Carpe Diem

My partner woke me up at 7:40 with the unpleasant news that they had noticed a booking number in the most recent Icelandair email that came in yesterday. It seemed that the closest day we could be rebooked to fly to Sweden is the 24th! A full 2 days more of waiting and fully destroying any and all of the carefully laid plans that had been made for this trip.

It was at this moment, we fully lost all confidence in Icelandair and decided to take matters into our own hands.

Without being able to reach anyone at Icelandair that we were flexible flying to other European cities, we found a budget airline that was flying to Copenhagen in the afternoon at 2:30 pm. With carpe diem firmly in mind, we jumped at the opportunity. Once in Copenhagen, there would be a multitude of options to continue on to Sweden, planes, trains, automobiles. Take your pick.

Once deciding on our course, what had been days of inaction and waiting sharply changed. Now was time to act. Cancel the hotel reservation. Cancel the bus ride to the airport. Eat breakfast as fast a possible because you realized that the flight is actually at 12:30 and you suddenly don’t have time. Head back to reception to hear that the reservation can be cancelled, praise Freya, order a taxi, pack at lightning speed and get back down to the lobby to finally pay and await the driver. It would be tight but there was hope.

Hop in the taxi and drive to the airport.

As we reached the airport, we were in a little it of traffic so we chatted a bit with the taxi driver. He brought up the fact that this kind of weather, although exceptional today, would become more and more common. I was shocked to hear an older person speak so candidly and practically about climate change. It’s not as common to hear such views from the older generation in the USA.

The strained glass continued

Although the line for Icelandair was long, the line for Play, our new means of reaching Copenhagen, was much shorter. Fears of a 2+ hour wait were washed away in 15 minutes as our bags were taken. Security was similarly painless. Into the gates beyond, we looked for a spot to wait out the time until our flight would leave.

After waiting a time in the main corridor, it became quite noisy so we moved on. Passing workmen actively sanding and waxing a floor, we came at last to an oasis. Quiet and empty, it possessed lean back chairs and outlets. Truly a traveler’s dream. A dream occasionally shattered by children seemingly incapable of speaking at less than a shriek, but enjoyable none the less. The oasis served us well as our flight was delayed.

We did eventually manage to board our plane to Copenhagen, despite the delay and the slowest boarding I can remember. It was an immense relief to bid farewell to Iceland’s frozen shores.

Refusing to be outdone, the flight to Copenhagen would not be uneventful. First was the chorus of screaming children, three distinct groups, which took it in turns to be actively screeching at all times, and the boy a row in front of us aggressively shushing them. Secondly, the lovely turbulence. And the pièce de réstistance, an announcement that someone had been discovered smoking in the bathroom and that we would be landing in Hamburg to turn this individual over to the police. Really put the cherry on top of this absolutely dreadful sundae.

Somehow we did land in Copenhagen. Perhaps because they have police there as well. Disembarking took a while but honestly, having escaped Iceland after days stranded, we still viewed this as a win.

Once we made it off the plane, we had to collect our luggage as we had decided to make sure we landed safely before deciding on our next step. Call it paranoia, but at this point it felt more like being realistic. There was some wait for our bags but they both arrived and we made the short walk from departures to arrivals, some 50 ft. We figured the 7pm flight was too close to chance so rather the 9pm flight to Stockholm would be our best bet.

After a tasty sandwich dinner and chance to catch our breath, we had no issues boarding our flight to Stockholm. With plenty of extra seats, it was the easiest of connections which is about all we could handle.

We had made it to Stockholm at last.


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