Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Reykjavik
















The flight to Reykjavik was spectacular. the sky was clear and seeing the fjords was beautiful. There were times when we could see the sun off in the distance. When we first took off it was really nice to see Isafjordur below and to fly over the tops of the flat mountains. Everything was covered in snow and you could see the partially frozen streams below. Unfortunately we lost the pictures that we took of this. It's hard to describe, especially now with the time since the flight. When we flew over areas of small islands it was great looking with each piece of land seemingly frozen into place. Once we landed we had the sun in our eyes for the first time in over a month. We smelled the sulfur right away. We got all our bags into the taxi and headed to Edda's apartment. Now, Edda is Ylfa's mom and Ylafa and I were best friends when we were little in Swampscott, when we were in the 2/3 grade! Her mom moved back to Iceland a year ago and we have all connected on facebook. She too was getting ready to head to Boston on Sunday and was out doing errands but she left us a key. We found ourselves in a great apartment with many delicious bakery items left for us on the counter. We had a bite to eat and then headed out to find the main shopping street and to explore.

We both really liked Reykjavik full with beautiful clothing shops. The main shopping street whose name I forget at the moment was packed!!!!! there were people everywhere. We walked in and out of some stores and asked whether it was okay to leave Zelia outside.

We made it down to the big intersection and noticed some hippies gathering. There was a Food not bombs protest and delicious food being served up. Then across the street there was another protest going on against the Icelandic government. Pictures of children were plastered all over a wall and they were gluing 'price tags' on each - the amount each Icelandic child now owes in taxes after what happened here with the economic crisis. again, we heard a lot about how 30 men did all of this. The flier says "Admission price to Capitalism"

We got an emphatic yes! yippee, even in he big city:) As we began our walk back up the other side of the street we heard someone say our names all of a sudden. We looked and saw a women who went to school with Jacob at Bates. She is married to a man from Iceland and they recently moved to Reykjavik. We had already been in touch on FB but it was great to bump into each other. We made plans to meet for breakfast the next morning. Back at Edda's we relaxed, visited a bit and caught up on the last 20 odd years. Then we all ate together and it was yummy. Plotfiskur, which is a fish stew (we bought some yesterday to have in the house).

On Sunday morning we woke and headed back into town for breakfast which was a great time. then we went to find the flee market we had heard so much about. It was basically just a flee market not too exciting. We did find some great wool blankets that were new. Jacob also found a booth of a fishing shop that had closed so he had a good chat with the man there.

We were planning on meeting Sigridor (Academic director of Jacob's program) at two so we were neither her nor there. We decided to walk back to the house to get our bathing suites and then walk back to meet her and her family. On the walk back to Edda's we bumped into the family so made a plan to meet. We got back to town with our things and Danielle was already with them having a bite to eat. We hopped on the bus and headed to their place and to the big pool. This place was pretty awesome. There were two huge pools, one inside and one out. Then there was also a kids' pool inside and several hot pots outside, each with a different temperature posted. there was also a steam room. We had a great time hanging out and swimming. I love how all the dressing rooms are equipped for babies with these chairs! After swimming we headed to their house for a delicious smoked salmon and pasta dinner. We took the bus back to Edda's. She had already left for Boston and we were leaving the following day.

We arranged for the bus to pick us up at the apartment and to take us to the Blue Lagoon for two hours before taking us to the airport. We were so excited for the Lagoon. It was about a 40 minute drive through lava rock fields. everything was so jagged looking and stark. The mountains seemed so far away after being in Isafjordur. We got off the bus, left our things and followed the path to the main building. even as the bus drove up we could see the steam coming out of the ground and this magical milky blue water flowing.

We paid for our towels and headed into the changing rooms, which were beautiful. The accommodations were really great. There were several Americans and Europeans who were there for a long weekend. Apparently there were really great deals on airfare and hotels. We got changed and met Jacob outside. I don't know ow to explain this, but it was spectacular! Much like the first time someone goes to the Dead Sea I imagine. It was a large lagoon filled with this water and steam coming off the top. It was pretty cold out and we were surrounded by mountains. I quickly ran across and into the water with Zelia in my arms and a wool hat on her head. It felt SOOOOOO good. The lagoon varied in depth from about mid-thighs to chest. We wandered around and found the warmer spots. Then we noticed that many people had this quite stuff on their faces and we wondered if we were supposed to put the moisturizer on our faces for some reason. but after wandering around a bit more we notices these stations of wood that had a silica mud mask inside - so we slathered it on as well. Everyone was mesmerized with Zelia in the water:) Then a bit later a hail storm started and it really hurt so Jacob took Zelia and put his back to the wind and we eventually for her out.

We got dressed, had a bite to eat (we made sandwiches at Edda's) and headed back to the bus and to the airport. The flight to Boston was uneventful, Zelia hardly slept, and Aba was there to meet us:)

We had a great dinner with Ima, Aba, Dennis and Marie and went to bed!!! video video

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