Our last full day in Iceland. Its been a wonderful place to visit and confirmed everything I thought about this country. We started off with coffee and pastry/sandwich in a busy bakery on the main street. Its a surprisingly long street with all sorts of shops on it. We headed down to the Settlement Museum for the real gem of today.
The Settlement Museum was built over some discovered foundations of a medieval hall found in Reykjavik. Its believed to pre date the first known arrival of settlers in Iceland. All the foundations are there in the basement of the museum along with artefacts discovered. Its a fascinating museum with a lot of information. The real gem and something Claire was excited to see where the “sagas”. The room contained a bit more than that including the book of settlement, which details a lot of events around settlement in 9the and 10th centuries by a guy named Ari Þorgilsson or Ari the Learned. The museum also has many of the sagas, which details the stories of various icelanders. We had learnt a bit about Egil’s Saga in Borgornes two days earlier. You can buy the translations easily enough, so I’m keen to read a few now.
After the museum and while the rain wasn’t falling we took a wander down to the harbour. The Tour de Reykjavik cycle race was on and we had to occasionally wait to let cyclists through. A bloody cold day for a cycling race, I’d have thought it would have been scheduled for the summer in Iceland. The harbour was small and nice, but mostly full of whale watching tours. We wandered along the shoreline past the interesting Harpa music hall and to the viking boat sculpture.
We then had lunch at a soup place that does soup on a cob of bread. We both had a Hungarian goulash soup with some beer to wash it down and was a fulfilling lunch on a fairly dreary day. We then went to the Photographic museum which has an interesting display of photos from the West Fjords, where we didn’t get to go. They were a mixture of portraits and landscape and all done in B&W.
The rain started to fall to round out the day, but late in the arvo the sun poked through just enough to warm the place up a bit. Overall the weather has been good for us, we had many days of sunshine, the last few were overcast, but I got lucky with the aurora and we had beautiful days on what is considered the highlights of Iceland in the golden circle and the south coast. I can see why people return here, whether i ever do I’m not sure as I have a large list of things in the world to see. I fly onto Washington DC tomorrow and Claire flies home to Toronto. I’m sure we’ll catch up again in the future for another adventure.
Thanks for an interesting travelogue Justin!
Justin a very interesting excursion. I kind of relate Iceland to the ACT population wise and we of course have our own Vikings here. We are in the “Club”….
Now the soup in a Cob loaf your Mother and I have that quite often at the Fyshwick Markets but I was unaware that it was an Icelandic dish….