Saturday, September 06, 2014

The Golden Circle and Beyond

We hit the grocery store, picked up our rental car, and were headed yowards the Golden Circle. Driving in Iceland is easy although the Suzuki Swift doesn't have much get up and go.

It was raining most of the way, but thankfully stopped when we got to Gullfoss, a giant and impressive waterfall. I had to use the restroom, but didn't want to pay to pee, so I passed. Next, we went to nearby Geysir, a collection of geysers, including its namesake, which has remained dormant because tourists threw rocks into it in the 1950s, to see what would happen.

Geysir does have a very active neighbor and everyone had their cameras at the ready to capture its eruption. We saw it spew sulfur smelling water a few times before heading back to the car. That was when I realized I had dropped the car keys somewhere near one of the geysers. After a frantic retracing of steps, the keys were nowhere to be found. I was freaking out.

I went to the shops across the street and asked if any of the stores' workers had been given lost keys. The women at a store selling little souvenirs said no. The told me to head downstairs and ask the bistro on the right. There was another duo of clerks for the same little souvenirs down the stairs and to the left, but I figured no one would turn them ovrr there. I found a bathroom and peed for free. Then I asked the people at the bistro. They didn't have them. I went to the hotel next door. They didn't have them and I was told by a stern woman to "walk around again."

I was panicking. Candace said the rental car could drive out here and drop off a spare, something that I was unaware of, because I've only rented a car once before in my life and didn't lose the keys that time. Candace went to call the rental place. I sat by the car and was quite upset at myself. A German woman asked me if I had a problem. I told hrr what jad happened. She comforted me while telling my how excited she was to practice her newly learned English. She had been born in Poland, so her accent was almost like my grandmother's Yiddish accent.

The woman wished me luck and shortly Candace came back triumphantly waving the car keys. A local had  returned them to the one set of clerks I hadn't asked. Candace said the upstairs clerks had curtly told her they didn't have our keys, but did allow her to call the rental place. The rental place had been alerted that the souvenir shop had the keys. The upstairs clerks denied it. Eventually, they decided to check with the downstairs clerks who had the keys. They said a local had found them and turned them in.

We had lost an hour and a half. It had worked out as best as possible, but I was still disppointed in myself. I realized even more how lucky we were when it started pouring moments after we were back on the road. As a result, we skipped the park.

There's a long tunnel on the ring road heading north along Iceland's west coast. After the tunnel, there's a toll and I stupidly went into Iceland's version of the EZ Pass lane without Iceland's version of EZ Pass. So I went through and then backed up to the cash/credit booth. I told the woman what happened. She said she saw and it wouldn't be a problem. She said, "It happens all the time. Every day."

Now we're in a hotel north of Borganes all by ourselves. It's quiet.

No comments: