Iceland Megatrip 2005 – Day 2

June 26th 2005, our plane lands at London Heathrow just after 6am.

Since all four of us would be coming back through London at different times, we split up to make the trip out to London Stansted. Matthew and I took the tube into to London and then caught the train out to Stansted whilst Mum and Pabbi caught a direct bus from Heathrow to take them to Stansted.

Matthew and I hopped on the tube at Heathrow and then got off at King’s Cross/St Pancras at roughly 7:30am on Sunday June 26, 2005, to say the station was dead would be an understatement. Since we only had one trip tickets and had already passed through the turnstiles trying to find a map we decided that since we had plenty of time to kill why not just put our bags on our back and walk to Liverpool St Station, because what a great way to see the sights and to save money! Right …

We exited King’s Cross and walked across the street and picked up a bite to eat in the McDonald’s, we then found a street map of the local area and planned our route.

We walked up Pentonville Road, before coming down Goswell Rd, then along London Wall till we reached Old Broad St and then Liverpool St Station was right before our eyes.

Our route

Some of the interesting things we saw on our walk included a mastectomy wear shop (Nicola Jane at 150 Goswell Rd, London EC1V 7DU), a strange looking ATM and way too many Starbucks and McDonalds.

Nicola Jane Mastectomy Wear cash machine and phone booth

Whilst we did not have many streets to travel on, it was still quite an adventure, at each bus shelter we would check our progress on the map and we would stop every so often to readjust my bag which is not designed for carrying on your shoulders for great lengths. It is a large duffle bag and the straps on it are just seatbelt webbing so when your bag has 20kg plus in it, those straps really start to dig into your shoulders! The pain in my shoulders from the straps would stay with me all day as we waited at the airport.

Matthew walking through London

Matthew was luckier as you can see in the picture above, he has an actual hiking pack but his daypack was not nice to him and one of the straps broke which meant that we had to do some running repairs on the road.

Matthew just near Liverpool St Station outside The Railway Tavern.

Matthew outside The Railway Tavern

The whole walk ended up at about 3.2km and took us about 1hr or so with us each porting at least 20kg.

We arrived at the station at the right time as a couple of minutes after we had bought our Standsted Express tickets, our train departed 🙂

The train ride was quite a nice ride, Matthew fell asleep fairly soon after we took off which left me to have my eyes glued to the passing scenery and as we left Greater London and entered the Essex countryside it was super cool to see rabbits hopping through some of the fields we passed!

Whilst Matthew was sleeping I took this picture of his reflection.

On the Standsted Express

Once the train arrived at Stansted, we disembarked and started our way up the endless sets of stairs to get up to the entry of the airport. It is when you are travelling up/down stairs with luggage that you really appreciate having a backpack as you just power up the stairs whilst everyone else struggles pulling their suitcase up the stairs.

By potluck a couple of minutes after we arrived inside we saw Mum and Pabbi walk past and were greeted with awful news, our plane had been delayed. I was ready then to leave my bags with my family and hop tail it back into to London to see some sights or hit up some shops and as we would later find out, that would have been a really good idea.

Because with our plane been delayed and delayed we ended up sitting, lying or walking around Stansted for 13+hours.

delayed, delayed, delayed

The delay did mean however that we were given food vouchers 🙂 and as the plane was delayed for a second time we ended up getting a second set of food vouchers. The food vouchers I think were each worth £7 and had to be used in full each time, so we spent a considerable amount of time before we used the vouchers scouting all the food shops to see where we could get maximum utility value.

Self portrait at Standsted waiting, waiting, waiting

We spent our time waiting, waiting, waiting by reading, reading, reading, sleeping, window shopping and walking around aimlessly. Later on in the afternoon when most of the passengers on our flight were sitting in the same area awaiting our next update we spent some time chatting with the passengers around us exchanging travel plans and offering tips etc.

We ended up arriving in Keflavík just after midnight on June 27th and thanks to the wonderful thing called midnight sun it gave my heart the biggest smile when we passed over breaks in the clouds and I could see the lava, moss, roads and lakes below and when we stepped off the plane and had were greeted by the Icelandic air my heart started doing back flips 🙂

Once we had passed through immigration, received the stamp in our passports, collected our luggage and visited the toilet, we were greeted by one of the most heart-warming sights in the world of three brothers with large smiles on their faces and then lots of hugs. The bummer was though because our plane was delayed and delayed only Karl, Tóti and Hafþór came to collect us as the young children were all tucked up in bed fast asleep. This was the cause of much heartache for Soley and in turn for me, as she was looking so forward to seeing me and if our plane had arrived when it was due she could have made the trip out to the airport with Hafþór. As a consolation however she drew me a picture and wrote me a letter which Hafþór brought to the airport with him which said that I am her favourite aunt 🙂

We then piled into the cars and made the trip to the flat where Karl and Anika lived which is where Matthew and I would be staying, Hafþór picked up his car to return to his flat and Mum and Pabbi headed off with Tóti to his house.
Then after a bit of chatting amongst the four youngest Pálssons we hit the sack after a very long day.

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