It takes a special woman--a spirited woman--to run a B and B in her home. She must be organized, efficient, informative, and personable. One week into our European adventure, such women have enriched our experience. We found both through Airbnb.com (read more in my former post).
Our first stop was Selfoss, Iceland, just south of Keflavik. Our host, Bjarney led us to a warm, welcoming bed, where, after a seven-hour flight and a morning at the Blue Lagoon, we dozed off into a powerful two-hour nap as soon as the fluffy down comforters brushed our chins. Afterwards, Bjarney helped us plan our next day. Stocked with excellent maps and good advice, she showed us how to take advantage of the few remaining sun rays in the season.
She also told us where the speed traps were, which is good information for us, being no strangers to international speeding tickets. Mind you, the three in Turkey were a bit suspect, as the cops pulled us over an hour and a half after we were supposedly speeding and demanded cash money (the equivalent of $3) on the spot, in their hands. And the one in New Zealand was a bit weird, too--how can anyone speed in a camper van? But that, too, was cash on the spot. But back to Iceland--which does look a lot like New Zealand, when you think about it. More lava, rocks and sheep than people. The difference? No speeding tickets for us.
Each morning Bjarney laid out a spread of Icelandic delights, including smoked lamb on thin Icelandic bread, something we wouldn't have tried in a restaurant. For us Americans, she also included a special treat, Oreos.
For a quick shower, I stood on her geo thermally-heated floor with the remote control in hand: lights! water! music! Our last night ended with a hot sauna and cold shower. Good for inducing sound sleep when you're jet-lagged.
Our next in-home B & B host was equally pleasant. Jane has a glassed in breakfast room where I sit, drinking my early morning coffee and writing these notes while her sixteen horses gallivant across the field between me and the waves crashing against the rocks. It's blustery out there, so Jane is studying the wind charts in order to best advise each house guest when to cross the mountain to Reykjavik or the water to the next peninsula.
I am glad I got to see Iceland. It's an interesting layover, and Icelandic Air lets you do it for no additional fee. But I am grateful I got to be hosted by such interesting women, who do special little things to make you feel like they care. It was the best part of the trip.