It is Friday and it is time to go home already. We pack up and I check out. I told the desk clerk about our adventure in the hotel spa , his reaction was that of disgust and waved the 10. euro fee. Thank goodness! We drop the bags and head off to see Hronn for a visit then do a little last minute shopping. Our Grey lines airport transfer picks us up on time and we head out to the airport by 2:00.
I have some time to see if the challenge I set for us came in on budget. The goal was $1100. and we succeeded in doing this.
Our tickets on Icelandair were a real deal. I got the airfare, hotel, full breakfast, excursions to Fontana spa including dinner all for just under $700.CAD (489. euro)( $525.USD). I booked the golden circle tour, the Harpa tickets and the airport transfers online before we left. All that was left was 2 lunches a dinner and museums. the Reykjavik card at 4900kr paid for itself and we had lunch at the hot dog stand. We enjoyed our coffees each day and lunch on the golden circle tour. The little bonus was that Icelandair lets you bring 2 suitcases for no extra charge. I did take advantage and used the second bag to bring fruit and snacks. And yes maybe a few bottles of wine. Then there was the 3 tins of Nanaimo bars and buttertarts for our cousins.
Iceland is expensive there is no doubt about that, but you can go see a wonderful young vibrant city and not spend a kings ransom just by doing a little planning. The Harpa concert was excellent and not expensive at all. The Rekyjavik card was a great deal and the galleries and museums were all located in a walk able radius to our hotel. The cafes are the same price as at home here in Canada. The grocery store Bonus is a budget travelers friend. I particularly like this spot as I was asked to translate the packaging by a tourist because she thought I was local!
We met some wonderful people on this trip most were Canadian and American, the city is small so you run in to your fellow travelers often. We shared stories and gave each other tips about were to eat or what museums we enjoyed. Even on the plane ride home I sat next to a man from my home town of Prince Rupert and we knew all the same people.
When we arrived back to Edmonton Hannah was checking her phone to see what was happening. She looked at me in horror and said something horrible is happening in Paris. About a hour before we landed attacks around Paris were started and many people had been killed. I felt sick. Why Why does this shit have to go on. Our immediate thoughts are with the French people. But at the same time I fear for the refugees that are in camps all around Europe trying to escape the same thing in their home countries. Some of the public will look to blame and I fear that the refugees will bare the brunt. I can only hope that my country will look to bring some of these refugee families here to Canada and we as Canadians can help. For now my heart is with the injured and the families of those killed.
#viva la France
Today we went on a tour with Reykjavik Excursions called "Gullfoss, Geysir & Þingvellir" It was from 10:30-4:30 and we went to Thingvellir National Park, Geysir (to watch the geyser...) and Gullfoss waterfall. It was a good trip with lots of great sights and photo ops and no rude bus people other than those who were late. The weather was random throughout as you can see in the photos, clear then snowy then clear then rainy then warm....
After our trip we went back to downtown Reykjavik and had a hot dog for dinner, poked into a few shops, mom bought a new pair of sunglasses, we went back to the Cake Company and I had that cherry frappucino and raspberry Skyr cake and mom had a Swiss Mocha and a French pastry sandwich cookie cake thing that was amazing.
Afterwards we went to Harpa for a violin performance, but mom will go into much more detail on her blog, so I'll let her. :)
Tomorrow is already our last day!! I hope we can do lots before our flight!