Pitea, Sweden to Reykjavik, Iceland

Sunday 3/29:

This was the day of the 9.5 hour drive back to Stockholm airport for our hop to Iceland.  We slithered across the frozen slush to the van at 6:30 AM, already jet-lagged by Sweden’s tardy switch to Daylight Savings Time during the night (they switch on the last Sunday in March).  We drove thru snowy countryside, past little farms with red houses and big forests with frozen streams.  It was beautiful, yet bleak.  Fog, snow and drizzle were constant; “Embrace the Swedish gloom.”  

The GPS app on Lance’s phone confided directions in a sultry female voice.  “Follow the course of the road for the next seven kilometers … Recalculating … Enter the roundabout and take the third exit.”  Occasionally she chided, “You’re exceeding the speed limit.”

writingMary Rose passed around a big tin of ginger snaps.  We stopped at a visitor center/hotel overlooking an impressive suspension bridge near Harnosand.  Another interesting break was at a museum complex built to resemble China’s Forbidden City.  By this time it was raining hard.  

We paused at a big gas station outside of Stockholm to top up the tank.  After much milling around of vehicles, we pulled up to a pump.  A man walked up, tapped on Patty’s window and lectured her sternly in Swedish.  Switching to English, we learned that he’d been maneuvering to go into this slot backwards, and we’d cut him off.  Lance apologized, made no mention of what an idiot the man was, and said he’d be as quick as he could.  The man got in his vehicle and drove away.

We dropped Mary Rose off at her hotel; she’s flying directly to the US.  We arrived at the airport early, and our flight was delayed by half an hour.  So we had lots of time to enjoy the slim comforts of Stockholm’s airport.  Security was no problem, except for Shelley, who’d forgotten that her Swiss Army knife was in her carry-on.  She lost it.  

I slept thru the midnight flight to Reykjavik, Iceland (map).  Lance said there was a good display of northern lights.  

Upon landing, we dragged our skis and luggage into the freezing dark and loaded them into a van.  This wasn’t actually our van, just the rental company’s transporter.  At their office we learned that although Lance had asked for a seven-seat van, they actually had reserved only a five-seat vehicle for us.  A real van would cost more.  Lance refused to be shaken down; we were returned to the airport.  We bought bus tickets, and went for a long ride in the dark which I also slept thru.  This ended at a bus terminal, where we transferred to a minibus to take us to our guesthouse.  By this time we were all jet-lagged, tired and crabby.  

Next morning, I found our guesthouse on the map.  It’s right next to the(?) airport.



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