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Published: October 25th 2009
The Three of Us
Obscuring the view of a perfectly nice Viking boat
I found out while shaving yesterday morning that the Canadian bloke is called Joe. He was also a man without anything particular to do, so he joined us for the day while we perused the sights of Reykjavik. We decided to take a walk along the bay towards the city centre, the same route that we had started but given up on the night before, except that this time I had a fleece, John had a woolly hat and Lyndsey had a thermal vest. With those, there was no stopping us today. Joe didn’t seem so bothered about the cold, although he did wear a hat, but that is probably because he was much taller than the rest of us and it gets cold at those higher altitudes.
Before heading for the city, Joe briefly took us in the opposite direction to show us a slightly crazy art installation hidden behind a hilly mound and some wooden huts. I’m not sure if it was meant to be art, a tourist attraction or a voodoo meeting ground, but it was interesting nonetheless.
The city itself is much like many capital cities around Europe, if on
a slightly smaller scale. We took the walk along the side of the bay until we reached the harbour, where we stopped to check out prices for the whale watching tours. Sadly, the tours had just introduced a new pricing scheme, which made them considerably more expensive than when I first priced them up a few months ago. The hike in prices was largely I think due to them now charging in Euros which, in the height of our current economic crisis, is much less favourable to users of the British Pound than if they had charged in Icelandic Krona, which was maybe the point. We then toured the town without anything specific in mind, taking in the city hall and the church. The church, called Hallgrímskirkja, was, as always seems to be the case when we are travelling, covered in scaffolding, all 244ft of it. It did seem as though they were beginning to take some of the scaffolding down, though, so we may be able to see it properly when we return to Reykjavik later in the holiday. We could have climbed the tower and probably seen an immense view of the city, but the windows seemed to
be covered in that green netting that health & safety conscious people drape over scaffolding, and we couldn’t really be bothered, so we just had a quick look inside than carried on walking around the city.
After a few hours walking around, Joe took us to a Mexican place he had found for a bite to eat, which, so far, seems to be the cheapest place in the city to eat (can’t grumble at a tasty soup starter and Mexican main course for less than a fiver). Once fed, we carried on walking around for a while and eventually stopped off at Svarta Kaffið, a bar on the main street, for our first drinks of the trip. The bar is worthy of a mention due to its cosy atmosphere and the fact that it served soup in a hollowed out bread roll, which saved on the washing up. Already full from our Mexican, we didn’t have any, and settled for a pint of Polar Beer and another of Gúll instead, two of the 3 or 4 Icelandic beers, both of which tasted agreeable, if not spectacular. After beer we popped to a largely rubbish art gallery (well it
seemed rubbish, but I don’t know art) before heading back to the hostel. We parted company with Joe at this point, agreeing to meet up later in the English Pub.
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