Seljalandfoss waterfalls. This trip took us along the southern coast littered with small farms, sheep, and Icelandic horses. The waterfalls was amazing, and there were a series of smaller falls farther north on the trail. Jane, Amy and I hiked behind the falls, and in the process absorbed a bit of water, but the dampness was justified by the unique experience. Once again we encountered the three seat mates from our flight, as they were likewise visiting the waterfalls.

Spring Flowers in the Creek Below the Falls

Our next and final stop on Tuesday was the Hotel Kria. We checked in early and took two hour naps, before heading to The Soup Company in Vik for a splendid meal of homemade bread, Icelandic lamb soup, and topped off with a shared slice of caramel apple pie.