Old Norway

July 21st, 14.21, in the bus to Reykjavik.

Iceland sure looks a lot like the most weather-worn parts of Northern- Norway. It's just even more rocks here. Oh well. The trip here went ok, except I was placed right in the middle of a bunch of macho-men & sons, who seemed to have had a lot of success in their business lately, going to their hunting-cabin in Greenland, hoping to catch a lot of large salmons. And who definitely got their share of free drinks. I was delighted by being served chicken and infinite amounts of apple juice for free.

July 21st, 15.24, Hotel Loftleithir.

There. I am in Iceland. It is totally unreal in a way. Everything looks "Norwegian", except the signs contain Icelandic letters and the phone-book is sorted on first-names. Doing my observations while I am waiting for someone to come pick me up. I don't even know what they look like. The bus cost 600 Icelandic kronur.

July 21st, 23.39, in bed, with a lot of curious cats.

I am in the home of Gigja and Bjøssi, a nice, icelandic couple somewhat older than me, and their hords of cats. Today I visited the Pearl, a huge restaurant for the jet-set of Iceland (whereever they are hiding), and the home and garden of Åsgrimur Sveinsson, a national sculpturist whose works in his garden were really amazing in the midnight sun-light. I've been walking around in the residential areas of northern Reykjavik, and it is alot like any medium-sized, coastal Norwegian town.

July 22nd, 09.41, sitting in the garden.

Yikes! I've just left the shower, feeling dirtier than I felt before going there. I probably am just as clean as normally after a shower, but I think I would need some time to get used to the sulphuric smell of the water here. The volcanic activity has both good and bad sides, I guess. The smell being one bad thing, and the short lifetime of white socks being another one. Then again, the Icelandic people get their power from it, heat their water with it and it definitely gives them something to show the tourists in an otherwise not to exciting country.

July 23rd, 01.16, relaxing in the sofa.

Phew. Had a long day in Reykjavik. Started out with taking the bus that circles the town, seeing a hundred streets like the one Gigja and Bjøssi live in. Then we went "downtown". The blonde-density is rather a lot lower than I had expected, perhaps it is higher in the discotheques in the evenings? Anyway, I bought myself a swimsuit, and walked around to the different attractions. First to the largest church, Hallgrimskyrkjan, which is rather impressive, considering how small a country this is, populationwise. Then off to the city hall, with a very good small-scale model of Iceland, glaciers and all. I also visited "Nordisk Hus", a joint effort by the Scandinavian countries and Finland and Iceland, finding a lot of really obscure Norwegian books in the library. And a nice park with an impressive fountain to match it, close to the University. It says "Alltaf Coca Cola" everywhere, but I have only found Pepsi and a local variant, Haga-Kola from HagaKøp, the largest grocery store. Drekkith Coke! I also went to a visiting amusement park. It was an English one, and I think people are sent from England to work there as some kind of punishment, at least the facial expressions of the workers indicated that.

July 23rd, 11.12, Laugarsvegslaugar.

Aaaaaaaaaaaah. Luvly. I am at a public bath. "Warning! The water has a temperature of 40-45 degrees Celsius." When I arrived, at 9, there were me and a bunch of old people. Kinda funny, seeing them stumble to the edge of the pool with their cane and then jump into the water, swim around and most of all resemble very alive fish. Still, the smell of sulphur is fighting the smell of chlorine about being the most prominent one. I went into the sauna, which I still haven't quite recovered from. You see, I am used to the mainland sauna. There fresh leaves from the trees are used and put onto the oven to give a refreshing "taste" to the air. So, I went into the sauna and made a deep breath, expecting to clear up my not-totally-awake head. But no, instead my head exploded. I saw stars flying around for hours. But now, in September, I can say I didn't get any scars, inside or on the surface, from it.

July 23rd, 16.02, Keflavik International Airport.

Wheeeee! I've been to Blaa Lonid, the Blue Lagoon. And geeeee! That was a place that really smelled bad. I wouldn't go into it, knowing I was to go into an airplane for several hours just after, without infinite amounts of deodorant handy. Bought myself an inflatable pillow and a small flashlight at the tax-free. Good deal, I found out later. Definitely recommended for others travelling with bus and backpack.

Previous, The Doorstep-Mile or Next, Arriving in New York City.
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Last modified: Tue Jun 18 19:02:16 MET DST 1996

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