Thursday, September 04, 2014

DC to Reykjavik

Everything about our trip to the guesthouse in Reykajavik went smoothly. The fact that I can't sleep on a plane and the four hour time difference meant that I got no sleep. The only eventful occurance of our trip to the guesthouse was when my fiance Candace decided to take pictures of the American Embassy over my objections. A burly guard started yelling at her in Icelandic. He said she couldn't take pictures of inside the building.

After a lengthy nap, we ventured around the city center. The Althing was a quaint stone and glass building that is home to Iceland's parliament. It looked cool, but didn't quite exhibit the gravitas of a world power's legislature, which is why Iceland isn't a world power. That and the lack of people. The square around the Althing was very European. It was cool to be standing where protests were held when Iceland joined NATO in 1949 and again when Iceland endured its financial meltdown in 2008. The neat think is Iceland doesn't have an army to suppress the protests. We thought about overthrowing the government, but decided against it because we were tired.

Icelanders seem to be a nation of the oblivious as we encountered a number of people wandering down sidewalks not looking where they're going until it was too late. We saw Harpa a funky glass building on the coast that's home to Iceland's symphony and other shops. Candace took a ton of pictures of it and then a ton more of the water and mountains in the background. Along the coast, many roofs are white, which is supposed to be more energy efficient than dark roofs.

We walked down what seems to be Reykjavik's posh commercial street. We ate an overpriced grilled wrap and an equally overpriced panini. I wasn't adventurous enough to part with 7 dollars and try a little cup of skyr, a yogurt like drink. Outside the restaurant, a man yelled at his girlfriend for a long time. Iceland has about one murder a year and it's usually crime of passion. I thought we might be witnessing this year's crime.

Iceland does a good job with curbcuts but many of the stores have steps, so they're not accessible to wheelchairs and scooters. We also forgot to charge the scooter while we napped, which led to a scenic push along the coast. We made it back to the guesthouse and Candace screamed at me not too fall asleep too early, alas to no avail. It's nearly 4am and I'm up.

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