Saturday August 12th – Day One in Reykjavik Iceland
We have purchased day long tickets to ride the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus. This will give us the opportunity to explore the city without a lot of walking – one destination is the the iconic Hallgrimskirkja Church and tower
Welcome to Iceland
The best laid plans….sometimes go awry. Today was no exception. We were advised by the ship that the HOHO bus would not be running as we planed on Saturday as a major portion of the streets downtown would be barricaded due to a Gay Pride Parade that was to start around 2 PM, and the route of the parade would proceed through the downtown corridor.
Museums ofter have explainations writen in english.
Barbara was really looking forward to visiting the “Arbaer Open Air Museum”, and the events that overtook our original plans would give us that opportunity. As it happened the museum was celebrating it’s 60th anniversary, with a three day celebration of life as it was 60 years ago. Arbaer is a collection of buildings from Icelandic History that existed around the country and were moved to the old farm as a means of preserving “how it used to be to live in Iceland”.
As the location was out in the country we were faced with a transportation dilemma. that was quickly solved by the enterprising cab drivers gathered at the cruise terminal. After an approximate fare was offered, and accepted, we were whisked to the museum in no time at all – fare? 3,500 Kroner – $35 and change. Arriving before the cruise ship excursion busses, gave us time to visit the spread out exhibits sans people. Best part – it was free.
The cobblers shop.
When it was time to leave, I sat at the entrance and observed all these young men and women dressed in their best “50’s” outfits getting ready be a part of the exhibits.
These tools were for cleaning out the annimal lodgings attached to the home.
Since Iceland obtained their independence they intensely guard their heritage. If you want to live here it is imperative that your learn their language because all the signage is in the native tongue. No double signage here, to placate another culture. However most Icelanders are taught English as a second language and we observed how easily the young people, especially, transition from one to the other.
That in mind, we now needed some help in selecting the correct bus to get us back into. The people we felt weigh weaver very friendly and made sure he had the correct amount of Kroner for the fare, cause the drivers did not make change. We were to look for bus 12, but when bus 24 arrived I attempted to board and the driver advised me not to, however, a passenger who was standing by the driver said not to worry, as he would make sure we transferred to the correct bus at the main bus terminal nearer to the city. When I tried to pay the driver the 900 Kroner for our two fares he blocked the drop box. Shortly after we headed to the terminal the “passenger” handed us two transfer tickets – no money ever changed hands!
After “squeezing” onto the next bus, it became apparent as to why it was “standing room only” and was verified by a young girl siting next to Barbara when asked if she spoke english “she replied something to the effect that she did and then asked “are you going to the gay pride parade?”, No we just want to get down town. “Okay, when we get off the bus, just follow us and we will point the way”. (Globally if you ask, people are very willing to help)
Soon our new friends said goodbye with instructions on how to continue on our way.
We we now on a parallel path along the parade route, when we came upon an automated WC (public toilet), having to use the facilities we waited until the person inside disembarked and waited for the one or so minute for the sanitizing process to complete. – since the activate button said” free” I pushed it and the circular door opened inviting me inside. How cool and refreshing was that?
Next stop, the visitor center. Of course Barbara had to stop for more stuff to carry. After what seemed like an eternity (since we left the museum), we came to the end of the parade and were able to cross the main street. We had been told that while in Reykjavik one must visit a simple stand (hole in the wall) near the harbor called Baejarins. Beztu Pylsur (literally means “best hot dog in town”. And to order it with everything – sweet mustard, fried onion and a remoulade sauce. Long story short – we found it, I waited in line for a good 20 minutes (the line was on the sidewalk) I ordered three and they were very tasty. They were not cheap, like everything in this island nation; $ US 14.00.
By the time we had reached the Harpa (City Opera House and Convention Center) we had walked almost 5 miles and we dragging. So we caught the next HOHO bus, which was now running, and headed back to the ship. A very tiring and satisfying, day one
One thought on “Day One – Reykjavik, Iceland”
Thanks for keeping us in your loop. Sounds like a great time. Funeral was very nice, great music. Cliff seemed to be doing alright.