20 June 2011

I-ce land[ed] on the moon

travel: things went smoothly. X napped on the flight. we arrived at the airport at like 9a local time and couldnt check in to our place until like noon so we took our time at the airport. X ran around like a crazy person while we ate brunch/snack (the airport actually has decent food options). then we took the bus(es) to our apartment. X was less than thrilled about being required to sit some more but it went pretty well.

(playing at the reykjavik airport)

first encounters: the drive from the airport for reykjavik (~40 mins) was weird. the land was barren and had the appearance of a post-war zone/apocalypse/moon landing. a very weird landscape. we had seen it from the plane and i thought it was ugly. it just looked foreign as i looked at it from the bus vantage point. im intrigued to see the rest of the country that so many others have described as green, otherworldly, and gorgeous.

after checking in, we walked around the part of downtown reykjavik near our apartment. it was cool and grey and cloudy. the buildings are all pretty low in height and they dont have a particular stand-out style. nothing too old, too contemporary, too bright, too plain. it was hard to figure this city out. and the language (and signage) is overwhelming to me. its almost totally incomprehensible (not so far as some of the asian languages, but its somewhere between german and greek to me, closer to greek though). i cant ever even make a guess as to what the words are in english, let alone how to pronounce it. but people seem friendly so far and are totally fine with speaking english.

explore: in our wanderings we found a place to eat. the laundromat cafe. what a cool spot. cool signage, obama posters, bright happy decor, old books lining the bar area, and a good, reasonably priced menu. as the name suggests, there is even a mini laundromat in the basement, as well as a rad kids play area. i was smitten, as was X. the food turned out to be good too. we only got sandwiches but they were yummy.

(sign at that lured me in to the laundromat cafe; X playing with a boy in the cafes kids area)

after food was nap time! me included. we had gotten up early and i was wiped. once recharged, we went down to the waterfront to take a peek. a new glass concert hall (harpa) had been erected, which was pretty neat to see, but it was quite chilly by the water. we went back toward downtown into arnarholl park to collect our thoughts about what we wanted to do next. X was all over the place with whining, playing, content, fussing. it was getting to be a challenge to see/do anything. we found a store nearby and bought an apple and some dates for her to snack on, which markedly improved her behavior. we needed dinner, clearly. all of us.

(nap time; in front of harpa; arnarholl park; vikings!)

there wasnt much impressive by our apartment and we wanted something to-go. dave had seen that the indian place called shalimar was supposed to be decent. it was fairly pricey (almost $50, converted from icelandic krona, for our food) but turned out to be decently spiced. i didnt need to eat there again, but at least it was fast.

while we waited for the food to be made, we went to two grocery stores nearby. i was struck by the amount of junk food in them, but maybe these were just fast, convenience-type stores rather than a regular store that people shop at for their daily food? i hope so. we did manage to score some blueberries, an apple, a can of beans, baby wipes, and dessert sweets though. it just made me wonder where people who live in this part of town do their food shopping.

after dinner we went out walking a bit more because the sun wasnt down. in fact, it was never going to get dark. we are far north and hovering around the summer solstice. we didnt know what X would do with that and we wanted to take her out and run her around so she would be tired enough to sleep when it wasnt dark out. in fact, she seemed to go to bed with relative ease. another good time change experience. :)

(on our evening walk we came upon landakotskirkja church)

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