The hardest part of any holiday, when you are a family of 6, seems to be getting there.
To get to Iceland today we took a cab to LHR T1, caught an Iceland Air flight to Reykjavik, then caught a couple of buses to get to our ‘Apartment Hotel’.
DS was in heaven, all those vehicles in one day; I wasn’t quite so enthusiastic. But it had to be done and everything went pretty smoothly.
We were 40 minutes late for the cab ( first we delayed it 20 minutes, then took as long again to get everyone and all bags in the car), but the traffic was much better than we thought it might have been and we got to Heathrow in plenty of time.
DH had checked us in online; this is well worth doing by the way, so we whizzed through the baggage drop and security. By this time everyone was starving, so we had a quick Pret snack, then raced for the gate to board the plane.
We’ve never flown Iceland Air before but we were pretty impressed. The seats were imitation leather and looked quite flash, and everyone had their own personal TV screens, even though it was only a 3 hour flight. The kids got free food and free head phones, but adults had to pay for both these things . You get to keep the phones but it would be worthwhile bringing your own. And the middle armrests don’t move, which is a nuisance when you are sitting next to a small child and could do with a little extra room. Both DD3 and DS would have liked to have slept, but neither could get comfy with the armrests in situ, so they both watched The Simpsons Movie instead (Bad Mother Alert!)
The three hour flight whizzed by, spoiled only by DS having a tantrum when we had to get off the plane once we had landed. I was ushering DD3 in front of me, and looked behind to see DS holding up everyone by lying in the middle of the aisle and refusing to move.
He soon cheered up once we got to the terminal at Keflavick. It’s a lovely airy building with plenty of room for small boys to run around with their sisters.
There is also plenty to see and do, free WiFi and plenty of shopping to be had. We grabbed some alcohol from Duty-Free , collected our bags and started looking for the bus that was supposed to take us in to Reykjavik and to our hotel. At this point we realised exactly how shitty the weather was. Typical that we left summer behind in London, and ended up in last weeks weather almost 1200 miles away.
We have come prepared with fleeces and raincoats, so manned up and sprinted for the bus, dragging our cases behind us. Travelling is so much easier now all the kids can handle their own luggage.
The coach ride was around 40 minutes and went through the volcanic plateau along the coast. The kids were kept quiet with iPads and Nintendos; there was more WiFi to keep DH and I amused.
At the bus terminal we transferred to a small minivan with a load of other people, and we were dropped off at out hotels one by one.
We are staying at a little apartment hotel in central Reykjavik. It’s clean and spacious, with 3 bedrooms, separate dining and living rooms, a washing machine and clothes drier and , wat for it, free WiFi.
About 5 minutes after we arrived , the front door opened and 5 complete strangers trudged in and said they were staying here too. Some excitment ensued, but it turned out they had the wrong apartment. I think they are staying upstairs instead, judging by the noise.
Still, it was a good way to learn whether the front door is locked properly or not.
The kids watched a bit of TV as there were a few British channels available, but finally decleared themselves hungry, so we went out in search of some tea.
We went past a lot of cool graffiti/ installations as we walked down to the harbour.
We wandered into a few cafes but there were no spare tables. It seems to be very much a seat yourself type of culture, for casual dining at least.
In the end we found The Laundromat Cafe and enjoyed wonderful hamburgers and homemade chips. The kids loved their chocolate milkshakes. This cafe has a fully functioning laundromat in the basement as well as a kids play area, lots of books and games and this very breast-feeding friendly sign.
If you are ever in Reykjavik with empty stomachs and hungry kids, then The Laundramt Cafe is the place to go!
After dinner we trudged uphill back to the Hotel and got the kids showered and into bed. Unfortunately we’d failed to appreciate just how light it stayed all night in Iceland at this time of the year.
Still, they all went to sleep eventually, leaving us mulling over what to do with 4 hyperactive, over excited kids tomorrow when it’s going to be absolutely tipping it down.