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  • Day8

    Day 8 - Happy Hour in Reykjavik

    May 18 in Iceland ⋅ 🌧 10 °C

    The night at Héraðsskólinn Historic Guesthouse was a nightmare. The walls were paper thin & we could hear our neighbour gently snoring during the evening.

    Around 1pm, Jackie had hit me 3 times for snoring too loud & told me that the neighbour had banged on the wall. We got dressed & stumbled along the corridor to the toilet.

    The remainder of the night was fitful to say the least, but before 9am we had both sneaked into our respective bathrooms & got showered. We had declined breakfast & by 9.30am we we back on the road again heading south.

    First stop of the day was Kerid Crater. It cost 400 krona to enter & walk around the beautiful volcanic lake. It is 270 metres long, 170 metres wide and 55 metres deep. After we had walked around it we were able walk down into it to the water’s edge.

    Having rejoined Route 1, our next stop was at a cafe & bakery in Hveragerði for coffee & a couple of very tasty rolls to share.

    We then continued along the Ring Road into Reykjavik & arrived at our hotel, 22 Hill Hotel, in the suburb of Holt not long after midday. We were able to park pretty much outside (for free) & our room was available, so we were able to check straight in to what felt like a luxurious room with it’s own bathroom!!

    We booked tickets for the Hop On, Hop Off Bus (Thanks for the tip David), then walked down to Harpa, a concert hall and conference centre on the waterfront, the starting point for the bus tour.

    The bus tour departed at 2pm & lasted an hour & 20 minutes with an informative audio guide. The bus tour took us around the Old Harbour, the Old Town, then out passing the National Museum, Hallgrímskirkja, Perlan (a museum and rotating glass dome that stands on top of Öskjuhlíð Hill), Laugardalsvöllur (Iceland's national football stadium with a capacity of just 9,800) & Höfði House to name just a few sights.

    The bus tour gave us a plan for what we wanted to see & visit in Reykjavik & we started by taking a closer look at Harpa, with it’s distinctive colored glass facade inspired by the basalt landscape of Iceland. We learnt that it’s opening concert was held on May 4, 2011 & it holds FREE concerts on Wednesday & Thursday lunchtimes. There was a poster advertising an up and coming concert by John Grant (already one of the artists for my songs of the day) & Rufus Wainwright. The inside was very impressive in dark grey with an angular glass ceiling. We used their plush toilets.

    We then headed on foot to the Old Town, where we stopped for a shared hotdog on what on the bus tour had described as Europe’s finest fast food joint. It was nothing special, but it was doing a roaring trade. I managed to get tomato sauce all down the front of my jacket.

    We ambled around the Old Town taking in the sights including the decent architecture, which up until now we hadn’t seen on our trip. Most houses & flats in Iceland seem to be just scruffy grey concrete blocks & the remainder are shabby corrugated iron chalets. I did also find an underground Punk Museum.

    Around 5pm, we found ourselves in the Gay Quarter of Reykjavik (I can’t think what gave it away in the photos!) & stopped at a suitable bar called Bravo for a ‘Happy Hour’ beer. Hallelujah, the beers were less than £5 a pint & the atmosphere was good with a mixture of locals & tourists.

    We had 3 pints each of their deliciously strong beer, before tearing ourselves away to hunt for some food. We ended up in a food hall, where we ordered a pizza from the recommended Flatey Pizza stall. We ordered a PADRINO pizza, with San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, pepperoni, pickled chiles, honey & basil. It was absolutely divine & we washed it down with 2 non happy hour beers.

    By 8pm, we were back at our hotel & in bed for an early night.

    Song of the Day: Reykjavik by I LIKE TRAINS.
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