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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