Iceland 2022: days seven, eight and nine

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday

Tuesday was another bright, blue sky, sunny day. I had an evil little plan. I decided to head for Grandi, the area on the other side of the Old Harbour, to decide whether or not I wanted to go to FlyOver Iceland while I was there. I strolled along the seafront, same route as the night before, turned right at the new H&M and shopping redevelopment and popped out at the familiar bottom corner of the old harbour. Strolled out, past all the little green wooden buildings that are now cafes and seafood restaurants and found myself in the Grandi district. Some good museums here – the big Maritime Museum, Aurora Reykjavík, the Saga Museum, Whales of Iceland and FlyOver. I went past them all to the rocks at the end of that bit of peninsula. Good views from here, all the way across to Akranes and snowy mountains even further north.

I came back via a bit of a shopping trip along Laugavegur. Mostly postcards but I bought a pair of volcano socks while I was at it. Then home for a late lunch and a lazy afternoon.

Because my evil plan was to go back to the Sky Lagoon. I wanted to see it in the sun instead of a winter storm, I wanted to see the views across the fjord and I wanted, if it was possible, to see the sunset.

I got most of it. A big cloud came down ten minutes before I left, which was a bit before sunset and that ruined the colours a bit. I was getting the 9:41 bus back to Hamraborg and even that closer stop is 15 mins walk. There are two buses serving this peninsula – one clockwise and one anti-clockwise. I’d got the 35 out which takes 4 minutes but the 36 back, also taking 4 minutes, had finished an hour ago. I thought that meant I’d have to walk the 2.5km back to Hamraborg but I realised the 35, even though it meant going the long way round and taking 18 minutes, would get me back five minutes before the bus to Reykjavík. It would be a pain but more comfortable than walking.

So after a huge loop of Kópavogur I got back on my bus to Reykjavík and got home about 10:30 which is the latest I’ve been out all trip.

On Wednesday the demolition started at 8am. I went off to Vesturbærlaug on the bus, the last of the three local pools in central Reykjavík that I hadn’t visited yet. It’s ok. There’s no real reason to pick it over Sundhöllin (really close and convenient) or Laugardalslaug (further out but amazing pool). Then I went for my walk, back along Laugavegur heading downtown, stopped in a few shops, walked back along the seafront. The usual.

I had to pack. I couldn’t pack everything: my swimming things were still wet and I’d need them again in the morning. I still had food for breakfast and my electronics and whatnot. I’d considered doing the airport transfer via the Blue Lagoon which is a popular trip on the way home but decided against it. Pointless, really. I was being picked up at 12 which meant between 12 and 12.30 and getting to the airport at hour later. What could I do in Reykjavík for a couple of hours in the morning?

Sundhöllin!

Or was it worth it? I needed to be out at 11 to dress, do my last shopping on the way home, pick up my luggage from the apartment’s storage room and be at bus stop 13 in time for 12. By the time I’d got up, had breakfast, finished packing and done my walk, it would hardly be worth it.

Until I found myself wide awake at 6.30 this morning, Scroll social media for an hour and a half until my alarm went off or get up and get going? By ten past seven I’d had breakfast and everything was packed. I went for my walk, taking in two things I’d noticed last night that I’d missed – the two-towered church at the top of my road and Cold War negotiation site Höfði. I’d put my big bag in the storage room and was sliding into the warm water of Sundhöllin by 8.30.

I did 50 lengths and sat in three hotpots. Then I got out, did my shopping, came home to retrieve my luggage… and discovered that whatever they said about luggage storage, checkout was at 11 and I was 12 minutes after that. My door code had expired and I couldn’t get back into the building to pick my bag up! That was a complication I hadn’t factored in. I pressed Call on the keypad but no one answered. Luckily two girls left at that moment and I grabbed the door and got in. That left me more than half an hour to rearrange my stuff, put my swimming stuff in the big bag and have lunch sitting on the pavement before the bus arrived. That was 25 minutes ago. We could be halfway to the airport but we’re waiting for nonexistent passengers at bus stop 5 outside Harpa right now. No, real passengers have finally just boarded, at least six of them who clearly didn’t get the “pickup starts at 12” memo. No… maybe 14 of them. Where on Earth have they been?? Can we go now?

And at last we’re at Kef. I’m in a queue to drop my baggage but at least I can kick it across the floor and don’t have to carry it.

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