It was an eventful week-end, with far more highs than lows. It started for me very early on Friday morning, I was heading for Iceland! When I got close to LHR I realised that my sat-nav believed that London Heathrow Terminal 5, and all of it’s access roads did not exist but in the place of a big airport terminal and carparks and roads and things, there were only fields. If I had ignored Mrs sat nav I would have been OK however, (foolishly) I followed her directions and was taken away from T5 and found myself in the wilds of Slough, or Stains or somewhere else beginning with S.
Once I had decided I would ignore Mrs Sat nav I found the airport again and it was a breeze, the B.A check-in lady allowed me (without argument) to take my guitar into the cabin and all was right with the World.
I have been to Iceland’s Keflavík airport before so headed to the car rental. Once there I proceeded to outrageously turn on singer/guitarist flirt mode with the car-rental assistant. It took about 20 minutes to achieve, but my Ford Ka was upgraded to a Hyundai 4×4 Santa Fe, I was all smiles. A young Icelandic guy took me to examine the car checking for scratches. All checked I asked the guy to set the Sat nav to English (the Icelandic alphabet has 32 characters and some are really weird) I then asked would he set my destination to Reykholt and he obliged.
I had anticipated about a 90 minute journey so was not unduly concerned when the trip took a little longer. “Welcome to Reykholt” I had been told that Reykholt is a tiny village so I would not need an address, all I needed to do was head for the church where I would find members of the wedding party preparing for the event (the wedding was on the following day) they would direct me to my accommodation.
I had travelled the last couple of miles along gravel roads, although I could see Reykholt in the distance I could not see a church, I found a campsite, a bar/restaurant, lots of greenhouses full of tomatoes but still no church. Maybe churches in remote Iceland villages do not look like churches? I drove up a farm track thinking that if I got to the top of the hill I could survey my surroundings and find a church. At the top of the hill I could see all of the village but nothing that remotely looked like a church. I then saw that coming up the track was a group of people on horses followed by about 300 people walking behind them waving flags and singing, the track was my only escape down from the hilltop. Luckily half way up the hill they turned and walked across a field (I was told later that June 17th in Iceland is a special day for people with horses and processions).
I felt a bit of a dummy having to admit I was lost, but put on my best telephone voice and called my contact to ask for directions, the conversation was a bit disconcerting as although the directions I was given mentioned the camp-site, the flag poles, the gravel road, the tomato greenhouses and everything else around me their relative positions were not as I was seeing them. So I thought I would just find the church myself. After 40 minutes of driving up and down farm tracks I gave up and called my contact again. We agreed that if I went back to the flag-poles I would be collected from there. I went to the flags, waited but nobody arrived, after about 10 minutes I got a call to ask where was I, I said under the flag poles. I was alone but my contact told me she was also under the flag-poles. It was then that I was asked are you in the correct Reykholt?
There are two Reykholts in Iceland, both are small villages, both have a camp-site with flags and a restauant/bar and tomato greenhouses but one is in Western Iceland and the other in the South.
I returned to my lovely Hyundai and I was so grateful that I was not in the Ford Ka as I set out on my 2 and a ½ hour journey to the right Reykholt.
It was a lovely ride with beautiful scenery and so in all I had a 5 ½ hour unexpected but enjoyable ride around a Iceland.