【Kaohsiung High Speed Railway】

2010.8.7

3:00 in the afternoon.

After a year, I'm finally ready for going to another country.

Travelling is always the dream in my life, and an important  and expected thing that could hold me when I feel tired with my job.

Although the plane depart at 20:20, I don't want to make any accident that will delay my flight. Therefore, I always arrive at the airport much earlier than others do.

I arrived Taoyan airport at 5:00, and I have three boring hours to spend.

A bored man in a boring airport.

 

After my luggage have been checked in, I find that my cellphone is to run out the eletricity. Thus I go to a store that provide free charging service and charged my cellphone. In the meanwhile,  I listen to my MP3 player.

As for Taiwanese's Taoyan "International Airport", I always feel shame for it's bad looking and service.

I think the Singapore Airport or Hong Kong airport is qualified for the name of "International".

Now, Taoyan airport is under interior decoration. I hope that it will get improved not only in the building, but also the service as well. 

 【Taoyan International Airport】

The plane arrived at Hong Kong airport at 20:00, and the transfer flight to London is at 23:55.

When I arrive in London tomorrow morning, I have to take another flight to Iceland in the afternoon.

Iceland is quite far away from Taiwan.

Hong Kong airport provide wireless internet service, But I don't bring my notebook pc with me. I try to find the free internet access point, but these computers are occupied by others. Finally, I go to the boarding gate and wait for the boarding time coming.

From Hong Kong to London, It takes about 10 to 12 hours. Last year, I have experienced such long flights to and from New Zealand, so I choose the seat by the aisle this time. It is much better, I think.

 【Hong Kong Airport】

 

2010.8.8

6:00 in the morning, the plane finally arrived at Heathrow Airport in London.

Because the flight to Iceland is in the afternoon, I choose to enter London, take my luggage and go to another terminal for transfering.

When I pass the passport check point, there is a Chinese that could not speak English. Although my English is not very good, I still be the translator and translate the questions and answers for them.

Have A Good Day ~~ It's really a good day.

Leaving the 3rd terminal, I see the entrance of London Tube in the half way. And there is also a tourist information center there. I think that these are the good services for an International Airport, just as I saw in New Zealand and Japan. 

I walk slowly into the 1st terminal. Because it is still early before luggage check-in time, I search for the internet service here. It cost about £1 for 10 minutes's access, and £3 for each printing. But the computer here could not display Traditional Chinese. It make me feel bad.

If you don't know the area for checking in your flight, you could see this information board.

By the way, there are a post-box and a stamp machine in the airport. It is nice and convenient for the people who want to mail their postcards to their family or friends.

After I sit and wait until 10:00, pass two-hour boring time, I check in my luggage and enter the boarding area that has more shops and restaurants.

Because of the sky windows, the area insides is bright. Very nice feeling.

I buy a sandwich and juice for lunch, and look around the shops here.

Actually, I could take the Tube to visit London first, but I just don't want to miss my flight.

Anyway, when the long, boring morning  in the airport have passed, I finally fly to Iceland. 

It takes about two hours to fly from London to Iceland.

On the flight, I see a young boy seat in my left side. I think he is about twenty years old, maybe older, but less than thirty years old.

He sometimes takes photos of the scenes outside the window. I notice that one of his books is Japanese travel book for Iceland, so I know that he comes from Japan.

It is very easy to travel alone, I think.

Before the plane arrive at Keflavik Airport in Iceland, the Japanese young boy talks to me.

Of course, these conversations are made in Englsih.

His name is 原川拓士 (はらかわ たくし, Harakawa Takushi).

I talk to him and mention about my travelling in Hokaido, Japan in 2008. I very like to eat Japanese foods, just like Ramen (Japanese Noddle) and Sushi, especially the Nigiri (握り) that is a kind of sushi.

I give my Flcikr and Pixnet address to him, and he also gives me his e-mail address so I could contact with him.

The passport checking is quite easy when we arrived, the officer don't ask too many questions.

After I took my luggage, I go to the currency exchange counter, and change about 100 euro into Icelandic krona.

The people who have travelled in Iceland said that the credit card is very common and widely-use in Iceland, so I don't have to change too much money.

Actually, It is true. All the payment I had in Iceland during the next two weeks were charged into my credit card. Every stores, gas station, even the selling machine could accept credit cards. That's pretty convenient, and that's why the Lonely Planet said that the Icelandic could not live without this plastic card.

