Reykjavik, Iceland


Tuesday 3 February, 2015 – Reykjavik, Iceland

A strong sense of genuine Icelandic patriotism charges at you from the second you board the plane. Pillowcases have Icelandic lullabies stamped on and napkins are thoughtfully adorned with a reminder that an Iceland Viking discovered America in the year 1,000 already, thank you very much.

.

As we descend, purple and green lights dance on the cabin ceiling, offering a sense of what the Northern Lights might look like. After customs I check bathroom cubicles four times before understanding all are spacious and equipped with private sink, large mirror and lots of shelf space and that they are not, in fact, for the disabled.

.

Icelanders seem thoughtful but after a day or two it becomes apparent that their quietude is more like a dark mood. Even though the whole island only has about 350,000 people, greeting one another is not commonplace and shop assistants are generally unhelpful.

.

Expecting drop-dead gorgeous tall blond-haired men with handsome beards was a mistake. Icelanders are by no means good-looking but are in fact very manly, and that counts for something.

.

Over three cold and rainy days I figured the best thing to do is take long walks to fight a lingering jet lag and hide out at the hostel bar where wonderful local beers are poured. Soon I sit in a small group, chatting and laughing. Around midnight a man with beady eyes spastically gets off his bar stool and turns to us.

“WHY do you come to Iceland? I’ve lived here ALL MY LIFE for forty-two years and I HATE IT! Iceland is the asshole of the world! Why do you come here?!”

.

Drinking is a logical remedy to this kind of isolation and government figured it best to make alcohol considerably expensive. However, numerous drunks still littler Reykjavik’s streets. Usually old men with large noses, often lolling down the side walks in small groups. We see one stumble and crash into a wall. He is bleeding but either drink or the cold has numbed his pain. A salvation army van happens to drive by and pulls over. “Do you want to come to the shelter today, Yarik?”

This capital is so small that the aid workers know the bums by name.

.

I may come back here one day (in summer, mind you) and drive around the country, soak in the hot springs, drink lots of beer. But I couldn’t imagine feeling satisfaction at living on this desolate island, somewhere between Norway and Greenland, on the way to nowhere.

.

Reykjavik Lends Itself Well To Black-and-White Photos

Reykjavik Lends Itself Well To Black-and-White Photos

.

DSC07504.

Iceland Also Boasts The World's Ugliest Cathedral Which People From Around The World Come To See

Iceland Also Harbours The World’s Ugliest Cathedral

.

.

Advertisements
Categories: Europe

4 comments

  1. Spring is in the air here in North Idaho. (It could be a ruse) I did see a Robin a few days ago. See any birds of interest in Iceland?

    Like

  2. Thanks for the Icelandic review. I have moved Iceland way down on my “must see” list. That truly is one ugly cathedral! Did you get to see the actual Northern Lights?
    I look forward to seeing you again soon to hear more of your adventures and insights.
    Love you.
    Uncle Mike

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: