C is for Cookie, Reykjavik
16:37 Sept. 17.
Well, that was one full and productive day. And technically, in ‘Merican time, it’s only 4:30pm.
Upon arriving at the hostel (had to walk around for a bit to find it), I was able to check-in right away at 8:30am. Shared/Mixed room of 8, but there are only 4 of us, and only one that I’ve met, briefly.
They seem pretty comfortable with the hostel (almost wrote hostage there) – trusting, leaving their items out, etc.
Granted we all have electronic keys it the room, but still….
I think I’m the only one using a locker. I’m OK with that. “Better safe than sorry,” said everyone, all the time.
After checking in, I perused the hostel (thrift shop paintings, minimal, clean, “funky” furniture, record player, and, wait for it… FREE TOAST! FREE TOAST!!!)
Having wifi is an added bonus, as it allows me to 1) not spend all day in a coffee shop, and 2) not spend $ on outrageous roaming fees. I tried getting a SIM card at the airport, but quickly had to return it, as the salesman informed that it doesn’t work on iPhone5 *shaking fist at Apple*.
It must (is, really) be hard to be a non-American traveler, as it is a a BREEZE to be me. Everyone speaks English, majority of signs are translated in both Iceland and English.
After checking in, I parked/locked up my bag and headed to the church downtown and was one of the first and few there. QUITE breezy. And by quite, I mean, I felt like I was in a hurricane and at times, I thought I was going to be knocked backwards.
There is this huge statue of Leif Erikson in front and the church stands majestically, phallically, in the back. Gorgeous lines, with an elevator ride to the top (I got there before they were collecting $, so I dropped a few coins – significantly cheaper than the 700 Krona they were asking for).
At the top, the breeze – which I should really refer to as wind – allowed me to be in the open space for 2 minutes at a time, before I had to head to shelter to warm my hands.
In the mid-thirties, dressed appropriately, just forgot gloves. And, because I was taking loads of pictures, my fingers were frozen.
Next stop, “C is for Cookie,” for some macchiato (dbl) espresso and bread with cucumber, red pepper, cream cheese, lettuce, tomato, and smoked salmon.
Dreamy, healthy, fresh, expensive: the Icelandic way.
Music shops (12 Tonal & World Music) were worth looking into, and I ended up striking up conversation with the shop owner about music therapy. She was interested in the NY program, musicians on-call, and wondered about evidence-based info about using music to heal because she wanted to start her own program. Definitely not the same thing as music therapy, but it opened the door to advocacy. 🙂 I took her picture, gave her AMTA’s website, and shook hands.
Off to the bookshop for Icelandic chocolate and t-shirts for family.
Next, Harpa – the music hall with some of the most amazing architecture, views of the water, and winders that I’ve ever seen. TONS of pictures here, including a few of my famous ‘creeper’ shots of strangers. I just think having humans in the photo make the picture EXPONENTIALLY more interesting.
By this point, my legs are sore, knees are hurting, and my feet are officially “done” breaking in my new hiking boots. Back at the hostel. Clif & Lara bar cuisine, water, sleeping bag unfolding, and picture sifting and editing. Car rental at 9am tomorrow for my Ring Road trip.