Thursday, August 22, 2013

Fish, cocks and blowing your trumpet



We woke early and got straight at it today....It took just eleven minutes from getting up to brush teeth, getting the tent and bags sorted and down, packed into the car and leaving the camp site that had been home for the last 48 hours. It was a long day’s drive south west towards Reykjavik for our last full day there tomorrow and unfortunately (or fortunately if you think about it) the worst of the weather had waited till today for the drive before it showed its face. So most of the day was spent driving along the hilltop highway through heavy rain and looking at nothing more exciting than grey clouds. We did stop at a small town to look around and found a couple of weird troll mannequins as well as a nice church, but then it was back on the road and headed for the big city. The most exciting part of the day was when we discussed if a Unicorn without his horn was just a horse? I countered Buffy’s argument by saying that a snail without his shell was NOT a slug and she disagreed. It was that kind of day.
 
Church in a storm

Some weird people and some trolls

Blowing my horn!

At least when we arrived in the city things went well. We handed back in our kit and moved into the hostel by 4pm. A quick shower later and we were ready for dinner and a couple of beers – Dinner was a lovely Icelandic style fish and chips at a local restaurant and beers followed at a hostel bar where it was happy hour.  The final act of the day was a walk around the city waterfront taking in the theatre with its cool hexagonal lit up windows and weird sculptures as well as look at the Viking boat sculpture that sits right in the middle of the harbour drive. A few photos later and a walk home and the day was over at last.
 
Climbing the walls

Driving a train


The final full day in Iceland was spent in Reykjavik itself. It’s a cool, but small little city and has a real European feel about it with small streets and brightly coloured houses and roofs everywhere. We spent a while just wandering around on a windy chilly morning, coming across weird statues and artworks – like the one that was the bottom half of a briefcase carrying man, but the top half of the statue was uncut stone, like the thing had only been half done. There were also lots of cool and weird art on the walls and sides of buildings.
 
Weird statue 1

Weirder statue



We finally came across the famous Hallgr√≠mskirkja church, which sits atop a hill just outside the city centre and is built to resemble on the basalt lava flows of Iceland. It’s certainly a stunning church outside and nice on the inside too. We were lucky enough to come across a rehearsal for a concert being held there tonight featuring a famous Trumpeter from Chicago called Stephen Burns, an organist named Douglas Cleveland and a young Icelandic Trumpeter by the name of Baldvin Oddsson, all of whom were brilliant at playing and it was lovely to sit and watch them play for an hour while the weather deteriorated outside. 



We also made it up into the tower of the church where there were some great views out over the colourful little city as well as being caught out when the 12 o’clock bells rang out at midday about 5 feet above our heads!
 
Hotdog queue

ok

Hungry


It was now time for lunch and so we went to find small hotdog stand which is supposedly a tradition to eat at in the city. It was easy to find as the queue was about 30 metres long snaking down the street. However, it was worth the wait as the Hotdogs were delicious as well as cheap and we ate 4 between us! It’s a great little stall too – it sells just hotdogs and soda. No choices – just that – simple and to the point and I would recommend it to anyone visiting Reykjavik.
Cocks

Donated cock!

Our last stop of the day was also something that Buffy has been aching to see since we landed in Iceland. The Phallological Museum. (The Penis museum)  - Yep, there is a museum here all about the male organ! Not only the human one though, but it has specimen jars filled with cocks from Hamsters and Rats through to Horses and even Whales – one from a sperm whale weighs 70 kilogram’s! It was also a bit tongue in cheek as there were lots of silly things like a penis shaped golf putter and lots of penis shaped implements like knives and forks as well as pretend things like penis’s from elves and ghosts, in what was really just an empty specimen jar! 
 
Not hungry anymore

rock thing

It's a weird little place but another strange memory to take from our time here in Iceland. It really is a funny little country where most of the locals wear woolly hats and jumpers a lot of the time, everything is really expensive, but the people are really friendly and the sights are magnificent! I would love to come back and see it again sometime in the winter, but for now we are getting our stuff packed in a really comfortable little bed and breakfast just a stone’s throw from the  airport. We have one more night here, which we will probably spend quietly and then have an early night as tomorrow we fly at 8am - to England and Manchester.


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