Tuesday, December 27, 2011


I've decided to combine our last two days in Iceland into one post for reasons that will become apparent later


Day nine we were back in Reykjavik. We started our vacation here but we were so jet lagged that most of the experience was a kind of blur. This time we were alert as we ever were and went off to explore the town in whose environs the majority of Iceland's population resides
As the major city in Iceland, Reykjavik faces the dichotomy of past and present and future. They are trying to build for the future ...
... while acknowledging the past

The day before we had visited the Althing, Iceland's historical parliment, today we visited the current building that occupied a spot with a lot of other historical buildings many of them preserved, some of them "recreated".
We were back in weather a bit more typical for this time of year in Iceland, not terribly cool but with little rain showers popping up suddenly. We developed a formula to deal with it: Rain shower = pub, it worked quite well.

As summer wore on the days were getting longer, we were not quite yet into the midnight sun but it was light out quite late into the night. Reykjavik has a very active music scene and there were bars featuring a wide variety of music late into the night. There are a lot of resturaunts and bars and clubs in the town; we found one with a pool table large enough to accomadate soccer balls
Besides music, Reykjavik is a major centre for many arts. We found this little public square the celebrated what is, apparently and active and appreciated graffitti art scene

The city has always been a haven for the country's artists. We found more statues dedicated to artists than we did to politicians. There were several public sites, such as parks, that were inspired by famous works of Icelandic fiction

Like the last time we were here, we enjoyed the many colourful houses, reminiscant of Newfoundland

Reykjavik is a place where you can book a lot of day trips, like whale watching or going over the Westman Islands, a group of very active volcanic islands just off the course but after living on the bus for several days we were happy to wander around, take it easy and enjoy our final full day in Iceland


This was our getaway day, when we would fly back home to Toronto. Our flight however would be in the evening so our travel agent had prepared for us a special treat. There are natural hot spas all over Iceland but the most famous in the Blue Lagoon, on the way to Keflavik Airport
The Lagoon is the most luxurious spa in the country and definitely one of the biggest tourist traps. We'd been to one other spa, in the north and it was a lovely, homey, communal kind of place, frequented by locals. The Lagoon is a different experience, not many locals come there and it didn't have that communal spirit. Still, the springs are lovely and surrounded by interesting lava formations
The spa is lauded for the healthful benefits not only of the water, but of creams and lotions made out of the natural sediments. You can buy a massage, there are sauna's, hot rock treatments and you can sample some of the creams right there in the spa. Mostly it had a swim up bar, now I find that extremely healthful

We had a very relaxing couple of hours then it was a short trip to the airport and on our way home. Always happy to go home of course, but it was also sad to leave. Iceland would give us a lot to think about, a lot to dream about, and lot to look forward when next we visited this remarkable island country

1 comment:

Luna said...

very cool.... can't wait to go.. your wife is my cousins friend.. my sister and I are going in April for 5 days.. looks like you had a fabulous time.

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