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Friday, October 10, 2014

reykjavik park 2


And we've reached the end of the Iceland vacation posts.  I hoped you've enjoyed reading them - I have really liked putting together my pictures in themed posts here.  You can read my other Iceland posts here: Reykjavik part 1 ... Iceland landscapes ... Golden Circle tour ... Hand Knitting Association of Iceland ... Hallgrimskirkja church ... Reykjavik art museum.


Reykjavik is one of the quaintest, coolest capitals I've been to.  With a country population of just over 300,000 people, it makes sense that the capital would be low key and intimate.  We spent the last full day of our trip wondering around the city, taking photos, eating delicious food, and doing a little shopping.  I forgot to photograph all the cool boutiques I saw.  Just trust me that there's a lot of them in Reykjavik, and they're all adorable and stylish. 


In addition to stylish shops and boutiques, the city also had this interesting art installation.  One person in our group was brave enough to stand next to it.

 


On our day in the capital we had lunch at Café Loki, a restaurant for tourists that didn't feel like a restaurant for tourists.  With a view of the Hallgrimskirkja church, we sipped on Icelandic tea and coffee and had a really satisfying meal.   



I had a piece of molasses bread topped with hard boiled eggs, pickled herring, and red onions.  It was such an interesting combination of flavors, and I surprisingly loved it.  It was about a million times better than the fermented shark.   


We also had a view of this painting while eating our lunch.  It tells the story of some of the Norse gods including Loki, and like most gods, they had a pretty colorful story.  We eavesdropped as our waitress told another patron what each part of the painting meant. I don't remember much of it except somebody tried to build a city and failed because a god turned into a horse, another person or god turned into a fish, and a wolf ate a lot of people.  I'm obviously an except on Norse mythology.

 

After lunch, we checked out the Reykjavik Settlement Exhibition.  I learned that Iceland was one of the few places in the world that did not have any ancient inhabitants.  The Vikings didn't settle in Iceland until after 800 AD.  The first artifacts archaeologists have found date back to 871 AD (hence the 871 in the name of the museum).  I love visiting history museums, and this was no exception.  (The museum reminded me a lot of the Archeological Crypt Museum in Paris under Notre Dame.  If you visited that and liked it, definitely check out this one the next time you're in Iceland :)  


My friend Becca is working on her PhD in public policy and wanted to take a look at all the Reykjavik government buildings.  I never pass up an opportunity for a photography tour and happily walked around with her -- we let the husbands hang out in an English styled pub to take in some local flavor.


Reykjavik City Hall. 


Another shot of city hall.  I loved the architecture and the creative use of natural elements. 


If my friend didn't know that this was the Icelandic parliament building, I never would have guessed it was a major government building.  There was absolutely no security, no guards, no high fences - we basically walked wherever we wanted around it.  And I probably would have passed it right by if Becca hadn't wanted to photograph it. 




I luckily found some flowers around the city during our mini tour.  I think the Icelandic environment might be a little too inhospitable for too many of them to grow naturally. 

And that does it for Iceland!!  Thanks for taking a little virtual tour with me.  Officially back to real life next week. 

Hope you have a great weekend! 

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