It was a bittersweet feeling to leave the ship this morning to fly to Iceland. We have many new acquaintances whom we’ll probably never see again. But Iceland calls. . . We were in Stavanger just three days ago, then Flåm, and then Bergen. Today we had to fly from Bergen back to Stavanger to go to Iceland. It seems backward, but that’s how it is.
Norway must hold the world record for tunnels. Thanks to Alfred Nobel, dynamite simplifies travel through the mountains in Norway. On the 30-minute drive from the ship to the airport, we passed through five tunnels. One was quite long–several miles–and even had an exit to another road from inside the tunnel. There is one tunnel in Norway that is so long, there is a rest stop in it so that drivers can park and blink before they go into a tunnel trance driving such a long distance. (We weren’t in that tunnel.) When we arrived at the airport, we couldn’t help smiling at the signage.
All went well until we got on the plane. I couldn’t believe the two seats I saw were the ones printed on our tickets. They were immediately in front of the emergency door (is that legal???), but the stewardess assured me that we should be seated there. Ok, fine. It’s not a long flight and we probably won’t need the emergency exit.
During the forty minutes from Bergen to Stavanger, I became increasingly tense and had to fight tears. I just wanted to go home!!!! Ted was seated on the aisle side and I was beside the door. I couldn’t see anything to my left (Ted is bigger than I am) or to my right (no window in the door) or ahead of me (seat back of the next row). I couldn’t even see anything between the seats ahead of me. I was just sitting in a tiny little viewless world.
I finally told Ted I wanted to ask if we could change seats when we landed in Stavanger. He said he was fine and it was only another hour to Iceland. At the time, he didn’t realize that I was a long way from fine. I talked to the stewardess and she said after the additional passengers boarded in Stavanger, she’d see what she could do. Thank goodness, she found seats across the aisle. Almost immediately after we took the new seats, I calmed down and Iceland sounded like a better idea than going home. I’ve never liked caves, but I ride elevators and have had MRIs without incident. I didn’t know claustrophobia was a problem until I was boxed into that tiny seat space. Believe me, I’m checking seat assignments a lot more carefully in the future!
I took pictures of Iceland from the air as we approached Reykjavik. Just like England, it doesn’t look like home.