I ran into a former neighbor at the grocery store yesterday. He’s still with us but I have moved from across the street from him. Happens that he has some sort of role in The B-Town Blog.

Strangely enough, he asked if I would like to write something for publication. I asked him what would I write?

His answer left me scratching my head when he replied that I should write whatever I want.

OK, Scott here is what I want to write about. Let’s see if anyone wants to read it….

I suppose I should give a few hints who I am. That’s just in case you want to save some time. I’m one of those old guys you may know who has a lot of miles on them. You know, tells too many stories but can’t remember to take their coat when they leave. They have so many opinions that they can’t help but share them but the ones they share usually shouldn’t be shared. I don’t think I’m as bad as your worst in-law but it could take some flexibility to be accepted as a good friend.

With that as a cryptic introduction, let’s get to what I want to write about. As a serial retiree I have finally come to the point of trying to relax and enjoy this amazing world. I did travel too much while being an engineer for the big airplane company and that has trained me for international travels. However travel for work isn’t the same as travel for fun. I’m now going to places I want to see and explore. I think I’ll try and share some of that with you. Right from the start I’m not Rick Steves but I like what he does.

In the last couple years I have become interested in Iceland. Then I became fascinated. Now I might be obsessed. How about you follow me as I explored this different sort of destination. I first visited their primary airport for this tiny country because I’m a kind of miser when I travel. Long flights are a real source of stress and how a person tolerates that stress can really affect how the experience of a foreign country will be remembered. Traveling over seas for work usually meant flying in business class. Pretty posh for somebody like me. A time came when I was traveling to The UK every month or so. The airline costs were adding up to be a problem.

Enter IcelandAir, an old airline that had not previously served Seattle. They purchased some second hand Boeing 757s, spruced them up, and started flying directly from SeaTac to Keflavik, Iceland. From there it was an easy transfer to flights to the UK. The short layover there was just enough time to stretch my legs and maybe have a snack. It added about an hour to the trip but the business class ticket was about half of what the big airlines charged. More than the cost savings, it gave me to a glimpse of Iceland out of the airplane window and in the airport terminal.

I found a very interesting and new place for me to explore. Here was a landscape below that looked like nothing I had seen before. Here was a busy but modern, and too small airport that was obviously foreign yet everyone was speaking English except the travelers. My brief visit to the duty free shop exposed me to what the Icelanders think we tourists should like and buy. Icelandic wool sweaters in profusion, hand knitted with a specific pattern but many colors were a prominent offering. Stuffed animal toys like puffins, reindeer, lambs, goats, and foxes. Lot’s of Viking themes represented by runes to hang on the wall and books of the Viking sagas seemed to mean much to the sellers if not the buyers. The candy offerings were interesting with many varieties of licorice. Licorice in the hard liquors too. Licorice gin, vodka, and whiskey were all on the shelves. Maybe I’m too easily amused, but I think these selections were all fascinating to study between flights.

I did this brief stopover trip about dozen times in the couple years leading up to my latest final retirement. The last time I did this trip for work was the one that changed my feelings about

Iceland. I think that will be my next chapter. It will kind of establish me as an Icelandic blowhard.

Fred Feiertag is a Burien resident who enjoys traveling and sharing stories. He is also an expert metallurgist with over 40 years' experience in casting and foundry technology.