Turns out, Icelandair is a budget airline who charge you for dodgy meals, just like JetStar and Virgin. Would have been handy information to know when we were in Paris, walking past boulangeries, fruit shops, cheese shops and so on. $35 for two wraps, some dry sushi and a water seemed a little steep. CDG airport remains a travellers purgatory – we arrive via train, jump the line at the Icelandair counter as our bags were checked through from Adelaide – all we needed were boarding passes. The guy at the desk did not love us – he gave us seats separated by the aisle! We head towards our gate, foolishishly thinking that we will find somewhere to look at duty free for mum, have a beer for Charlie, and a quiet spot to sit. Nope. Heading to the gate, you need to take off half your clothes to go through security, you the line up at a very small kiosk, but they did serve beer and water and chips. The flight to Reykjavic took off only 40 mins late, and the pain of sitting in aeroplane chairs and having no where to really support your head or straighten your knees started to hit. Land in the north Atlantic never looked so good as at the end of the 3 hr flight! We had landed after a little over 38 hrs of travel (airport to airport). No customs to pass through at the airport voted Europes Best in 2009 (that could be why, given they are not even an EU country – note to other travellers- we were told we could bring in 1L spirits and 12 cans of beer each – no one checked at all, so you could probably stretch that a bit – it is a third of the cost in the supermarkets, but pretty reasonable compared to at home).
Charlie couldn’t stand the thought of a bus with more people and many stops, so we hired a taxi for the 40 km drive to Reykjavic. We were quoted $95 – it ended up $121 – most expensive cab ride we have ever taken, but he was a nice guy who gave us some good tips. We arrived at our hotel, again – just said our names and we handed a key – no sign in required. We are on the 5th floor on the fashionable strip in town – lots of boutiques and jewellers and tourist info places and cafes and restaurants. We showered and went for a walk, and decided that in fact, Australia has become an expensive place to live. I know our dollar is doing very well (thank goodness), but one of the fanciest restaurants in town has main courses for $50 – same as us. Most of the tourist places here had mains for $30 – same as every pub in town seems to these days. We decided on an italian restaurant with a set menu – lovely lovely meal, after 2 days of aeroplane food. The glass of wine went to my head very quickly, such that dessert and the bill could hardly come quickly enough – we were tucked up in bed by 8:25, and asleep by 8:26, I think. A very long and somewhat surreal day of 50 hrs.