Friday, July 18, 2014


To read the adventure in the order of the Day by Day Trip Report click HERE
To see all the photos of ICELAND click HERE.

Great flight from Stockholm, tho we were awake at the 3:30 am sunrise to have coffee, pack last minute items, and meet the taxi at 5:15 am.  We’ve arrived in Reykjavik to the rain and gray and gloom of Iceland’s summer.  It’s 53 degrees.  We are actually celebrating as – finally – we are able to wear the fleece and warm socks we expected to need in Norway.  (Remember: there was a heat wave while we were in Norway.)

Bus to the hotel

Two busses actually – a big one, tour size and then a mini van from central station to the hotel.  Lots of incredible raw, rough scenery.  Lava rocks coated in lichen and moss.  Lava land reaching right into the ocean, where surely it was cooled millennia ago as it rushed and slid from a volcano.

This is the longest name we have seen so far for a street.
Becky has a friend that was here recently and she and her travel friend divided the street names in half. Each one remembering one half of the name. So Kringlumyrarbraut would become the KR Street.

 Well, wouldn’t you know, here we are in our last days listening to a pile driver in the Marina Hotel in Reykjavik. We are right on the harbor looking directly at the gigantic fishing boats. However, it might be that our hotel is sinking and they are trying to right the building as there is a deep hole right beside the wall facing the harbor.

We are hoping they don’t start working too early in the morning.  The project seems to be a hotel expansion.  On the harborside wall, where our room windows give us a ‘view’ of a working shipyard, is a deep, deep hole, half filled with muddy yucky stuff.  Meanwhile we are being serenaded by a pile driver.   Dut dut dut dut dut. . .

This last hotel is our first disappointment.  We’ve managed a ship with fold down berths and a bathroom less than 3 feet by 3 feet.  Now we are on land and have beds so close to the wall that you have to sidle in side-ways just to get to the bed. 

To avoid the "dut dut dut dut dut", we walked in the rain to the Hallgrimskirkja Lutheran Church named after an Icelandic poet and clergyman (1974).

Statue of Leif Ericksson right in front

We walked up Skolavoredustigur Street (the SD street)

and back down Laugavegur Street (LV Street) doing plenty of people watching. 


Ms. Pétursdóttir or Ms. Guðrún?

Iceland maintains another Norse tradition: the custom of using patronyms rather than surnames. An Icelander's given name is followed by his or her parent's first name (usually the father's), in the genitive case, and the suffix -son or -dóttir, e.g. Guðrún Pétursdóttir (Guðrún, Pétur's daughter). Members of the same family can therefore have many different "surnames", which can sometimes create confusion for visitors. Because of the patronymic last names Icelanders use first names, e.g. phone books are alphabetized by first name rather than last name. This also applies when addressing an individual. Icelanders would never expect to be addressed as Mr. or Ms. Jónsson/-dóttir no matter how important they might be.

So. if you are a guy you would.....


Some Icelanders believe in the hidden people — called huldufólk — and a few claim to have seen them. They are analogous to elves, but are often considered separate. There is even a museum in Reykjavík devoted to the hidden people. This is an ancient Icelandic belief and most Icelanders respect the tradition. Skepticism thus can appear rude.

The hidden people will surely arrive later and silence the jackhammer.