Nov. 14th, 2013

acb: (suitcase)
I'm writing this in Reykjavík; today is our last full day in Iceland; we're flying back to London tomorrow.

We set off from Höfn on Tuesday morning, driving westward along the ring road; it was a beautiful sunny day. We stopped at Jökulsárlón (finding that the lagoon water was no longer frozen in sheets of ice, and the icebergs were actually floating freely), stopped in Vík for lunch and a short stroll, and then picked up a pair of hitchhikers (a Polish guy and Lithuanian girl who were working at a hotel some way up the road, and had taken that day off; the girl was somewhat reserved, but the guy talked a bit about the music scenes in Iceland and Poland; he plays trumpet and is from Kraków). We dropped them off at their hotel (or rather the staff accommodation, which is built from shipping containers; that seems to be a thing in Iceland), and continued on to Hveragerði. There we checked into our B&B, went for dinner to a local pizza restaurant (which was quite decent), and then went for a dip in the B&B's heated (outdoor) pool.

The following day, we went for a walk around Hveragerði (failing to find the famous banana greenhouses, though finding a pool with some heated outdoor areas), before setting off for Reykjavík. It had started snowing by then, though the lady who ran the guesthouse informed us that the ring road to Reykjavík is swept very thoroughly, as it's used by commuters and commercial traffic. When we got on the road, however, we found ourselves in the middle of a snowstorm; for a while, we could barely see the road ahead of us. We moved slowly in a column of other vehicles. Conditions improved considerably when we left the hills and entered a valley.

We checked into our hotel in Reykjavík (this time, staying in Kex, a former biscuit factory seemingly redecorated by Wes Anderson's set designers, and probably my favourite place to stay in a city of excellent accommodation options), returned the car to the car hire place, and then went to Bíó Paradís, a local arthouse cinema which also hosts a board game night on Wednesdays. We ended up playing a card game titled Kittens In A Blender with an American guy who turned out to be one of the MailPile developers.

Yesterday, we mostly walked around Reykjavík, did a spot of shopping (I bought more CDs at 12 Tónar and Smekkleysa) and wrote some postcards.

(Btw, more photos from the trip have appeared on my Flickr page; at time of writing, it's up to the (first, longest) visit to Jökulsárlón.)

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