Saturday, April 26, 2014

Iceland, Part III

Our last few days in Iceland were spent in Reykjavik. Chris was presenting part of his thesis work at a statistics conference and I was mostly chillin. We also spent some time exploring the city.

Reykjavik is right on the coast. From our hotel, where the conference was held, we walked along the water to the old part of town. Chris's goal for the day was to go to the museum built around the excavated location of one of the first Viking long houses in the area. As you could probably tell from his first post, Viking have been a popular topic of conversations here.

Our first stop on the walk was Hallgrímskirkja - the largest church in Iceland. The church was designed to resemble the basalt lava flows so it stands out against the backdrop of the other city buildings. It almost resembles a giant space ship. Unfortunately mass was in session so we were prevented from seeing the inside, which supposedly has a large organ.

The next stop on our self-tour of the city was Reykjavik Roasters for a quick coffee, then we headed to the Reykjavik 871 +/-2 museum to see the exhibition of the Viking age longhouse which dates back to about 930 AD. Chris read every single exhibit information screen, though the museum itself was a little underwhelming. A sword or two would have gone a long way in Chris's book.

After the museum we wandered around the old harbor district, we were going to grab some fish and chips but sadly the restaurant was being remodeled! Instead we found a little bar serving taster flights of some of the local brews. All in all there wasn't a whole lot going on in the city at this time of year, but we enjoyed walking around and getting some sunshine despite the cold. Our down jackets and warm hats have been the standard trip uniform.

Even though it was a short trip, a mixture of business and vacation, we always have fun visiting new places.  One thing is for sure, we both want to get out on more hikes!

Our last experience in Iceland was a unfortunately run-in with an airport strike which resulted in a 4 hours delay in our flight. Sigh. But the trip itself was relatively painless, and a couple movies later we were back in Seattle.

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