“We’ve had the most wonderful day in Reykjavík – but after a bit of a rocky start. To be honest, we arrived quite shattered and a little bit grumpy with one another. But, today was my birthday, so after a 13-hour sleep, we pretty much hit the town.
The flight out of Greenland was beautiful. It was clear and what cloud there was, was high enough to fly directly out over the icecap, which is up to 10,000 ft deep over much of the country. 13,500 feet MSA (minimum safe altitude), but once you’re out there, no one knows or cares really what height you’re at. Check it out – definitely a far cry from the Karoo! Then out across the North Atlantic / Norwegian Sea – whichever it is.
Halfway across, some airliners were asked to relay a message to us that there’d been a volcanic eruption 15 nm east of Reykjavík, and that both the Reykjavík City Airport (our planned landing spot) and Keflavík International (back-up) were closed. That created a little excitement in the cockpit, but about an hour later, another relay came through confirming that both were open again.
Tomorrow, we’re going to take off at 0730Z (the airport opens at 0700Z – quite nice being in Iceland, because local and Zulu times are the same!) and fly to Wick. Then, if the weather looks good, we’ll fly on as far south in England as we can get to launch for Europe Saturday. Our kids leave Jhb for Greece tomorrow night and we don’t want to keep them waiting there for us too long!
For what it’s worth, I’m more a rural than an urban person, I think, but Reykjavík must be just about the coolest city I’ve ever been to. Don’t come if you’re feeling poor – it’s expensive, but it’s not a rip-off and boy is it clean, modern, civilised, full of beautiful design, and it’s seriously cool and funky. You can literally walk (or Zolo – see below) all day just looking at the architecture and sights, or sit on the sidewalk drinking beer and people watch. Start planning!”