Iceland Day 4: Reykjavik

Today I elected to start off at a slower pace, taking my time to get up and get started. I knew today would be long. I have a 5pm flight to Ísafjörður (pronounced kind of likes Eeces – fe yorder). That leaves me with pretty much the entire day to walk around Reykjavik and get to know the city a bit better. My biggest problem is this damn backpack. I guess on the bright side this was one Amazon accidentally sent me instead of what I ordered and refunded my money, though it’s worse than what it retails for because it’s now a hassle instead of help, guess the jokes on me. What’s worse, while I’m waiting for the bus I notice it’s starting to tear. I’m not seriously worried with my experience with this pack I’ll be hauling it it awkwardly in Ísafjörður and have it rip open, spilling my clothes all over the street, and at that point there is no good fix, I’m kind of just screwed. I decide while on the bus to stop at the one mall in Reykjavik because I hear there is a sporting good’s store. I know it will cost a bundle to buy a pack at retail in Iceland. Everything is more expensive here, and buying a pack at retail was already very expensive compared to the internet. I feel like I have little choice, and I figure it will cost at least $200. I luck out and catch the next bus, 3 minutes from my bus ticket expiring, a small victory.

The I find the store but it’s not open until 10am which is 30 minutes away so I wait patiently for it to open. Once inside I find the packs, and I’m told that one of them is a 65L (the same size) for 23000 kr (or about $200). It’s my only option, so I purchase it and move everything from one pack to the next. I think they rounded up because it’s a tight fit and my old bag had a couple liters of space to spare. Either way it all fits and I’m on my way, wallet a bit lighter so to speak, but I just have to chalk that up to unforeseen expenses. Hopefully this bag is more reliable than the last.

Next stop is the BSI station where I can leave my bag with the tour company for a few dollars. Today I’m walking all around the city, and it will be nice to just have my camera bag. And walk around the city I did. Starting from the BSI station I walked through a marsh (no joke, I’m in the center of Reykjavik) to the National Museum. After an hour or so of going through the one exhibit on the nation’s history I head off to the city center. A couple miles later I arrive in this cute, fairly touristy area. I’m looking for the Reykjavik photography museum but I don’t find it. I heard it wasn’t all that amazing so I’m not too bothered. I just wonder around a bit and eventually head towards a bus to the Perlan Museum.

The Perlan is this amazing piece of architecture high above the city, inside is what I’m told is a great restaurant, though I don’t intend to eat there, and a life like recreations of characters from the country’s past. It’s a tad expensive, but was fairly entertaining. I enjoyed walking around seeing the different characters from sagas, and surprisingly despite selling post cards, there was no one there to tell me to put my camera away.

Then it’s off to pick up my pack and head to the airport.

Now it’s sweeping generalization time! I’ve noticed that the Icelandic women have their own sense of style, it’s more common than not to see a young woman wearing a short skirt with leggings underneath and a fluffy sweater. I don’t get how that is enough clothing. It’s always windy in Iceland, and even though it’s 10C which is like 50F, with the wind chill it feels much more like 35F.

Also Iceland seems to lack architects. The buildings for the most part are incredibly boring and utilitarian. I’d love to see a house with some character, but they all look like they were air dropped in a bunch of aluminum siding.

I’m finding the light thing kind of interesting but it destroys my sense of direction and time. Right now it looks like it’s maybe 6pm outside but it’s just past 9pm, and will look like this until around midnight. The sun never really comes high in the sky or moves much. It means the temperatures don’t fluctuate much either. The sun not moving much also means it’s hard for me to tell which direction I’m headed, is the sun in the south? or is that east? I just don’t know anymore.

Either way I’m way too early to the airport because I didn’t know how far it was and how early I needed to be there. I arrive a good 2 hours too early. I guess at least there wasn’t much I wanted to do still in Reykljavik, just maybe the botanical garden or the zoo, though I’m not sure what all I would look at in either. There isn’t exactly much in terms of plant life in Iceland. Though at the zoo perhaps I could get nice and close to an arctic fox or something. It seems likely wen I get back from Ísafjörður I’ll be doing the Skaftafell trip instead of hanging around Reykjavik, though that’s a long hard trip and I might be too exhausted and want to just eat lots of local foods instead.

The flight was interesting, a short hot by turbo prop plane, the ride was very bumping as we came in, I would call it “spirited”. There was a brit on the plane next to me and it was nice to have someone to chat with, he was very nervous about the flight. I tried to remind him that with a 100% safety record, it’s more like a roller coaster than anything, and then he told me his grandfather died in a plane crash…

We landed just fine (duh, I’m typing this and all). Ísafjörður is really quiet and kind of cute. Same sort of buildings as Reykjavik, but still it fits this little fishing village well. I’m excited to be here, though the gloomy weather and drizzle worries me a bit, I plan to go kayaking tomorrow. Now to enjoy some tea before bed.

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