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To Reykjavík i Go – Day Three

21 September, 2014

I had already pre-planned that this would be the day I visited Viðey. This is an island in the bay which was once home to a fish processing plant and a small amount of farming at one point, but is now home to a café and some nice walks around the landscape.

But first I had to get there. I wandered down towards the ferry terminal – a fairly pleasant walk which took me an hour and gave me a chance to check where the football stadium was ahead of the game on tuesday and to take a few pics of parts of the city I hadn’t seen.

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I arrived at the terminal just before the first ferry of the day, and helped myself to a free ticket thanks to the tourist Welcome Card I had invested in. A 5-minute trip across the 100 yards or so of water, and we were there. I say we – I shared the ferry with a Canadian couple, and as the ferry headed back we were the only people on the island. We set off in different directions to explore. I went West. On the way I passed Yoko Ono’s Peace Tower – an art installation with multi-language messages for peace inscribed on it and six beams of light that are illuminated around the date of John Lennon’s birthday. This wasn’t such a date, but it is a pretty structure anyway.

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There was also a barbecue spot and cabin but beyond that, there was literally nothing, just grass and cliffs and cold wind and breath-taking views. I thoroughly enjoyed trudging along the path to the far end of the land, taking loads of pictures and enjoying the fact I was completely alone.

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Annoyingly the rain which had been threatening since the day before arrived as I was part was round, and it wasn’t long before I discovered that my walking boots weren’t waterproof, and the extremely warm and cosy coat I had invested in wasn’t either. But it was pleasant enough walking. I had read in one of the guide books that birdlife and puffins roosted on some of the nearby islands, but the puffins migrate in august and the rest of the birds must have been indoors having a lie in or something. It was a rainy Sunday morning after all. Anyway, the circular walk took me back to the ferry jetty where the café sits, and I went in for a spot of lunch.

Food in Reykjavik is expensive. A main course of anything is generally around £15 a time in the cheapest places, which was a bit beyond my daily budget, particularly once you add in a drink or two, maybe a starter, and then double it for two meals a day. So I took to the “bread and cheese from the supermarket” approach for at least one meal a day, or as in this case, went for the soup option. I don’t eat a lot of soup at home, but I rediscovered a taste for it during the week. On this day, it was spinach and mushroom. Splendid.

Afterwards, a stroll East to where the old schoolhouse still stands and the village no longer does, before catching the ferry back.

Taking further advantage of my Welcome Card I took in the National Gallery and the Reykjavík Art Museum., both well worth a visit but not very large. But then neither is the population of Iceland. The Art Museum in particular was just my cup of tea, I like my art modern and most of the installations and pieces here fell into that category.

And then, off to the cinema. I had read online that Björk had released a concert film, and that it was showing in Bíó Paradís that week. So of course, being a huge fan of her work, I had to take this in. How could I go to Reykjavík and not see a Björk film?

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At this point, three days in, it still almost seemed like a dream that I was in Iceland. There was a flag on Viðey and I stared at it, trying to convince myself it was true. Whenever anyone said Iceland or Reykjavík a bit of my brain said “oh of course, because that’s where you are”. Now I was watching Björk in a cinema in Iceland, and throughout the film that same part of my brain kept reminding me. And every time I remembered, a huge rush of excitement passed through me, another wave of delight that I was really here, fulfilling a life’s ambition.

So, after that, I went off in search of (a cheap) dinner and happened upon Café Babalú again. I’m not one for eating in the same place every day on holiday, I prefer to explore and sample a few different eateries, but it was very tasty there. And cheap. So Babalú it was.

Then back to the hostel for a few beers and to plan the next day. More rain was forecast – I hadn’t seen the sun since I arrived – so it was to be a day of museums and indoor activities.

 

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2 Comments
  1. Everywhere except your home always seems incredibly expensive. Lovely photos. 🙂

    • That’s true. Eating out is always pricier than cooking at home, and the restaurants were even more expensive than those at home. But it was worth it just to be there 🙂

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