Iceland 2009 – Entry #3

11 AM GRAND HOTEL

I awoke, feeling tight in my body, achy in places I didn’t know could ache. It had been a trying two days, and my muscles were screaming at me for a workout.

I went down to reception and asked about their gym facilities. 3,200 ISK per day…

I promptly went back up to my room and did a military workout for the next hour. Sadly, that’s not anywhere as dirty as it sounds.

When I had finished my workout, my body quivering from exertion (I had recently learned some devastating new exercises from my personal trainer the previous week), I relaxed under a steaming hot shower for a good thirty minutes. Now, if you knew me, you’d know that is rare. I am a “quick shower” kind of person. To me, there are far better ways to spend my time than standing half an hour in the shower. I was wrong. My wife is rejoicing right now at this (ha ha).

Seriously, the half hour I spent in that shower made me feel like a million bucks, which was probably the cost in ISK for the amount of hot water I used. The taps in Iceland were interesting to me in my limited European travel experience. They would turn to 38 degrees celsius, then lock. However, if you pushed the safety button, the tap would turn further to a scalding 42 degrees celsius. I don’t think I can ever go back to regular hot showers after that!

I got dressed, grabbed my gaudy tourist map, then headed out the lobby doors. Where would I go?

I know! CCP! (I can hear Kirith weeping as he reads this).

Since I wasn’t in a hurry, I decided to walk… in the piercing, cold, upblowing rain. It was a 40 minute walk, and I was thoroughly drenched to my bones, but the moment I walked into CCP Reception, none of it mattered.

3PM CCP HQ

I spent the next hour getting a thorough tour of the facility (which is completely gorgeous and that’s not including the exquisite saltwater fishtank), and many introductions were made to key people Chris and I would be interacting with during our stay in Iceland.

I want to interject here as to how truly humbling this entire experience has been thus far. To be here, talking to CCP about Capsuleer, and to get to enjoy Fanfest AND to see CCP HQ… seriously, wow. Thank you with all my heart to everyone: the 25,000+ users of Capsuleer that have given our app a solid base to build on, to CCP for noticing our little app and appreciating the detail and hard work put into it, and to all the websites, magazines, and blogs out there that have given us glowing reviews and appreciation. It just goes to show that you never know where your passions might lead, so whatever your passion may be, never give up on it!

After finishing up at CCP, I headed into downtown Rekjavik.

Again, phenomenal architecture. Everything was under construction, new buildings being built, old buildings being renovated; the city could rival Dubai for its apparent growth and cutting edge appeal.

But so far the single greatest aspect of Rekjavik as a city is the traffic system. There are very few intersections with traffic lights; rather everything is “roundabouts”. I don’t know if that’s the correct word, but literally, that is what they are.

Little circular islands in the middle of the road, and all traffic simply travels counterclockwise around them. I seem to recall from movies that this is quite common in Europe, but to see how efficient they are in person is something else! North Americans could definitely learn a thing or two from this.

I spent the remainder of my afternoon on foot, getting the lay of the land. I always liked knowing where I was when in a new place; it made it feel less foreign and more comfortable to me. Iceland provided many great landmarks to get my bearings from.

6PM CABIN HOTEL

I dropped by the Cabin Hotel where Chris was staying, but he wasn’t in. I left a message for him at the front desk, then walked across the street to a Subway restaurant and had a 1,000 ISK sub. Geez. For the paltry amount of toppings they gave, one would hope they wouldn’t be so expensive.

I finished my sub and began walking back to the Grand Hotel, again marvelling at the roundabouts. I had just walked by one when I heard the telltale crash of a car accident.

Not more than ten feet behind me, two women had crashed into each other in the roundabout.

I quickly ran to them, making sure they were both uninjured, helped them move their cars off of the road, and helplessly hoped they could call 911. I had no idea what the number for emergency services was in Iceland.

They were both uninjured, and really quite pleasant to each other about the entire thing, and thanked me for my help.

I went on my way, and shortly arrived back at the Grand Hotel.

I grabbed my laptop, headed for the lobby, and checked my emails. There was some email from CCP, a message from Chris, but most importantly, my wife had emailed me!!!

My heart ached for her. I missed her so much. I immediately emailed her back, and arranged a time for us to IM. I wanted to consume her completely, but IM would have to do for now.

I then headed back to the Cabin Hotel, hooked up with Chris and his wife, and the three went over our business plan and positioning statement for CCP.

Even though it was still early evening, the three of us were quite tired, so I took my leave and headed back to the Grand.

9:30 PM GRAND HOTEL LOBBY

I logged onto my IM program, and my wife surprised me by being online early! She missed me as much as I missed her.

I blogged while we chatted, the excitement level intense between us, not just for each other, but about the cool and exciting things happening in Iceland. The potential here for Chris and I could be enormous!

I was feeling a bit tired myself, so wrapped things up with my wife, and went back to my room.

10:15 PM ROOM 749

My iPhone had a text message on it from Lars. The Film Festival after-party was starting soon at the Foss Hotel, and he wanted to know if I could come.

Hell yes!

The Foss Hotel was about a 15 minute walk, and let me tell you, once the sun sets in Iceland, you can say goodbye to your testicles. I mean, I’m from Canada, but holy damn was it ever cold!

I found Lars pretty easily (turns out he’s a bit famous in his circle), and we spent the night chatting, drinking, eating wings (thank God for more food), and really just had a fantastic time, even though the bar ran out of beer. These Europeans certainly know how to drink.

2 AM ?

Lars paid for a cab to get me back to my room, as I wasn’t really in a position to walk (sorry honey!) and I quickly staggered to my bed and passed out, dizzy but content.

9 responses to “Iceland 2009 – Entry #3

  1. If this culminates with you telling us you’re getting hired to work full time at CCP, I’m just going to DIE of envy.

    Meanwhile, very much enjoying the travelogue.

  2. The roundabouts are common in Canada also, here in Iceland they are everywhere, even on highways.

    The problem with them is they can’t handle large volumes of traffic, in Edmonton Alberta they have even put lights on some of them and converted them to intersections. but round ones
    🙂

    When the traffic volume gets large enough you get people stuck int he roundabout unable to get out because of the grid lock traffic. That kind of traffic levels don’t occur here.

    CCP Incognito.

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