Friday, May 18, 2012

Reykjavik Day 1

 Rob had a conference this week in Reykjavik. That's Iceland in case you were going to sneak off and look it up like I did. Everybody is asking why a German guy is going to Iceland -- this is the group that he has been getting together with nearly every year since 1998, and one of the members is teaching here now at the university. So he came, and I tagged along because my parents graciously and generously gave us a week's worth of babysitting to celebrate our anniversary which is coming up.
 We had an amazing flight directly from Denver which was nice and short (seven hours). It was pretty funky to start in daylight and end in daylight and only have about two hours of darkness on the route. We ended up in a quirky row of seats that had more leg room than first class. It was heaven. Unfortunately, I still couldn't sleep, so we now know that I just don't sleep on planes. Not their fault, but it does make me one of the walking dead on arrival.
 We picked up our luggage and got our rental car and drove into town. One of Rob's friends who had been here calls Iceland "the wild west of Scandinavia" and it really fits. The topography was very similar to parts of Utah, but the aesthetic is completely different.
 Rob attended his conference and I slept in the car (thank you Shannon for showing me the One True Sleep Mask! It is going to revolutionize this trip!). During lunch we went and checked in with our hostess at our apartment. She's nice and laid back and the apartment is very comfortable.
 We walked down here to the harbor and had pumpkin soup and couscous and carrot cake at the Cafe Haiti. It is fun to watch Rob feel tourist shame at not knowing the language. I'm glad to know that he's a lot like me after all. Rob went back to his conference and actually presented his paper (ok, he had a 45 minute nap first). I went and slept again. When I woke up I thought I'd change, but I opened my suitcase to find that I was now the owner of some very awful clothes and a straightening iron. We'd managed to pick up the wrong bag at the airport, and this was after I chose to take the silly purple suitcase that wouldn't look like anyone else's! Thankfully the other folks had noticed it earlier in the day and sent us an email and we got them switched back in about half an hour. It was a good thing too, because I would have looked awful in that baby green sweater and handknit gloves!
We went out to eat with the group: 20 or so academics and i was the only one not wearing black, the obligatory uniform of the ivory tower. We had lobster soup at this place, though other people were trying kebabs of salmon, halibut, scallops and one guy even had whale. Rob has decided to call him Captain Ahab from here on out. We stayed talking way too late because we didn't realize it was after 10:00pm.
This picture was taken at 10:30pm and sunset was at 10:49 last night. It's a hard working sun and it was back up before 4:00am this morning. Phew!

3 comments:

Curtis said...

I'm so jealous. You'll have to try the rotten shark soup for which Iceland is famous. Ian on Globe Trekker ate it, and I'm a little curious as to what it's really like. Although I will never try it, I'd love to say I know someone who has. I double-dare you.

Also, is it just me or my computer? When I click on some of your photos to get a better look, they come up as thumbnails.

Mary Ann said...

Curtis,
You're right about the photos and I don't know what I should do about it. You quit posting for a few months and Blogger changes everything! Sheesh!
As for the rotten shark? I'll have to think about it. Did Ian mention that the reason it's rotten is because the shark is poison? That's right, they have to ferment it to make it edible. There just have to be better things to eat in life . . .

Megan said...

1. The "True North" always screw up my biorhythms -- it stays light so late!

2. Iceland always makes me think of Jules Verne -- you know that's where his characters get to the Center of the Earth, right? I wonder if there's a tourist element related to that novel now...you'll have to keep your eyes open for me!