Monday, April 11, 2011

Reykjavik Overnight

I took a trip to Reykjavik overnight just to get out of Vík for a second. It was a pretty good time Saturday night. The highlight being free beer for a birthday party, and free Jager Bombs from a record-setting event involving 170 shots and a domino effect.
On Sunday when I had to drive back, the weather completely went to hell. There was a gale warning with gusts of wind around 20m/s that shattered several windows in the city. There was even a very rare strike of lightning, which was accidentally caught on video.
I ran into a friend at a fun new restaurant called the Laundromat (which is also the only laundromat in Iceland, boasting three washing machines!) and we spent the day braving the wind, rain, and hail. After I bought a coffee and a big, delicious hamburger, of course.
A sign in the very child-friendly Laundromat
The best solution to a terrible weather day in Iceland is to go to the pool. We chose a really nice one in Seltjarnarnes, which is the rich part of Reykjavik, which is obvious from the facilities. The only thing we could have asked for was not to have the wind constantly splashing freezing rainwater in our faces, but it's hard to complain when you have a steam room, swimming lanes, a fabulous twisty slide, and at least four hot pots at your disposal. All for 400kr.

Seltjarnarnes is a lovely area with a few points that jut out into the sea. The road that leads to the pool is choked with birds, who were all huddled down facing the wind so as not to blow away. The birds that attempted to fly were thrown around like crumpled napkins, and it was quite comical to watch them. One of the more interesting sights was an entire flock of songbirds taking flight, and turning into a confused mass of black feathers that looked more like soot caught in a dust storm than anything alive. Another effect of the wind was that salts from incoming waves were pushed backwards up into the air and caught vibrant swatches of rainbows that lasted for several seconds before being swallowed again by the water.

Lighthouse in Seltjarnarnes, with people trying to run from the wind.
Swans bracing against the wind.

I avoided driving back until after 20:00, when the weather was supposed to calm down a little bit, but still managed to hit some nasty sleet, snow, hail, and wind on the way back and didn't get in until after 23:00. It must have followed me, because the wind seems to have found it's home in Vík today and it's quite miserable.

A happy thought is that not far away in Reykjavik are patches of blooming crocus flowers, which is an exciting nod towards Spring.

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