Originally published 26 June 2013
Looking out over the city
We woke this morning....or actually off and on all night....to rain and howling wind. The wind driven rain pelting our little hut......and from time to time, waking us up. We are warm and cozy in our little hut.....but soon we head to Reykjavic.
Icelandic fast food
It's odd with the long daylight hours. It's not at all unusual to see kids out playing or riding their bikes at midnight.....mainly because it's not dark! We came in tonight around 10 p.m., and all the kids were at a diner type restaurant, the sidewalk in front full of kid's bicycles. I don't know how everyone handles sleeping here in the summer...but I can see how it can really get bizarre at times......an unusual situation for those of us who deal with real variations in night and day.
We have breakfast, then catch the shuttle bus to the airport. We get our bus to Reykjavic, run by a company called "flybus"......it's raw, cold, and raining sideways. This'll be fun. But you all know us. We won't let a little rain stop us. We get to Reykjavic about 10:15 and pick up the public bus in front of the bus station. We're not sure where we're going yet.
Harpa, the Reykjavik concert hall
I gotta agree. Words of wisdom.
We follow the crowd when everyone gets off the bus....which turns out to be exactly the stop we should go to! It's COLD, raw, windy........so we grab a coffee and figure out our moves. We wander through the downtown in the pouring rain.....the less hearty souls staying home. As I said to Laurie....."yeah, it's miserable, but how many people do we personally know who have gotten coffee in Reykjavic on a rainy day?" It's a small club....at present containing only the two of us. Let us know if there are others. We've always liked doing and seeing things that other people don't. This is no exception.
We wander up and down, seeing famous places like the Lebowski bar ( yeah....THAT Lebowski), and Prikid, the oldest coffeehouse/restaurant in Iceland. It seems that it has been open since.....1951. Not exactly old by any standards except Icelandic standards.
Prikid coffee house
To explain.......the population here has always been small. At present, all of Iceland has around 320,000 people. Of that, over 200k of these people live in or around Reykjavic. I read that after WWII, Reykjavic had a population of only around 5,000. All of this growth has occurred in the last 60 years.....pretty impressive if you think about it.
The bar at Prikid
Prikid is where we had lunch. It has the feel of an old NYC diner type place. We both had burgers (named for Pulp Fiction things....I had the Royal with Cheese!) and fries and drinks. Cost was about 30 bucks......kinda pricey for a lunch burger in the states. But things are more expensive here. This place is on par with London price wise.....things cost about the same both places. We ate in London and had less for lunch for two...and it cost the same. Things are cheaper outside of the big city too. Figure 1/3 less in the outlying areas.
Laurie's magic hat
Our standard stuffed polar bear pic. You'll see more of these in the future!
The weather was vile.....and Laurie wished for a warm hat. So she bought a nice one! It seems the hat was magic. Her head was now warm, and the rain stopped. The magic hat seems to work great! The weather cleared, and although cold and breezy, the sun was out and it was beautiful! We continued our wanderings. It was much nicer to not have a driving rain.
Corrugated metal "gingerbread" style house
These folks will never have trouble finding their house
It seems the building material of choice here is corrugated metal. Walls, roofs, any exterior element is corrugated "tin". It's either that or concrete. Wood is in very short supply with almost zero homes being made of wood....just the opposite of many Americans. On the trip in from Keflavik to Reykjavic, we saw NO trees until near the capital....and none of them are wild. all the trees are cultivated.
If you think puffin sounds nasty..........
Boiled sheep's head is REALLY nasty. (NOT mine).
They named Doritos after me!!
During our travels, we climbed to the top of the church bell tower here. A great view of everything, making for some impressive photos. We also checked out the convention center/concert venue. Not tin, not concrete, but nearly all glass. Way cool building.
Lava rock church in the countryside
This was actually taken at 11 p.m.
We decide it's time to head back to Keflavik, catching the city bus then the flybus back to Keflavik. When we arrived, we picked the rental car up early and did a little driving...seeing lighthouses, and the Iceland countryside. It's like the moon....lava fields with cracks...............it's very unique, and the areas we were in....very isolated.
Lots of lighthouses here!
Our little "putt putt" car in front of our cabin
Tomorrow....mud...steam.....and things of that nature.
I'm Bill. My wife Laurie and I love to travel and share our stories. We especially love it when we have been able to motivate our readers to start traveling on their own, and making their own stories.
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