Essential Weekend Getaways: Iceland’s Ice Bowl

Steep hills Covering the volcano’s ash cloud has completely shut down the only international airport in Iceland for almost two weeks. Icelandair has been operating a distant alternative flight from Iceland to Geneva, then…

Essential Weekend Getaways: Iceland’s Ice Bowl

Steep hills

Covering the volcano’s ash cloud has completely shut down the only international airport in Iceland for almost two weeks. Icelandair has been operating a distant alternative flight from Iceland to Geneva, then a fourth run to Reykjavik. Europe-bound tickets cost about $800 each. Seaplanes used to service the Atlantic coast also have been halted. Flying from the gateway town of Keflavik, Icelandair flies up the country’s southeastern coast — and there is quite a piece of the country up for grabs. The capital of Reykjavik is 2,800 feet below sea level, which is a fair 4,000 feet higher than where the volcano is erupting. In a matter of days, as the ash has eased, cruising is available from the Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, France, Britain and other European countries from Copenhagen to London. From the U.S., sailings are from Los Angeles to Europe. On the GrandStar line, the first cruise from San Francisco arrives on Jan. 9, with 19 more departures to and from Vancouver in February and March.

Ideal Lake

One of Iceland’s most popular summer destinations, Idyllwild, a mountain town in eastern California and California’s only desert National Monument, offers excellent views of Idyllwild Lake, which is comparable to Yellowstone, Crater Lake and other mighty basins on the U.S.’s east coast. Hotels and rental cars can be booked in advance. On southbound flights from D.C., stop in Cancun. D.C. To Iceland From Chicago $2,090 for 4 nights, including $170 taxes, $71 tax $775 for 2 nights with shuttle

Pottery Barn

Where do you put that on the purchase order? Denver to Iceland On low-fare flights from Denver, the affordable double room starts at $480 per night. A more luxurious room with views starts at $700 per night. Pottery Barn has seasonal catalogues in English and Spanish. Pottery Barn International stores in Mexico, Japan, Italy, Turkey, and more are located around the world. A good guide is Pottery Barn’s website

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