Although a relatively comfortable flight on Icelandair, restricted to one space for hours is uncomfortable. When flying great distances across the Ocean, you are stuck in one place. We were sitting in seats A and B, meaning the window and a middle seat. The in-flight meal was pretty good, but nothing to write home about. I had to be careful to keep my elbows close so as not to bump either of my seated neighbors. In the middle seat, I’m not sure which armrest is mine as they are both shared.
What to Do
We read all the in-flight magazines and watched the movie on the fold-down screen mounted on the luggage compartment. The provided earphones were cleverly designed with a double-pronged plug to deter theft of the cheap earphones as if the lousy sound quality wasn’t enough. The person next to us had to get up to let us out to go to the toilet or stretch our legs. Walking up and down the aisles alleviated the tightness in the legs.
Looking out the window, I joked about that Twilight Zone episode, “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,” with William Shatner. The plot is about a man, newly recovered from a nervous breakdown, who becomes convinced that a monster, only he can see, is damaging the plane he’s flying in. I don’t think Donna found it as funny as I did. We were looking forward to our short stopover in Reykjavík, Iceland.
Landing in Reykjavík
Eventually, the Captain announced we were soon to arrive in Reykjavík, and the plane began to descend. I could feel it as we seemed to lightly bounce from one cloud to another as we drew closer to landing. I watched out the window as we dropped through the clouds, and the land below came into view. The trees, the buildings, cars, and trucks were so tiny but slowly growing in size.
Lower and lower, we descended until we felt the wheels grab the runway with a little jolt. Many passengers gave a little applause, and the Captain announced we had arrived in Reykjavík, reporting the time and temperature and a reminder to keep the seatbelts on until we came to a complete stop. Of course, a couple of people were already up and pulling things out of the overhead.
When we did stop and the flight attendant opened the doors, many people made a real rush to exit. Making our way into the terminal, we saw that people were curiously making a beeline straight for the gift shop. We followed them to see what was going on and why people were so excited. The answer was a tray of free salmon samples. People that took this flight regularly knew that the gift shop put out a tray of fresh salmon just as this plane landed. We managed to get some of the last slices of the delicious salmon.
It was nice to walk and stretch, knowing soon enough we would be back on the plane for a few more hours. I was hoping we could look out and see a bit of Iceland’s landscape, but airports don’t offer that view. Other than the salmon, the gift shop was like any other airport gift shop, with most of the items being the same. There were keychains, t-shirts, tote bags, and mugs emblazoned with Reykjavík. They could have said “New York” or “Nashville”; suppliers had changed only the name.
The terminal looked like a small terminal with a couple of food courts and huge glass windows looking out on the tarmac. Strange-looking airport vehicles hurried from one place to another. A large plane taxied at one gate, and passengers soon flooded into the terminal. I wondered if they put out a fresh platter of salmon for them. A voice announced to board our flight, and we made our way back to the aircraft.
Settled in, the flight attendant checked to see if everyone that should be here had made it back and buckled in. There were a few new people, and some had left for other destinations. Soon Donna was crushing my hand as we took off. It was another four or five hours further to Luxembourg, during which I managed to nod off, and before long, we were landing again.
Arriving in Luxembourg
Luxembourg airport, much like the country itself, is not very big. Passing through security and immigration was quick and easy. Our backpacks came out of the carousel minutes after we arrived to retrieve them. After loading up, we walked out of the terminal and wondered how were we to get to the campgrounds we had seen in the Lonely Planet? A taxi pulled up, “Braucht Dir en Taxi? Wuer gees du?”
“Sorry, do you speak English?”
“Yes, of course. Do you need a taxi? Where are you going?”
I showed him the map, and he opened his trunk for the backpacks and said, “Climb in.”
I know he meant to climb into the taxi, but I snickered to myself, imagining he meant the trunk.
Next: Learning to Busk in Luxembourg