Bright Lights, Lively City

Hey there people.

Today was my Birthday.

Today I turned 21.

I woke up at about 0800 and had a breakfast consisting of Toast, OJ, Museli and Yogurt. The yogurt here is growing on me (Not literally, Dumbass.) and is cheap as hell too. It’s called Skyr (Skeer) and tastes awesome. But enough about that. You didn’t come here to listen to me talk about yogurt. You didn’t even come here to listen to me. You’re reading.

I decided to check out the Kringlan Mall which is about 3km from my hotel. So I walked as I’ll be damned if I am paying for a bus. It was dark and cold as I walked down the long streets and as I reached a small park, it started snowing very heavily.
There is a saying amongst the people of Reykjavik. “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.” This is true. Due to the high winds, any weather is quickly blown away only to be replaced by something else almost instantly. It’s been snowing on and off all day here.

I finally reached the mall only to find it was deserted. There was nobody around save one or two early shoppers. The mall was rather disappointing (AKA Expensive as fuck.)  so I popped to a small news stand and brought a bottle of Fanta. I then started my walk into the area of Teigar. In Teigar lies Reykjaviks largest sports centres. Not being the sporting person, I didn’t really check it out. Maybe next time.

From Teigar, I headed into the Turn neighbourhood past the hotel where I was originally going to book. I popped into a subway and brought some lunch before heading back up to the central plaza. I decided to head up to the top of the cathedral. The view from the top was magnificent and I could see for miles and miles. I spent a good half hour up there admiring the view of Reykjavik. The mix of old style coloured roofs clashes with the modern office buildings making it very clear that Reykjavik is a city in a constant state of flux. It was beautiful.

Whilst I was at the Cathedral, I bumped into an old English couple and had a good old fashioned British conversation about the weather. It was clear at the top of the tower but when we exited the lift at the bottom, we walked out into a blizzard. “Such is the weather in Reykjavik” an old Icelandic man muttered and strolled out into the storm.

I decided to grab some lunch at the Perlan. Although I had been there before, I liked the view of the surrounding landscape and thought “Screw it, it’s worth a couple of kilometres walking.” My legs were in agony at this point so I took a seat and munched on my sandwiches (And Skyr) which I had prepared earlier. After an hour resting my legs and watching the window cleaner work his way round the dome (Poor, Poor Bastard. Place was a big dome.), I made my way across the city to the docks and watch the fish swimming in the clear waters below. I went back to my hotel for a shower and noticed my little toe was bigger than my big toe. My prize for walking everywhere, I suppose. I don’t know why I expected anything else really…

After a quick kip and a very half-arsed Skype conversation with my awesome parents who somehow managed to figure out what I was saying, I got a grilled chicken sandwich from a small stand and headed to the Austurvollur to see the mayor of Reykjavik, Jon Gnarr, open the new sculpture.

The new sculpture was called the pixel cloud and consisted of many clubs forming a small “Screen”. It’s hard to describe. What I do know is that my arms hurt after I recorded on my phone for thirty minutes straight. The resulting video turned out well due to the Nexus 4’s great camera and due to my awesome arms which were for the most part stable.

After the light show ended about an hour later, I took some photos of the locals playing around it (Something you can probably get arrested for here when some overly concerned retard shouts “PEDO”,”PERVERT” or “JIMMY SAVILLE”) I then realised just how chilled out the locals are. Children were flinging themselves across the icy ground, trying to slide the farthest. Even the teenagers were having a casual snowball fight. There were no soccer moms or overly concerned parents. When a child fell down and got a nosebleed, he just laughed at himself along with his friends and got up again, running off into the darkness of the dimly lit streets.

As I made my way back to my hotel for the night, the ground below me was shaking. This was not due to an earthquake (Although I wouldn’t be surprised) but rather due to some very loud Icelandic rock music playing in the basement of the central post office. Being the curious person I am, I ventured down the gloomy staircase into a room lit mainly by candlelight.

The band playing was called “Hide your kids” and they were pretty damn good. I sat in the post office basement for nearly an hour, listening to the music. I managed to get a few photos before their show ended and they told me that their songs were on local radio. After a quick chat, they gave me a free CD and then packed up.

I left the post office will a grin on my face. For once in my life, I had a great night out that didn’t involve alcohol. Many people were dancing in the streets to the music which enveloped the city. Icelandic nightlife is awesome.

Until next time.

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