Travel conclusion

Sorry, that last post was a bit of a cliffhanger, wasn’t it? I did make it safely back, and even on the flights I intended. The Icelandic government put through an emergency bill to prevent the pilots from striking on the Friday, and to force a resolution between the parties by mid-June. I’m not sure how long this union action had been going on, but apparently the pilots wanted a 30% pay raise. Which to me seems a bit more like a number to begin negotiations from than one to strike over, but I’m not an expert on Icelandic inflation rates or the history of pilot pay grades, etc.

Because everyone else was also caught up in the strike action, all my planned meetings on Tuesday were cancelled. Which is fine since I was still a bit wobbly from my lack of sleep. I estimated I got about 3 hours of dozing in 32 hours of travelling, and then capped it off with 5 hours of actual sleep in an actual bed. So Tuesday, I did wander around Reykjavik and try to get my head in the right time zone.

Iceland is very picturesque and sadly, because I had to use my other carry on luggage allowance for my work laptop, I wasn’t able to bring my dSLR. However, I did bring my point and shoot, which takes better pictures than my iTouch.

Reykjavik skyline from my hotel balcony.

Reykjavik skyline from my hotel balcony.

Reykjavik graffiti near a construction site.

Reykjavik graffiti near a construction site.

A poster warning about the Icelandic polar bear tourist offerings. Which I had clued into when I was in a tourist shop. The fine print reads, "Polar bears do not live in Iceland. Sometimes they travel from Greenland on an iceberg. When they do, we kill them."

A poster warning about the Icelandic polar bear tourist offerings. Which I had clued into when I was in a tourist shop. The fine print reads, “Polar bears do not live in Iceland. Sometimes they travel from Greenland on an iceberg. When they do, we kill them.”

A cute arrangement on a gate blocking an alleyway - single glove speed dating.

A cute arrangement on a gate blocking an alleyway – single glove speed dating.

We went from Reykjavik to Hvalfjordur to stay at a hotel/conference centre for our two days of meetings. It was about an hour’s bus ride out of Reykjavik, surrounded by hills and wilderness. As the co-chair of my meeting joked with me though, “If you get lost in an Icelandic forest… Stand up.” There weren’t many trees, mostly low scrub bush on the hills. Near the fjord, it was grassy because there was a church and stuff.

Looking towards the top (?) (inland) of the Hvalfjordur (whale fjord).

Looking towards the top (?) (inland) of the Hvalfjordur (whale fjord).

Looking back towards the ocean, down the fjord.

Looking back towards the ocean, down the fjord.

Looking straight across the fjord at the mountains.

Looking straight across the fjord at the mountains.

The flight back was fine, except I was sitting a row behind the emergency exit on the wing and my feet absolutely froze. After a quick but busy stopover in Toronto, we made it home by just before midnight. This time, I was travelling with my colleagues.

All in all, it did whet my appetite, so the next travel adventure will be to go back to Iceland with my boyfriend in July. I’ve already booked everything, so we should be set. We just need to figure out if there’s anything else we need to arrange beforehand like whale watching tours or something. And I’m going to bring my real camera this time. :)

 

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