Next, we have to buy the bus ticket (Flybus) to Reykjavik. When other tourist are waiting in line, I notice a ticket machine that accepts credit card. Therefore I buy the Tickets for me and the Japanese boy. In a very quick way, we get on the Flybus to Reykjavik.

The bus goes to the main bus station in Reykjavik, called BSI. BSI is the center for the tourists travel by bus. They sell all the bus tickets, and the buses departure from here. When we arrived at BSI, we take another small bus to the hostels.

I stay in the Reykjavik Downtown Hostel tonight, it's located in the area near the harbour, and many attractions, shops and restaurants are around here.

As for 拓士, we have different plans, so we separate in front of Downtown hostel.

The hostels in Iceland are a little different from that in New Zealand. The hostels in New Zealand provide linen for free, but hostels in Iceland will charge for linen. So if you bring your sleepbag, you could save a little money. Besides, the Downtown Hostel provides breakfast for 1000 ISK.

My room is 33 in the 3rd floor. I take a hot spring bath, and then walk to the BSI to buy the tickets to Bakki harbour tomorrow.

I think, this is a really start for my travelling in Iceland when I walk in the streets of Reykjavik.

Walking for less than 5 minutes, I enter the bustling area where is surrounded by restaurants and shops, and there are also a small park and a church nearby. Turning into the street at the corner of the church, I reach the Tjonin Lake and City Hall. many ducks, sea gulls and pigeons live in this area. The sun is Big, and sky was quite clear and blue. This is my favorite place in Reykjavik.

I spend some time taking photos here, then walk for another 15 to 20 minutes to the BSI.

The travel books written in Traditional Chinese always introduced the bus passport in Iceland.

But, actually, the bus bus passport is only a part of the bus solution, not all. I think that the travel books should tell their reader very clearly about the buses in Iceland. It is not responsible to take a few information as everything.

So, I tell you. You should search your information in these websites of bus companies in Iceland.

There are two main bus companies in the BSI.

One is Reykjavik Excursion (http://www.re.is/), and the other is Sterna (http://www.sterna.is/).

Although there is also a bus company running their buses in the north area, the ticket booth is given over to the Sterna.

You could buy bus passport if the buses included in the passport are all you need, and it really save your money than buying theses tickets separately. If not, you don't have to buy bus passport as the books introduce to you.

Of course, you don't have to worry about not understanding these buses very clearly. Just go to the BSI and the staffs in these two office would meet your need.

And, as I wrote ahead, tourists get on the buses in the BSI. So, the BSI is an important transportation center.

As for buying tickets in other cities or towns, you could buy tickets directly from the bus driver. they always bring a credit card machine with them, and you don't have to worry about the payment.

Besides, Flybus is ran by the Reykjavik Excursion. You could buy Flybus tickets in the BSI, or any hostels or hotels that the BSI provides transferring service, just like Downtown hostel.

After I bought the tickets to Bakki harbour, I keep on walking to the famous church in Reykjavik, named Hallgrimskirkja. the name is very hard to spell, and I prefer to call it "Reykjavik Shuttle Church" for its shape.

In Iceland, the churches are designed in different kinds of styles, and not like the traditional churches in other countries. Because the opening hours have passed, I take photos around the church, and have to arrange an another day for visiting insides, included the tower.

My last detination today is Sum Craft (Fish bone) besides the harbour shore. It is a artistic creation in elegant design. Sometimes, you could see children climbing over the craft and adults sitting on the steps nearby. With a silent sea in the front, it make me feel very peaceful.

Finished a big circle in Reykjavik. The sky is still bright even in 8 or 9 o'clock in the night. You will never think that it's a time for resting.

In the street directing to Sport Square, I find a lovely painting on the walls. In Taiwan, it is illegal to painting walls without permissions, and sometimes, these paintings don't fit the looking around the buildings in the city.

Although It is already 10 o'clock in the night, I am ready for sleeping. It is a very strange experience to sleep in the daytime, not in the dark.

It's quite a long daytime in Iceland, very very long.

Someone said that you could see the Midnight sun in the summer in Iceland. But I don't think that I could keep awake until it become dark. 

 

Attachments:Travelling Route Map

  

A:Taoyan International Airport, Taiwan → Hong Kong Airport

B:Heathrow Airport, London, UK

C:Keflavik International Airport, Iceland

 

A:Keflavik International Airport

B:Reykjavik

 

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