Day 3 – Monday, February 21st, 2011 – AIRPORTS
Day 3 began on the airplane with a six hour time change. We landed around 7am in Reykjavik, Iceland and prepped for our 7 hour layover. We spent the first 3 or 4 of the 7 hours asleep on some 50 ft long couches in the airport voted best in Europe. Or something like that, they had a few too many signs around letting you know it was the best airport ever. Maybe if they had free wifi, THEN it’d be the best airport in Europe. That was frustrating.
My first impression of Iceland: the people are incredibly nice. You know how in the airports in America you aren’t really supposed to sleep and it freaks the security people out? Well of course I’m paranoid the whole time we are napping that we will get in trouble and about halfway through our sleep we are awoken by a security man. So my first thought is he will tell us to stop sleeping. Nope. He asks what time our flight leaves because there was a flight leaving soon and he was concerned and wanted to make sure it wasn’t ours. Now is that nice or what?! After we had a cup of coffee and croissant and browsed the Icelandic gift shops it was time to board our next flight to Copenhagen. But my heart did do a little jump for joy knowing we were coming back to this place to spend a few days at the end of the trip.
I mean look at that place! Heaven! Beautiful view from the plane as we took off! A few hours later we landed in Copenhagen. I referenced my handy Day to Day Guide to Copenhagen book for info about our hotel and how to get there from the airport. Since Europe doesn’t like to give free wifi in the airports, we had no way of getting in touch with Dave since he had already been in Copenhagen for a couple days. The book said the Radisson Blu was near the Amagar Bro metro stop. So with confidence, I told Nia we needed to buy two metro tickets to Amagar Bro. But first, we’ve got to get our luggage, which conveniently doesn’t show up on the conveyer belt. Every travelers fear. We made a friend who’s luggage also wasn’t there and him and I went to the help desk to report them missing. A breathed a huge sigh of relief when the help desk lady says all of our luggage is already there, it arrived on an earlier flight than we did. I’m glad to know my luggage didn’t have to sit through the same 7 hour layover that I did.
We walked what felt like a mile through the airport to the metro station. I swipe my Visa to purchase two metro tickets from the machine and it demanded a pin #. The thing about credit cards in America is that we don’t have pin #’s. I tried my debit card pin #, my zip code, and after the machine printed out 4 cancellation receipts because I had no pin we realized we needed a new plan. An airport security man told us we would need to exchange cash since the machine wouldn’t take our card without a pin. Nia and I walk back through the mile long airport corridor to the exchange place to get some kroners. Back to the machine where we realize only coins are accepted. I make Nia ask some strangers for change and we were out of luck. I went on a mission back down the corridor to find an actual person to buy tickets from. We were in luck, 2 metro tickets in hand, we were ready for the Radisson Blu. A few stops later and we find ourselves taking the elevator up to street level of the cold and dark city. No Radisson Blu in sight. We bust out a map as two girls walk by and we asked if they knew where the hotel was. What a relief to hear “Oh, thats a far walk, you should take the taxi. Just go down that street and veer left and go straight and you’ll see it.” I’m amazed at how well they speak English, yet discouraged to know we’ve got quite a journey ahead of us.
At this point we haven’t eaten anything since the croissants in the morning, have been wearing the same clothes for two days, are tired, and wondering “Is Dave even worried about us???” Since we’re too stubborn to take a taxi our only other option is to walk what felt like 3 miles toting all of our luggage down the sidewalk of this city we’ve never been to, in another country, at night time. The Radisson Blu sure looked like Cinderella’s Castle as we finally made it to the front door. We check-in, go to the room and find a note from Dave saying he will be done playing Poker at 9. Our clocks said 8:45. When he came through that door we had never been so happy to see him before! And it was good to know he was actually worried about us. So what does any person do after traveling for days, exhausted, and hungry? Go to McDonalds. We ordered quite a few things from the coinoffer menur and were pleased to end our evening with double cheeseburgers and fries.