We wake early and collectively clean the Airbnb rental, our many hands make the work light. The property looks better than found and we are pleased to leave this representation of who we are as people.
We venture to downtown Reykjavik, its a small area, though in comparison to the suburbs where we have been staying, its a busy, happening place.
Chaos reigns at the Foss hotel as we arrive en-mass with our too large luggage and too many questions. The hotel staff are patient and kind, calmly addressing our concerns and answering our questions.
We opt out of the city tour, culling ourselves from the herd and opt in for time together. We are giddy with the knowledge that we can explore the city, lingering as desired or speed through the boring bits in favour of what is around the next bend.
We are drawn to the water and happen on the Reykjavik version of, “sealed.” This is where lovers seal their love with a lock. The scarcity of locks have it looking like twelve people lost access in stark contrast to Amsterdam where masses of locks declare love abounds.
We find a beautiful, octagonal building and join the crowd taking photos of this artistic building, from every angle. We browse the high priced, tchotkes and the prices decide we are not in a buying mood.
We amble in and out of shops, browsing. I choose a too pricey Icelandic pony Christmas ornament and hand it quickly over to John to pay before I change my mind. John is fascinated with the Christmas story of the Elves and we buy a copy for our grandchildren. It is always fascinating how different cultures celebrate Christmas. There does seem to exist a commonality in that the traditions all seem to be designed to keep children in line.
We decide to visit the Mariner Museum, John is excited to see ships and artifacts from long ago. We pay our fee, the self directed tour begins in the gift store, odd as it usually ends thus. We set off.
Quickly we learn the museum is dedicated to the fishing industry, interesting, though not interested we glance at the items in glass cases and try to get into the tour by listening to the audio. We both put on a brave face, moving through the museum quickly. We eye the fish skin shoes and boots, perhaps they have gone too far, I decide.
The tour ends and we spill out into a restaurant. We quickly try to find another way out, we are trapped, the only way out is through. We decide the cost will break our budget, though wait, I hear only Icelandic voices and spy a buffet of fish, vegetables–a complete meal. We inquire as to the cost and are surprised by the reasonable price. The food is excellent, made in small batches and features an array of fish cooked perfectly tender. We high five our good fortune and pronounce the Mariner’s Museum a highlight of our self directed tour as we sit back and eat like locals.