Right now I should be relaxing, large goblet of cider in hand, at Bards’ Night near Cheltenham, England. Instead I am in the City Youth Hostel in Reykjavik, iceland, having failed to catch my flight due to being misinformed.
The day started in a hectic manner – 08:00 lab on assembly language – followed by a certain amount of cursing the printers and the photocopier while I printed out the notes for the three classes I’d spent about 40 hours work on in total. Not including printing, that is. I’d managed to pack everything essential into a single bag the night before so that I could just walk straight off the plane at Stanstead and onto the train.
What I hadn’t accounted for was the transfer between Reykjavik and Keflavik. I got off the internal flight no problem, then asked the woman at the information desk how long it would take to walk to the bus station. You see, I remembered that it was close to the airport. “5, maybe 10 minutes,” came the reply. Well, I had my walking boots on and I had an hour before the last connecting bus. No problem, I thought, and set off, feeling particularly good about taking the Healthy Option.
In fact, the walk should have been closer to half an hour, assuming that the road around the airport – or at least the footpath section of it – was open. It wasn’t. In fact, the only other route was approximately two and a half times the distance. On top of that, it wasn’t exactly taxi territory once you left the airport itself. So I got over half way to the bus station, found the road blocked, looked for an alternative route, gave up and eventually walked back to the airport to find a taxi.
I just missed the last bus and arrived at Keflavik about ten minutes after check-in closed to find no-one from Iceland Express in sight. They don’t even have an information desk. A quarter of an hour later a woman appeared who was, admittedly, very helpful and phoned the departure gate to see if they could still get me aboard. No, as it turned out, although had they phoned ten minutes earlier it would have been fine. Ten minutes earlier, when I’d been there but no-one from Iceland Express was there.
There were now several options. 1) Buy a ticket to Heathrow with Iceland Air for over £300. 2) Stay in Reykjavik overnight and get the early morning flight to Stanstead, paying an extra £150 on top of the original ticket price, together with travel costs from London to Cheltenham. 3) Get the afternoon flight on Friday paying an extra £40, which would have got me to the event on Saturday morning after a night in London and a high-price train ticket. 4) Give up.
Actually, I’ve opted trying to make something useful out of 4). I could get the bus back up to Akureyri tomorrow – it ought to be cheaper than trying to get an internal flight, given that the bus takes 6 hours rather than 40 minutes. Alternatively I could get the Sunday bus and have two days in Reykjavik, which I haven’t explored yet.
So that’s the plan – have a couple of days here and try not to dwell too much on what I’m missing.