Iceland: Day 1 - From Frankfurt to Reykjavik

Breakfast over, all packed, said Auf Wiedersehn to our zero english speaking hostess, and off we drove.

Had we only needed to find Frankfurt that would have been easy, but to find the airport.. not at all trivial. Actually we found it, but to get to it was the problem. The town map of Frankfurt in our Michelin book did not cover the airport area, and the full area map was not detailed enough. Eventually Fran did some smart thinking and got us to the right place.

Curiously the one thing I had thought would be difficult proved the only simple task all day. Returning the rented car was easy and smooth: it was simply a matter of following signs. If only the airport itself had been so well sign posted.

Next problem was to get all the luggage to the right place. This took us a long long time as the car return was in terminal 1 and we eventually worked out we had to be in terminal 2, which is a train ride away. Lifts, escalators and all sorts of other barriers where the airport trolleys are useless forced me to carry the bikes (bagged) and this is no easy task.

Finally we found the correct check in place so from here everything should be easy.. WRONG. The Queue was very long and was for at least two other flights to other destinations - this because there was only one x-ray machine here. Next the bikes were too big, but they had a solution for that ; they would be x-rayed in a large one downstairs. Finally, we had to pay for the bikes! This was outrageous, 25 euro per bike per direction, 100 all up. We complained that this should have been told to us earlier and that we had never had to pay on any other airline, but of course the girls on the counter could do nothing about policy. However having made a fuss, but nicely, we found ourselves in seats which were usually business class - a partial upgrade, very nice as there was, for once, some leg room.

We took off 30 minutes late which, from what we observed, was because the check in process was so interminably slow and inefficient - counter staff not even having enough pens to go around and being really slow. Then the ground crew loaded the luggage but no passengers were boarded until this was complete - what an amazing waste of time!

The flight was great and we landed without hitch. Luggage unloading was pretty slow as we had now learned to expect. We met Simmi, Sibba and Linda (who had been here only a matter of hours themselves, having flown via London from Sydney) after walking from baggage collection straight out - no passport check, nothing!

The Icelandic contingent supplied a great meal for us, and we then went sight seeing by car until about midnight, by which time the sun had not set.

All these photographs were snapped at times between about 9pm and 11pm. It was a bit windy on the higher points around town, and not exactly the sort of temparature one might expect for mid-summer, at least for Aussies!

Our lodgings were wonderful! Both Simmi and Sibba have mothers who live in the same appartment block! Sibba's mum moved out to her 'holiday house' on the northern coast so we had her flat for the week, while Simmi, Sibba anbd Linda moved in with Simmi's mum downstairs. Cosy.