Our last day in Reykjavik

We went our seperate ways this morning. Matt disapppeared for a 2 hour private running tour with Bjorn, who we’d found via Citywalk tours, while John and I headed out to the Botanic Gardens.

After the last few days looking at quite alien scenery, the Botanic Gardens were lush and filled with familiar looking trees and plants.  It was surprising to see them surviving in a climate that must be quite hostile at times.

We also saw a traditional Icelandic turf house. Reykjavik started life as a small settlement of turf houses back in the 9th century. There are preserved houses and villages dotted around the island which would be worth a visit on another occasion.

Matt’s running tour took him 9 miles around the city and its suburbs. He learned about curing shark meat. When first caught, sharks are cut up and, because it’s poisonous, the meat buried in the sand for three months. It’s then hung up to dry in the wind before it’s eaten. Here’s the shark drying shack!

We met up for a quick lunch, before heading out to Grotta Lighthouse. Grotta is accessible at low tide and high tide was approaching rapidly. Matt disappeared over the rocks to take photos, just as everyone else was coming back, while John and I stayed safely on dry land. The water came higher and eventually Matt decided he ought to come back. Guess who got wet feet today?

Next a sculpture walk along the harbour took us to the Sun Voyager. Although it looks like a Viking long boat, it is intended to be a dream vessel and ode to the sun. However you view it, it’s a striking piece of art and visible from the top of Hallgrimskirkja.

Our evening entertainment, at the Harpa Concert Centre was….

We thought it would be a fitting end to our adventure and learned how to walk, talk and behave like an Icelander.

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