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every-button duplication of an actual Boeing 757-200, which serves as a flight training school for Icelandair and other airlines’ pilots. The lunar module-looking apparatus looks,sounds and even“moves” just like an actual jet airplanewould shim- my, pitch and list. Its computer-generated cockpit views have been painstakingly digitized right down to the cirrus-ness of the puffy clouds “out our window,” to the velocity of the cross-winds whipping the “runway.”


Tru Flight is not open to the public – my being here is witness Icelandair’s ongoing commitment to aviation safety – and that’s okay with me. I’m not allowed to operate this “aircraft,”but it sure is fun riding shot- gun in the co-pilot’s seat as we make our “final descent” into digitized Keflavik air- port below.


In the afternoon, I trek back into town looking for that perfect (read: cozy and friendly) little place where I can hang my knit cap for a while, and maybe read my book. I soon discover Svarta Kaffio (“Black Coffee”) – a cozy and friendly (“score!”) place that’s a red-bricked grotto where all they serve are beverages (coffee, teas, beer, wine and cocktails), and a beef soup or a root vegetable soup.


Both are ladled into the fluffy hollow of a big bread bowl. Thick, piping hot and creamy, turnip soup does it for me with my quenching mug of Gull – a quality local pilsner. It is nice sitting here with the iPhone off for a change and relaxing with a good book for a while…


Later, our gala dinner is held at Harpa. Possibly themost important building in all of Iceland, Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre is the eye-popping events facility centered at the foot of the city’s heart. A Cubism-Gone-Wild array of block-upon-glass-block of dramatic geom- etry rippling across its reflective facade. In 2008, when Iceland’s banking infra- structure faltered and almost fell into ruin, the city planners were faced with the dilemma to halt Harpa’s construction,but they kept building this 28,000-square meter spectacle,knowing its sure allure as a major events and performances venue. Today, Harpa remains an integral key to the health and robustness of Iceland’s economy.


Two grand halls each easily hold our 800 as we enjoy a sumptuous dinner celebra- tion. Throughout the meal, Icelandair and other main sponsors address the crowds. The emcee plays a “Win-a-Free-


City skyline of Reykjavik, Iceland with Harpa in the foreground photo courtesy of Harpa: http://en.harpa.is


Trip-to-Birmingham, England” game, and I desperately want to win. How cool would it be to return home and then pres- ent my wife with a trip to England?


Sadly, I’m eliminated in the first round. Dessert arrives - a chocolatemousse-filled Cadbury egg. I forget all about the lost trip and dig in…


• • • • • •


It’s Saturday morning. Time for my tour! Arcanum offers adventure through local glacier expertswho guide on snowmobile or via a glacier walk with a ride in a Super Jeep, ice climbing, a trek around a vol- cano, or ATV rides.


I’m off on an Arcanum Snowmobile Glacier Tour. I gaze out the window at the varying sized moss and lichen covered volcanic rock piles as hump backed gla- ciers rise enigmatically across the stark horizon.


As this rough-hewn and mysterious scape speeds bymy window the words of an old Led Zeppelin song suddenly enter my mind:“I come fromthe land of the ice and snow/from the midnight sun where the hot springs blow.”


74 March  April 2015


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