Reykjavik Iceland in June

Fire and Ice: Day 1

June 3, 2021

Photo Credit: Carol Madigan

Reykjavik’s tallest building. Hallgrimskirkja

   We loaded up on wine in the Reykjavik duty free shop, less out of a sense of economy than the angst of trying to find a state liquor store in the Icelandic hinterland in the shadow of happy hour. This added considerably to the schlepping after the airport bus left us off in downtown Reykjavik – still only a four minute walk from our apartment, but all uphill. Miraculously, I spotted a taxi stand a block away. It didn’t amount to much of a day’s work for the cabbie, and the fare ate up whatever savings we’d scrounged in duty free. But I called it even.

   Following  a jet lag nap in our sweet new digs (waking up from which almost perfectly coincided with the quarantine time that resulted in a negative covid test result), we were free to explore Iceland for the first time. Carol and I were not without a sense of Dorothy-in-Oz in simply being in this remote part of the world, and just the unpronounceable names of the streets impressed us. The self-walking tour of this rather quaint capital small town was enhanced whenever our direction was the same as Iceland’s notorious wind, which averaged at the low end of tropical storm intensity. At one point, Carol wanted to circle the famous church here (Hallgrimskirkja). As she turned the corner, a wicked gust of wind blew up, and that was the last I saw of her until I found her again washed up near the harbor. ( I might be slightly exaggerating a bit here.)

As she turned the corner, a wicked gust of wind blew up, and that was the last I saw of her until I found her again washed up near the harbor. ( I might be slightly exaggerating a bit here.)

dinner in Reykjavik
No food desert here!http://snaps.is/

   There might not be an outdoor cafe society in Reykjavik (how would they ever keep the chairs and tables from flying away), but there is an active restaurant life, particularly Friday and Saturday nights. We went four for four against finding a table at the dinner hour, before a sympathetic waiter ( they are among the friendliest and most accommodating people Carol and I have met, even to insisting they speak English for our behalf when they just about can’t themselves) squeezed us between reservations. My pre-trip fears of an Icelandic food desert were greatly exaggerated. Carol’s cod and mussels were to die for, while my ribeye was…well, meh, but art least not sliced from a pair of hiking boots. We closed out the night at the bar pestering the bartendress about the drinks she was making. We left one glass short of me asking for the life stories of all the staff, a point in a late evening that always has Carol wondering if I’m really as shy as I try to pass myself off to be.

   Carol and I have different views on the previous iteration of our apartment. I think it was a garage; she believes it was a shed. (For those asking what’s the difference? It’s a great question, but one that won’t explain the current reality.

vacation digs in Reykjavik
Our sweet Reykjavik digs. But was it formerly a garage or a shed?

   There is a driveway in front ( see my point?). When another resident backs his car into that drive space, and leaves the motor running, the fumes will filter into our abode, creating a not inaccurate re-creation of the Nazis’ first mobile gas chambers.

   Oh, and on the way home that night, we passed a pizza restaurant with a wood fire oven located in the front seating area. YAY!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.