Art, history, and a return to the veggie heaven

Reykjavik Travel Blog

 › entry 9 of 15 › view all entries

My alarm went off at 8:30 am but, after two days of extreme sighseeing, I just couldn't get up. I slept in an additional 1 1/2 hours. I finally got up, still feeling drained, but showered, had some breakfast, and made a plan for the day. I was feeling more human, now.

First, I headed further into the old town area, further than I had been on previous days. I would walk around the port area, too. On the way, there was this really unusual building with the gable of the roof on one end that had tiny reflective elements grouped to form a snow cap. and then some Viking grafiti below. Also, a building with a massive miural that was done with mosaic tiles and geodes where they could be integrated.

I stopped in a shop that sold crafts from Kulusuk, where I had been the previous day.

I was very curious about what they would be selling. They did have many of the same items that were sold in the shop in Kulusuk but, they also had some beautiufl speckled eggs of birds from the village, as well. They were blue, green, brown, and creme, all with varying amounts of dark brown to black spots on them. I bought one for myself and one for my mother.

The old town just exudes quaint seaside town. Many, many colorful cottages with carved and jig-saw cut details looked like jewelry. While in the area I went to the Reykjavik Art Museum. It was free and there were just two exhibits. One was called "Monsters", portraying famouis faces from art, literature, music, movies, and politics juxtaposed with revolting creatures. It was a really great commentary on political and cultural views.

Also, the other exhibit by the sam artist (Erro), uses his sharp wit and brush to make commentary on politics, pop culture, history, and much more in his creations. See what you can identify in his work. It's art that's fun, funny, and thought provoking.

Invigorated and a smile on my face, I continued on to the port area. It's a normal working port of a seaside town. I noticed a wonderful crest on the side of the building, don't know what it's for but, it's great.

Continuing inland, I see a familiar sight from the guide. It's Domkirkja Krists Konungs (Christ the King, Cathedral). A chapel was first built here in 1864 by the first Catholic priests, after the reformation. The number of Catholics growing, a bigger chuch in neo-gothic style was built but not consecrated until 1929.

It's simple by gothic standards but, beautiful nonetheless. There is a very Icelandic picturesque school on the attched grounds.

I decided to make the next stop, the National Museum of Iceland. It was quite a walk and a bit confusing but, I found it. It also happened that it was free today. It's just my day!!! Now I have been to many museums in my now 53 countries that I've visited. This is one of the very best museum of a country's history that I've been to, to date. It was very well laid out, interesting, engaging and kept you involved through multi-media experiences. It really covered everything from first settlement, religion, culture, important natural events, and politcal, also. It has a section showcasing the islands changes through the millenia.

I had to stop and tell the attendant how pleased I was with the museum. She smiled with pride.

A short walk from here was Tjorinn pond, a picturesque separation of the east and west parts of Reykjavik. At the end closest tothe old town, there is a fantastic new city hall that is integrated well with the water which actually is allowed to run beneath it. It even continues the water theme to a kind of negative edge pond in the front. From this vantage point, you have a great view of the old town, Thingholt, and Hallgrimkirkja, up on the hill.

I walked around the northern end of the pond and had a close up view of the parliament and the Domkirkjan. They are extremes of design difference but, play a part in the timeline of Iceland.  The church is quaint Icelandic, while the parliament is Danish regal.

Just around the eastern side of the pond is the National Gallery of Iceland. It was free as well, and a good thing as there are three rooms and there is absolutely nothing good I can say about it. This is my opinion. It is "boring" contemorary and I love contemporary. I was shocked that this was all that the National Gallery was showcasing. It was the low point of my museum tour. Also, it was the only one that didn't allow pictures, like I wanted to take any?!

Shortly after leaving the National Gallery, I realized that my memory card was almost full. I started my search, immediately. Making a long story short, I searched for 2 1/2 hours, walked 7 kilometers, 30 minutes on my cell phone to Rob in Amsterdam, and nada! Oh, also, my cellphone died just after Rob gave me the address of a store to try.

I had no idea if they were even open. So, I walked there......a long way, and they were closed!

I was extremely tired and hungry (a bit of a theme for this trip) and my feet hurt something fierce. Even my right knee and hip were really sore. I'm feeling like an old man, here. I don't even know how I made it to my veggie restaurant, I guess by shear will and extreme focus beyond the pain. To get from where I was to where I needed to be, for food, I had to cross the tallest hill in town, for the second time today. I knew that if I stopped for a rest, I would need a stretcher to move on.

I made it to the restaurant and it's friendly, smiling people. They were extra nice to me, like they knew of my tramatizing memory stick ordeal. I had the two wonderful dishes that I had on the other visit (read review)but, I tried something different, barley salad.

I'm not a fan of barley but, the girl said that it was really good, and it really was. I never knew barley could taste so light and fresh (cucumber and some other things added). I was in need of comfort so, I had a french chocolate tart with creme for dessert. Yum! Yum!, It was so good. When I got up to leave, I could barely walk. Focus, I thought to myself. Walking down the main street of old town, I happened to notice the side of the building painted, strangely. It was painted with the technique for how to tie a tie.?

 I made may way to the grocery and picked up some juice, skyr, and water and vowed that once in the room, my day was over. I took some advil as my leg was still really bothering me and lay down. I decided that the only thing I could do about the memory card situation was to delete some things.

So, I went through and wrote down every detail that I had photographed at the first art gallery and reviewed and deleted pics that I thought to be less than stellar. Every failure is a learning experience. After that, I just vegged. I wrote for the blog a bit and thought about my upcoming day that would start with Icelandic horseback riding in rural Iceland, how exciting.


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photo by: MadeleineGL