Rude Awakening

Well, we didn’t get the nice, late 06:00 start that I’d hoped for. Our alarm had to go off at 04:45 today in order to make our 05:30 minibus from the Northern Light Inn. Even when you think you have almost nothing left to do in the morning, except for putting on your clothes, zipping your bags and walking out the door, two children will slow you down a surprising amount.

Breakfast was gobbled down at breakneck speed and consisted of a slice of bread, two slices of ham, a slice of cheese, a hard-boiled egg and some orange juice. It’s not often you’ll find me eating breakfast at 05:30, but today was one of those days.

The one bad thing about flying to continental Europe from Iceland is the time of the flights. Whether you’re flying to Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen or Amsterdam, the flights all leave before 08:00. The airport is really busy at this time of day, but dies off after the European flights leave. It doesn’t get busy again until the afternoon, when the more reasonably scheduled flights to North America leave. So, flying into Iceland from North America is hell and flying out to Europe is hell, so we got the worst of both worlds on this trip.

The day before had seen us leave Reykjavík and enjoy an afternoon at Bláa Lonið. Eloïse and Lucas both had water-wings on this time, and I found I could keep Lucas afloat by just resting a hand under his head. He loved the warm water and looked at one point as if he might fall asleep.

Eloïse, too, was in her element. Once she realised she could float with the water-wings, she was propelling herself between Sarah and me under her own steam. She was so excited to find herself basically swimming on her own and had one of the biggest smiles you’ve ever seen.

We could scarcely have been more relaxed, then, as we began our departure from Iceland.

Everything went pretty much like clockwork, although it was extremely busy at Schiphol when we landed. You couldn’t get near the luggage belts and there were no spare luggage trolleys. Our bags, all five of them, also took a long time to come out. We had so much luggage (including a toddler’s car-seat and a Bugaboo pram) and carry-on bags that we could hardly balance it all on two trolleys.

Anyway, we finally made it home, where I’m happy to report that our heating was on and working properly; just as well, as it’s colder here than in Iceland. The thermostat gave an error code this evening, however, so I’ll need to call about that in the morning. Here we go again.

As I write this, I’m ripping my latest batch of Icelandic CDs, so that I’ll be able to listen to them on the Sonos tomorrow.

It’s good to be home again. The nicer we make our home with little luxuries, the more I miss it while we’re away. It’s always fun to travel, but with two children, the getting there has become an unavoidable chore, and only the time spent at the destination can be described as actual enjoyment. It used to be that the holiday began as soon as I got on the plane, such was the excitement. I’ve flown so much in the last decade that that’s also had an effect, of course.

So, tonight we sleep in our own bed again. I’m looking forward to it.

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