An Unexpected But Enjoyable Stopover in Iceland

An Unexpected But Enjoyable Stopover in Iceland

Update: WOW Air is no longer with us. They’ve gone to a farm upstate to play with the other airlines.

What Happens When You Fly Budget Airlines

A few months ago, I was on my way to Copenhagen for my latest jaunt and wound up with a stopover in Iceland. I got a pretty good flight out of Baltimore with WOW Air (R.I.P.). I’ve generally had positive experiences with WOW and, as long you know what isn’t included in your fare, they generally work out well for the budget-conscious. If you’re not familiar with WOW, they were a budget carrier where all (most?) flights from the US have a stopover in Iceland.

Unfortunately, my flight out of BWI was delayed and we experienced even more delays while in the air. We ended up landing in Keflavík at about 5:30 am but alas, I had missed my connecting flight to Copenhagen, a story familiar to most frequent travelers. Tired, hungry, grumpy, deprived of oxygen, all of the emotions that come from air travel. I’m the first to admit my occasional lack of patience in certain, uh, situations like these. It was the beginning of my journey and things had already started to fall of the rails. After waiting around for about 45 minutes, we were told by the WOW staff that connections to Copenhagen wouldn’t be available until the following morning. Kudos to them for at least giving us hotel vouchers for the night?

I had always wanted to visit Iceland but I’d always imagined it to be some awesome hiking adventure where I scale volcanoes or something. Anyway, I was running on little to no sleep and wanted to make my way over to the hotel to nap out my feelings. Since it was my first time in the country (aside from other stopovers in Iceland), my first thought was “oh cool maybe I can hop over to Reykjavik for the afternoon”…it turns out the hotel was about an hour and a half from the city by public transport. It didn’t seem to make much sense to spend 3 hours on the bus to just chill in Reykjavik for an hour before having to get ready for my flight at 5 am.

Instead, I took a power nap and went to explore Keflavík (the town where the airport/airport hotels are located). To my surprise, it ended up being a lovely town with beautiful scenery (as I’d imagine goes for most of Iceland). A nice walk along the water, some pictures, a cute cafe, and great seafood made for an unexpectedly relaxing evening.

I guess the moral of the story fits into my mindset when it comes to travel:

  • Travel light (see our Ultralight Packing List)
  • Be flexible when things don’t go according to plan
  • When stressed, find some booze and relax

Or, as a great philosopher once said, “when life gives you lemons, say fuck the lemons and bail”….or something like that.