This is the second part of a six part series on Photographing Iceland -- The next part will be published next week.
Day 0 – Short 1 hour flight to Dulles with a 5 hr (!) layover until check in, which was a breeze, since I got to use the Economy +/First Class line. 2 Days before my flight, I received email from Icelandair, inviting me to bid on an upgrade from Economy + to a Business Class seat. I put in a pretty outrageous lowball offer, which was accepted, to my surprise. After check in, I proceeded to the Air France lounge, where there was a pretty nice selection of small eats, as well as complimentary wine and beer. The time passed pleasantly and at 7:30 pm, local time, we took off for a 5 hr flight to Reykjavik.
Day 1 – Arrived Reykjavik at about 6 am local time. Surprise! No gates available. The airport is jam-packed with planes and we are diverted to a holding area, where we deplane down an old fashioned rolling gangway. Not an ideal situation, getting down with a heavy carry on bag and my Think Tank Shapeshifter, but manageable.
On the Blocks In Old Harbor
Click for an enlargement
First impression of the terminal is that it is a significantly bigger than I remember from 6 years ago. Customs was efficient and quick, in spite of a huge number of people arriving. Everything is much more spread out, but relatively compact by the standards of Hartsfield, O’Hare or Newark. There is a dearth of people movers, though.
The current master plan for development of Keflavik is for an ultimate capacity of 14 million per year – that’s eight times the current level of tourist visitation and more than twice the amount of the current throughput of 6.25 million passengers. This would seem to infer that the government is planning on at least a doubling of tourist volume over the next decade or two.
First order of business after customs is currency exchange – I get a couple hundred dollars worth of Icelandic krona as a backup. Iceland is nearly a 100% plastic economy, with essentially everything obtainable by credit card. I plan to use my credit cards whenever possible, as I will also get the best exchange rate this way.
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