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Our First Morning in Reykjavik

ICELAND | Wednesday, 30 April 2008 | Views [415]

Reykjanesbraut (Hwy41), Iceland.

Reykjanesbraut (Hwy41), Iceland.

I wrote in "Wednesday, technically" because we've lost some time, flying westward. After a very long flight we touched down in Keflavik Int'l Airport, a daub of architecture in the middle of a broad field of volcanic rock and tough, stubborn grass. Immediately I was impressed with how clean and efficient the structure looked, inside and out, like a very elegant construction of European art (or, at times, a very expensive IKEA project right out of the box). The customs officers were gruff but polite; we changed our money at some cheerful yet official-looking kiosks; we decompressed with a cup of coffee. I have no fine tongue for coffee so I defer to my wife's expertise and sensitivity (she didn't care for it).

On our way out of the building, we weren't sure where to go next: we had to catch a shuttle bus that would carry us into Reykjavik. An older man and woman were talking, both past middle age but healthy and energetic, just the sort of condition that makes Americans question their way of life. They were employees of the airport and were taking a break—this is only notable because most American airports would retain workers in their late 50s and 60s for some kind of background labor or support, not customer-facing roles, which would be allotted to younger people with trendy appearance qualities. So far, I was amiably disposed to Iceland and my (new, untested) theory of its ageist inclusiveness.

By way of conversation they asked what brought us to Iceland, and we explained that we were on our honeymoon. There was a moment's pause, then another, and they looked at each other. Recovering first, the man said, "Why Iceland?"

Read the rest at The Most Important Thing.

Tags: airport, iceland, reykjavik

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