Walking Around Reykjavik

Visiting Reykjavik
13 kilometres of walking around
Sunday, June 19, 2016
Happy Father’s Day

I woke up with a crushing headache this morning. Probably a caffeine withdrawal headache. I have been taking cold capsules that have caffeine and have been cutting back on them. After drinking half a cup of coffee, which felt more like taking medicine than something to be enjoyed. I slowly came round. Brian did not fare as well today. We walked to the bus station to see if we could trade our bus tickets so that tomorrow we could spend time at the Blue Lagoon on the way to the airport. No such luck. The Blue Lagoon was fully booked. I guess we needed to book this when we arrived from Manchester! A number of locals have said The Blue Lagoon is over-rated.

The bigger problem is that Brian’s knee locked on him as we walked. It is puffy and the pain is sharper. We still walked around Reykjavik but very slowly and tried out benches here and there. We also had two cappuccinos during the day, each time making use of the wifi and sitting for an hour or more. No one was anxious to shoo us away. The better coffee was at Hornid, a pizzeria, but the more agreeable ambience was in a cafe on the waterfront that had an open fire, actually a part of the fancy Icelandair Hotel. The chocolate peanut brownie was a delicious addition. It was a bonus that it only rained while we were inside the cafe.

We are so fortunate that Brian did not have this knee problem to this degree at any other time on our trip. Tomorrow we will be flying to Toronto. It is time!

We did fit in a visit to the sculpture garden. There are many bronze sculptures through the city, all interesting. We also took the elevator to the top of the landmark in Reykjavik, Hallgrimskirkja. We were able to look over the whole city with its colourfully painted buildings, harbour full of boats and mountains not far away. There appeared to be very little traffic all of which was moving slowly. There were many more pedestrians, many in the vicinity of this Catholic Church. Mass was just ending. We took the opportunity to sit for a while on the upholstered pews, admire the simple altar and enormous organ and feel peaceful even with hundreds of tourists walking silently through the church taking photos.

We came back to our room to relax for awhile before going out for supper. We returned to the Sea Baron where we shared a lobster soup. I had a scallop skewer and Brian a shrimp skewer. The restaurant is such that you sit at long tables along with whoever else comes in. We visited with a couple and their twelve year old son from San Francisco. After four days in Ireland they were renting a car and doing the circle tour of Iceland for ten days before flying home.

Chocolate covered licorice is a popular product in Iceland. I am not a big fan of licorice, but I like this. For lunch we had a hot dog at the famous hot dog stand, Baejarins Beztu Pylsur, by harbour. It was okay but definitely over-rated. It was boiled, not barbequed. Imagine that! Not my favourite. I thought there were to be lots of toppings but fully dressed meant mustard, ketchup, mayo, fried onions and raw onions. I skipped the ketchup and raw onions. Seriously what is a hot dog without relish? People were lined up to buy these hot dogs.

We have been thinking about what we brought in our backpack. We used everything except our ponchos, gaiters and flashlights. The last item was on the list the Trekkng Behind the Mountain company gave us. They must not vary the list by season. Certainly no flashlights are needed in June in Iceland unless you are in a windowless cave. If we had not brought the extra rain gear, the weather gods may not have looked as favourably on us. We considered these items weather insurance.

For those of you soon to be driving in Iceland, Marie and Jim, we hope you rent a good four wheel drive vehicle. At this time of year, driving on the ring road around the island looks easy, especially compared to Ireland or England. The roads are wider with no stone walls or hedges to hem you in. Traffic is light. Off this paved road is a different story. Be careful! Be safe! There is much to explore.

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