Oh, my lovely little zzzz pills. Why do I fear you so?? When all you want to do is love me. And let me sleep until 10:30am!!!!! Yep, that’s right. I went to sleep around 1:30, so that’s a full 9 hours of sleep!! Woo-hoo!! Got up, made some breakfast (ramen with some frozen veggies in it- gotta ward off the scurvy), and packed up for my day out.
Today I was going to wander down to the harbor for the first time. It’s a little less than a mile from the house, so a nice walk. Cloudy and cold, but weather wasn’t calling for rain, so I decided to just layer up and leave the raincoat. Nice little walk on streets I haven’t been on before, and quickly reached the harbor. You think I’m crazy for eating PB & J and ramen every day? That I’m shitting you about the food prices here? Here’s another example…just a burger, fries and soda- almost $19!!!
The day was gray, but the boats were lovely!! I saw a little dock that had some shallow areas on the side of it. Marine Biology Girl (yes, that’s my superhero name) couldn’t resist sneaking down there for a peek! Not a single animal to be seen. 🙁 But lots of kelp. I couldn’t help to think about how damn cold that water must be. God. Worst nightmare- being in cold water. I won’t even get in the hot water pools around here because at some point I have to get out and the air will hit my skin!! It’s a major faux pas, because Icelanders are ALL ABOUT their thermal pools. Well, until they scoot this island down closer to the equator, there’s one less tourist they have to worry about crowding them for space!
Free things in Iceland are tough to find. Festival of the Sea was FREE!! The 2nd Sunday of June is Fisherman’s Day, and the Saturday before is usually a day of celebration as well (as today was). It’s a celebration of the sea- including fisherman, vessels, fish, even mermaids (although I didn’t see any, much to my chagrin). They had several boats open for you to tour for FREE! I’m not much of a boat person, so I chose one of them- the Coast Guard Ship Óðinn. It was put into service in 1960 and decommissioned in 2006. It’s still operable, but now serves as a part of the Maritime Museum. It was involved mainly in patrol and rescue, but also in the Cod Wars! You could explore the entire thing- except for the narrow, steep sketch ass stairs, it was really interesting!
The next thing I saw, I would have gladly paid for!! An exhibition of frozen fish!! (For those of you who don’t know, I have a degree in Marine Biology, teach Marine Biology and Marine Zoology, and am a self proclaimed fish freak!!). I named it “Bizarro World Alien Fish of Iceland”. Catchy, I think. Considering trademarking it… People, there were fish in these tubs that you couldn’t even imagine dreaming up, no matter what kind of drugs you were on! Just insane!! Damn, someone really needs to put an aquarium in this harbor… And without further ado, I present to you, Bizarro World Alien Fish of Iceland!!
They were having a strongman contest. Apparently strongwomen were allowed as well! Damn, girl! I can barely lift my 10kg carry on over my head to put it in the overhead compartment! 😛 #noodlearms
There was a whole area for kids. Kids were trying out stilts, using nets to scoop out balls from tubs of water, sliding down slides, throwing sea buoys into big bins…just having a grand old time doing SIMPLE things!! No screens involved! There was a big area where kids were building their own little wooden boats. I shit you not, there were real nails, real hammers, real saws, real drills- and kids from about 5-15 were working away on their creations. They were not wrapped in bubble wrap and did not have mothers helicoptering over them. I did not see a single child lose an eye, finger, or limb. Shocking by American standards….
In another area, there was food. Food? Like real food? Hmmmmm….lemme look. Turned out to be pieces of fish on bread. Bite sized, with toothpicks. Hmmmmm….let me watch for a minute and see if anyone is exchanging money. No?? Free food!! Ok. I’m in. I tried two of the types. Eh. Not “spit out out” material, but I’m glad I didn’t pay! 😛
Now whale watching is a big ta-do in Iceland. There are a lot of tours that leave from this very harbor. But I don’t have enough layers in my entire suitcase to keep me warm out on the water. I know me, and I would be miserably cold. Plus, honestly, it’s hard for me to even look at that water knowing how cold it is. So I decided to go whale watching INSIDE!! Next stop, the Whales of Iceland Museum.
Ok…as mentioned above, I have a degree in marine biology and teach that and marine zoology. I even do a 4 week workshop on marine mammals. That said, marine mammals really aren’t my favorite (taste like chicken!). I’m more of a fish and invertebrates kind of girl. Sticker shock on this place was a little shocking for sure- $28!! That’s $10 more than the super impressive Perlan! I better be super impressed! I was given an audio guide, and went inside. It’s dark. There are life size replicas of all of the whale species (about 25) that are found in Icelandic waters hung from the ceiling. There are little displays at each species with text and audio information. The first room was all of the toothed whales (dolphins, orca, narwhal, sperm, etc…). Eh. Really, just eh. The second room was all of the baleen whales (the big boys). The only cool thing about it was to really be able to understand just how large these animals are in comparison to scrawny little humans. Other than that, another big “Eh”. Look, I am probably not the best person to review this place, because I already know all of the stuff they were talking about. So I didn’t really learn anything. If you are someone who loves marine mammals and want to learn more and see life size models, then you’ll probably enjoy it. But I was in and out of there in less than 30 minutes- before the audio guide was even finished for the first room. $1 a minute. I would have rather had 10 Dr. Peppers….
Started walking back toward the house, and there was a Kronon! The grocery store from yesterday! I went in. This one was much bigger. Wandered around and got a bottle of shampoo for $2 and a pack of cookies (of COURSE that was the first of my groceries from last week to run out!!) for another $2. There’s a Bonus and another store right on this intersection as well.
Reykjavik is SO unbelievably easy to navigate. Lord knows I am the worst navigator EVER, because I never pay close enough attention to my surroundings. But here, no problemo. I use google maps to navigate to where I’m going if I’ve never been there, but I can so easily find my way back without turn by turn guidance! I walked through town and came to Ingólfstorg Square- the place with the steaming pillars from Day 2. There was a crowd gathered around. What was happening? DRAGONS WERE HAPPENING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😮 🐉 Oh my god, they were FANTASTIC!!! I could barely see over the mob of people. There were 5 of them…huge….and a guy on super high stilts that was like the “dragon master” or something. Before I could even get a decent shot without someone’s head in it, they started walking out of the park and down the street. The crowd followed, but I stuck to my original goal- to find the Dr. Pepper store.
Found the 10-11 store, the same one I was in yesterday. Those bastages had marked it up an extra 30 krona!! Yesterday it was 299…today, 329! Well, the guide for the city tour on Day 2 warned us that the prices are jacked up on the weekends. Note to other people: Buy things Monday-Friday, because it’s expensive enough as it is here without paying extra on the weekends!!! I bought two- one for today and one for tomorrow. That’ll be $6, thank you very much. 🤑 I’ll come back Monday to stock up for the rest of the week.
Started heading back toward the house, and what in the world was that in Austurvöllur Park, across from the Parliament building?? THE DRAGONS!!!! Oh, but they were stunning!! They even made dragon sounds!! Made the price of admission to the whales exhibit worth it, because if I hadn’t of gone in there I wouldn’t have been in the right place at the right time to see this amazing sight!! I’m working on figuring out exactly what this is. Will report back if I do! Tomorrow, watch out Iceland!! I’m going to be behind the wheel!!
Dragon Update!! They belong to this.