After a full night of sleep behind curtains and blinds that leaked daylight all night long, we woke mostly refreshed on our second day in Iceland. We walked a half block for pastries, across the street for coffee, and avoided the car for the day. We opted to explore the city and harbor of Reykjavík on foot instead.
The Danmark tall ship is docked in Reykjavik, and sailors were up in the rigging when we walked by.
The sky and water shone blue under a bright summer sun, and I loved the colorful boats and buildings at the waterfront.
Most of the boats we saw are for fishing and whale watching. The boat in that final photo, the one we watched painters on scaffolding roll red paint on, has as much boat below the waterline as above. It’s massive and weird. We learned in the maritime museum that it’s a fishing boat with massive holds for the catch. The Arctic Ocean is just north of here, and given the wind we felt on our first day, I can’t imagine how wild and cold these seas must be. No thank you.
Of course we were hungry at this point, and after smelling fish & chips everywhere, we finally stopped in and got some. The fish (cod) was fluffy and flakey and delicious; the chips were only okay.
After refueling, we walked to the Hafnarhus art museum which had multiple floors of works from the Icelandic artist Erró. The flow of art was mostly chronological and referenced a lot of history and politics and made statements that are still relevant today, as is the way with art. I pointed out unhelpfully to my son that this is a good example of where knowing a little history is useful; otherwise it’s hard to get some of the references, though you can still get the art.
Since we live in a small town, the kids were excited to browse in real shops. Our son found a watch store, Michelsen, where he bought himself a nice Swiss watch with gift money he received for graduation, and our daughter found an H&M where she bought clothes and jewelry that we’re hoping will fit in her luggage for the trip back to the US.
We ended the afternoon back at the church. I loved that our home base was near Hallgrímskirkja, not just because we got to see it in lots of different light, but because it made it super easy to find our way home: we just looked for the tallest structure in sight and walked toward it. Once we were there we knew the way back to the house.
I didn’t get a great photo, but there was a little sod-roofed restaurant on our way home from the church, and it delighted me every time I saw it, which was every day.