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Tag Archives: Icelandic Airlines

This was going to be another long day. We had the morning in Trondheim we then took a train to the airport. We flew from Trondheim to Keflavik, Iceland then caught a connecting flight home. This was followed by a three hour shuttle ride to Duluth, Minnesota.

In the morning we had some time to walk around. This is a trendy area of restaurants and apartments on the waterfront near the Scandic Nidelven hotel. The Norwegians are a hardy bunch and since it was spring they were going to dine outside regardless of the weather. Most of the restaurants had heaters outside and provided blankets and skins to the customers so they can stay warm.

We found this on a bench in a waterfront neighborhood. No idea what was going on.

One thing I really liked about Scandinavia is how pedestrian friendly it is. When we wanted to cross a street and punched the button to cross the lights almost always turned. The exceptions were very busy intersections. I loved pushing the buttons.

Around noon we walked down to the train station to catch the train to the airport.

This was me heading for our Icelandic flight. The first leg of the flight was to Keflavik International Airport . Apparently Icelandic has a plan where you can bid for a seat upgrade on your fight. My wife had put in a bid for the flight from Keflavik to the Twin Cities. She found out the day before that she had won an upgrade from economy to comfort. I think that means the two of us would have had three seats as opposed to two. As a result we couldn’t get seat assignments for the second leg of the flight until we reached Keflavik. We were scheduled for a two hour layover in Keflavik. As it turned out this was barely enough to catch our connecting flight.

Keflavik Airport has become a zoo with more and more airlines flying in and out of Iceland. They have very few jet ways and most flights park on the tarmac and you either walk to the terminal or take a bus. It took us almost 45 minutes to get to the terminal. Once in the terminal we had to go through customs even though we were just waiting for a connecting international flight. The lines for customs stretched all around the terminals and wasted another 45 minutes. I stopped for a bathroom break and heard them call our flight while on the toilet. I probably had TP flying out the back of my pants as we rushed to our gate only to find utter chaos.

We were standing in line when an attendant came by looking for first class folks to go to the head of the line. My wife told her we didn’t have seat assignments so she motioned for us to come along. It was a little embarrassing to walk past all of the folks standing in line. When we reached counter my wife explained that we had received an upgrade notice and didn’t have any seat assignments for the flight. The poor attendant pointed to another desk and sent us on our way. My wife again explained what was going on. The exasperated attendant just looked at her. Finally banged on her computer and wrote a seat number on her boarding pass and turned away. Fortunately my wife pointed out that I also needed a seat assignment. The attended said “him too”? and then banged on the computer keys before writing a seat assignment on my boarding pass. About that time they started boarding the plane.

We looked at our boarding passes and noted the seat assignments were 5A&B. Wow that looked like first class. When you board an Icelandic flight you get a bottle of Icelandic water. As we approached the water bottles we took one. The stewardess stopped us and said “Oh no, your bottle is at your seat”. Yes indeed we were flying back first class. We are not sure what happened but assume there was so much chaos at the gate that they just wanted to get us on the plane.

We were still at the gate when the stewardess came around and asked if we wanted sparkling water. Yes indeed. They then came around and asked if we wanted to use first class head phones. I had been using headphones I picked on a tour bus in Copenhagen.

We even had a bigger TV screen. I had been watching season two of Fargo on the way over and finished the series on the flight home.

Once in the air they came around and asked if we wanted a beer or wine. I ended up with a Gull which is a common Icelandic beer.

I started looking around for my tray and couldn’t find it on the back of the seat in front of me. I finally found it in the armrest.  I had just gotten the tray out when I noticed a stewardess coming toward us with what I thought was a napkin so I started to put the tray back in the armrest. She motioned for me to put it back up. Turns out she was bringing us a tablecloth for the tray. We had a choice of meals. My wife chose salmon and I had veal.

My wife always takes a photo when we cross Greenland. This trip was no exception.

We were really excited about our first class experience but once we started to reflect on it we realized we had been treated like everyone was treated in the good old days of flying.

 

 

This spring my wife and I made a three week trip to Scandinavia. This is the first of my blogs describing our adventures.

We left Duluth, Minnesota heading for Minneapolis  to catch our early evening flight on Icelandic Airlines. My wife took this photo of me with my new Osprey’s Farpoint 55 travel pack. We both used these packs for the trip and found them to be a great find. When I get some time I’ll write a review of them.

The Trip was uneventful. This is my wife’s obligatory  photo of Greenland. For some reason she insists on photographing Greenland every time we fly over.

When we reached Copenhagen We took the train from the airport to Copenhagen Central Station. From there we walked to the Cabinn Scandinavia where we were staying for a couple of nights. Unfortunately Google Maps gave us a tour of Copenhagen on the way to Cabinn Scandinavia. Once we were at our lodging and had acquired a map of Copenhagen we discovered the route we should have taken from Central Station. We checked in and then walked back toward Central Station to visit the Copenhagen Visitors Center and plan what we would be doing the only full day we had in Copenhagen. On the way to the visitors center we walked past Sankt Jørgens Lake.

We encountered a number of different birds at the Lake. My wife complained the entire trip that I was taking bird pictures when I should have been taking photos of the city. However, even she had to admit that the Great Crested Grebe was worth watching. When we first saw it we thought it might be ill because it had a very disheveled look about it. We soon discovered the disheveled look was caused by baby grebes hiding under her feathers. The male grebe was hunting for food and when he came close the young came out of hiding looking for something to eat. Every time we walked past the Lake we looked for the grebes.

We also saw a number of other birds on the lake.

Eurasian Coot

Black-headed Gull

Mute Swan

Eurasian Magpie

I should add that I was able to get these great bird photos because I decide to leave my Nikon Cameras home and take a Sony DSC-WX500 that has a 30X optical zoom lens. This is a great little pocket camera that also takes great panoramic photos.

It was spring time in Copenhagen and the tulips were blooming all over town.

After stopping at the visitors center we started looking for a bite to eat. It is sad to report that our first meal in Copenhagen was at Burger King.

We then headed back to the hotel for the night.