I knew I would love Iceland! I am staying in a typical Icelandic home with a garden which is unusual here. The standard joke the Icelanders tell is – and I’ve heard it 3 times today – What do you do if you get lost in an Icelandic forest? You stand up!! Trees generally only get to a couple of feet tall. The trees in the city streets are exotics. The town is lovely and the best thing is there is not much in the way of junk food outlets, enormous supermarkets, or chain stores. The shops are individual and creative, there are many places to eat and like Melbournites, Icelanders are obsessed with coffee. They also have a bit of a hipster cool thing happening here. I went on a walking tour today with a small group and our guide Audir showed us a cafe/bar that is so hip it doesn’t even have a name ! There is also Puffin cafe which is coffee served by a man from his kitchen window. If he is home he will make you a coffee and serve it with a baked treat. If he is out – no coffee. The price is a donation and he is raising money for a charity.
I arrived last evening and headed straight for the pool. I managed to get through the wash yourself procedure without the attendant telling me off. It is a bit weird using the communal shower facilities but it was so worth it. The water is divine. I went late at night and people sit around in the hotpots relaxing or chatting to family and friends. It is very social. While we swim to cool off, Icelanders swim to warm up! Everything in reverse her on the other side of the world, including the roads, and going in doors and up escalators at the airport. If there are people leaving say a restaurant they MUST wait for the people outside to come in.
I was hoping to go whale watching under the midnight sun but there is so sun and sea is rough. The whale watching boats and the whale fishing boats leave on opposite sides of the same port! Both are important here.
Tonight I went to a show at Harpa which is the concert hall that Iceland built while their banks collapsed!. Opinions about the building are divided here but it is spectacular and I hope to go back again tomorrow with the real camera.
The show – How to be an Icelander in 60 minutes. This was a comedy in English – one man show – and it was hilarious as well as culturally educational. Bumped into a Swedish woman who was on the walking tour so we sat together. She is going horse riding tomorrow. I will do another post about this as I’d like to include a video and a very funny story.
Now for the photos . . .
Post these tomorrow. Need sleep.