Random bits from the travels thus far..
I was up at 4:30am Iceland time this morning to catch an 8something am flight to Stockholm and really since my body had only just barely adjusted to Iceland time itself, I may not be entirely coherent tonight.
The things you can find on the internet is rather amusing. Alda, from the former Iceland Weather Report has moved to Facebook with a fan page for IWR, and she recently posted a pic of the IcelandAir plane with the Eyjafjallajökull name on it. Apparently, IcelandAir recently renamed all of it's planes with the names of volcanoes in Iceland. Planespotters.net has a list of all the planes thus far - we flew from Canada in Hengill, and over to Stockholm in Askja. Neither have erupted in a very long time so we're probably not gonna have any problems.
Yes, I'm tired. I did mention that. Strange things are important when you're tired. :)
So.... starting the trip in Canada then. (I knew the chronological approach would catch up with me eventually.) Spent the day packing and cleaning house, left the doggie and got on an Airways Transit van, had dinner at the airport (lobster soup and a greek chicken salad for me, lobster soup and a burger for Neil - Anti-V likes to follow the food). Got on the plane - Hengill, mentioned above. Attempted to sleep - it might have worked in brief moments at a time - 4 hours had passed before I felt compelled to check the time.
Didn't feel too badly throughout the day (this part of the trip usually just kills the first day for me) so we wandered around quite a bit. Vikingaheimer again - some changes there but nothing big. It needs some more ... depth. The presentation is awfully light on information. But the addition of a sail, and the animals out front were amusing.
Snorri tried to get on the boat again.
Went into Reykjavik for a bit and found the ever delightful Icelandic Fish and Chips - the service is a bit slow, but the food is just so darned good. We split an order of wolf fish and handmade garlic potato fries, with homemade sodas - lemon mango for me, and pomegranite for himself. Wandered around a bit on the way back to the car, and missed the parking meter just long enough for the parking police to issue a ticket. : (
Off to the National Museum to see if newer cameras would get better results with the really low lighting in the museum. Some improvement.... but heck, what's with the low lights anyway? Okay, I get it on the textiles, but seriously... beads and metalwork aren't going to be harmed by too much light.
I think the new cameras made a difference - wouldn't you say so, Rob?
Dinner at the hotel - Northern Light Inn. Neil had catfish in butter *shudder* with shrimps. Butter just isn't a 'sauce' in my books - drowning anything in it is just..... wrong. Yes, I do love lobster, but I will never ever order it in this all too common form. I had the lamb with wild mushroom sauce. The sauce was served seperately, and several long minutes after the lamb. Very odd. I'd actually forgotten about it when it arrived. We skipped dessert in favour of skyr back in the room.
Crashed pretty shortly thereafterwards.... having been effectively up for two days without real sleep. Had to put my night shirt over my head to block out the sun. The Icelandic hotels that I've been exposed so far don't seem to believe in blackout cloth and this really is the wrong time of year in Iceland for light sensitive sleepers.
Up at the crack of stupid, returned the car, bought some more skyr for the travelling, and off to the airport. I haven't mentioned yet but we somehow have managed to be upgraded to Saga class (1st, or business class) when we bought Economy Comfort (a middle state with slightly bigger seats but no perks). Let me say, the perks in the Saga class are fun! Comfortable lounge pre-boarding with free food and wireless, no lineups, pre-boarding (in Toronto only), gadget giveaways on the plane, free food on the plane and oodles of leg room.
Off the plane in Stockholm, adjust the clocks again (only two hours this time) and we're off to the Hotel Rival (pronounced Ree-val). The concierge here writes a blog called The Stockholm Tourist which is very helpful - that blog and TripAdvisor's ratings and comments are largely the reason we chose the hotel. The fact that Benny Andersson of Abba is one of the owners is just an amusing coincidence. Really. I found out that tidbit after we'd decided on it. Of course, it did explain all the Abba related comments on TripAdvisor. There are Abba cds in every room, should you choose to become assimulated.
And teddy bears. There are teddy bears in every room. If there's a connection between Abba and teddy bears, I'm not aware of it. But he's darned cute.
Wandered around Stockholm for a few hours before dinner - most of the small crafty tourist shops in the Old Town are open, even on Midsummer's Eve, and there are tons of them. This painting, in a store here, of old town captures it better I managed!
Stockholm is a city spread over 14 different islands. This is just one of the riverways that seperates it.
Some parts are very industrialized, like most cities, and some parts are still old and beautiful.
Dinner at the Rival Bistro - a delicious shellfish casserole for both of us. I had a lemon creme brulee with fruit, and Neil had a raspberry souffle with licorce sorbet.