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Traveling From Reykjavik to Bergen: Day 5, Multigen Iceland/Norway Trip

This travel day was the hardest day of the four transit days on this two-week trip. Why? Easy. I was sick, and I only got about three and a half hours of sleep the night before.

Since I’d been able to shower and prepare pretty much every little thing during my laundry debacle the night (and early morning) before, I set my alarm for 5:30 a.m. for our 6 a.m. departure. I only needed to put on my clothes, make coffee, and put my bag.

Unfortunately, my roommate (husband) had a different plan, so his alarm went off at 5.

And we were up. When my throat had started to hurt the night before, I had been hoping it would pass by morning. That happens to me a lot when my kids get colds — just a little scratchy throat, then nothing. And maybe if I’d slept, it would have gone away. But, alas, I woke with a sore throat and a minorly drippy nose as well. Great.

On the upside, our 13-year-old, Toth, woke up feeling better. And no one else felt poorly. Since Toth had only had mild cold symptoms for three days, I hoped this meant he hadn’t had Covid. Should we have found Covid tests and made sure? Probably. But we did not.

To the Airport

Everyone packed up quickly, I got some video of the empty Airbnb for my review, and we headed to the airport.

Our drive was fortunately uneventful — the most exciting thing that happened was seeing this Taco Bell. We stopped at Orkan and put $30 worth of diesel in the car, and finally successfully used the discount fob. It was yet another heavily overcast, chilly day. Our rental car dropoff at Golden Circle Car Rentals also went smoothly, no extra charges, and before we knew it, Golden Circle was dropping us off at Keflavik Airport. We checked our bags, and by 8 a.m., we’d passed through security and stood in the terminal, searching for our gate information. Except, apparently, this airport doesn’t like to assign gates in advance. With no gate to go to, I checked out the Duty Free Store, where I bought Erik a sampler pack of Icelandic gin. The rest of our group decided to sit down in a restaurant for breakfast — which they said was good, although the sausages might have been different from what they were used to. Meanwhile, I bought $18 worth of international stamps and mailed our Iceland postcards. (I think it was about $3 each to mail six postcards.)

As the family wrapped up their breakfast, I realized that it was getting uncomfortably cloes to our 10:15 a.m. flight, and no gate had yet been posted. Since Dad was slow with his walker, I suggested we start walking towards all the gates. It took awhile to get everyone moving, but it’s a good thing I nagged them, because by the time the gate was finally posted — maybe 9:30 a.m.? — we were only about halfway there and boarding began soon after.

(Of course we had to pause for a moment to read this ad. Wha …? Apparently, cellular therapy to treat burns.)

The Plane to Bergen

Actually, it wasn’t boarding that was beginning. It was scanning passports and letting us go through a turnstyle and out a door to board a bus. We were among the last to go through, but the Icelandic staff stayed true to the national character and were totally unruffled by our lateness or our slowness getting through the turnstyles. Once at the plane, we asked the ground crew to please make sure that Dad’s walker was available on the jetway in Bergen, as it had been at the baggage claim when we arrived here at Keflavik.

I had reserved a window and an aisle for Erik and I, in the hopes that once again we might have a row to ourselves, but no such luck. By the time we boarded, there was already an American man in the middle seat. We offered him the window, I took the middle and Erik the aisle. I regretted this when the man and Erik proceeded to have a long and animated conversation across me, as I lay my weary head back with eye shade and headphones on. Throughout the two-hour flight, this man made my uncomfortable journey even worse. He, too, had a cold, but unlike me, he wasn’t wearing a mask at first. Fortunately he thought to put one on after takeout. He coughed a lot, talked to me — even though it was clear with noise-canceling headphones on I couldn’t hear him well — and, several times, stuck his finger deep into his ear to scratch. Charming guy. Despite him, I was so exhausted I slept for at least an hour. When I was awake, I managed to catch a glimpse of the first outer islands of Norway (top photo), green grass ringed with white rock and dotted with white houses.

And then we were in Norway! Soon after we disembarked, Dad commented that he never thought he’d step on Norwegian ground. Even though I was tired and ill, his enthusiasm got me to smile. We easily collected our bags and found the train line into town. Buying the Skyss train tickets for all of us was a bit of a challenge for me, as the machines only want to let you buy one at a time so I had to go through the whole process and pay five separate times. And then once I was done I had to just believe on faith that it had worked, because the machine said the tickets were stored on my credit card. Huh? I had tried to download an app for tickets instead, but the app had insisted it needed to send my phone number a verification link, and I couldn’t get that to send to my Google Voice.

Once we were on the train, we easily disembarked at the correct station, using instructions the hotel had provided. Then it was a long block or so of dragging our suitcases to the Moxy Bergen hotel. I’ll write a full review of the Moxy Bergen separately.

Because of an issue with our room, Erik, Toth and I had a drink in the pleasant bar area before going up. Then after starting to unpack, I just collapsed onto the bed and turned on the TV to check out Norwegian culture.

Dinner

I also started working on figuring out what everyone was going to eat for dinner. My dad had said he’d like ribs — Americans, amirite? — so I found a chain called Egon Restaurant was beloved for its ribs. Unfortunately, the closest location was a mile away, and it was starting to rain. I started to look into ordering takeout — downloading an app we’d seen advertised — when Mom messaged us to tell us they saw a restaurant that looked good, right outside their window. By this time, it was about 6:45 on a Friday night. I looked up that restaurant, Colonialin Kranen, and it sounded OK, though pricey, so we decided to meet in the lobby and ask the staff if we’d need a reservation to eat there.

The staff suggested we call, but didn’t offer to call for us. By now it was pouring down buckets. Since I didn’t know if I could dial out on my phone, I decided to just open my umbrella and dash over to ask the host if they could seat us. The place was bumping, with chicly dressed women and men standing under the eaves to stay dry and all the indoor tables full. The hostess told me they would not be able to seat us at all that night. I dashed back through the rain, and ended up using the electronic taxi kiosk at our hotel to summon a cab to take the family to Egon.

After the cab was on its way, pointed out that the five of us would not fit in one taxi. I took this opporutnity to bow out of the dinner. I told my parents I wasn’t feeling well and would really rather rest. They immediately said we should all just get takeout instead. I sighed, thinking about how I had already started to look into the takeout situation, but that finding a restaurant for takeout, collecting everyone’s order and putting it in would be so much more work, and I was so tired. I urged them to please just go to Egon, since their taxi was already on the way. They agreed, just as their taxi pulled up.

Getting to go back to the room alone was a respite. I loved traveling with my family, but I’m also a person who needs her alone time. I slowly finished unpacking and organizing the room. I had a nice taste of the whiskey we’d brought from Iceland. I consulted the Egon menu online and asked Erik to bring me back a salad. When they returned with the salad (pre-dressed so it was completely soggy, with now cold fried chicken on top, oh well) they said they had had a good time at the restaurant, the food had been good and their waitress had been super nice. Apparently Dad had asked her at the end if she would accept a tip in US dollars, to which she’d replied, “Money is money,” so he left her a twenty. Probably a pretty exgravagent tip for Europe, but overtipping is rarely a bad thing.

Although nothing terrible happened on this day, I was grateful to see the end of it. I fell into bed by 10 p.m., watching news reports about Bruce Springsteen’s Oslo concert.

More on Our Iceland-Norway Trip

Day 4: The Golden Circle

Day 3: Reykjavik in a Day

Day 2: Arriving in Reykjavik

Day 1: Departing for Iceland

The Blue Lagoon

The Iceland Phallological Museum

Reykjavik Airbnb Review

Lebowski Bar

Thingvellir National Park

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