Monday, August 5, 2013

Iceland Day 2: Reykjavik

See Day 1!

We woke up as early as we could on our second day in Iceland. There was no breakfast waiting for us that day, but that was okay as I already knew where I wanted to take Tyler for his morning coffee - Kaffismidja Islands.

Kaffismidja is said to have the best coffee in Iceland, and to be a favorite hangout for locals; we were the only American tourists to seek our breakfasts there, at least. We were very happy we chose them: the cafe was cozy and retro (it has a record player and patrons get to choose which records play); the pastries came with jam and cheese; and the individual coffee trays were a delight.

The rest of the morning and afternoon were dedicated to exploring downtown Reykjavik. Here is a thing about trips with Tyler: I love shopping and he hates it; he loves beer and I'm not terribly fond of it. So we're always pulling in different directions when we're in a new city. Luckily we're both patient with each other for the most part, and we're able to make compromises. (Mostly that means that I don't get to spend very much time looking at clothes, but it also means that I don't spend as much, so perhaps that's a good thing.)

We looked in a music store, where we found out that CDs are still a thing in Iceland, and that Icelanders know that young American hipsters are probably interested in Sigur Ros records.

We visited Geysir, which evidently began and still operates largely as a store for tourists, but which also carries a variety of high end accents for the home and clothing - including Barbour jackets.

Tyler bought the Barbour jacket, but he refused to buy the sweater, even though it looked amazing on him.
"I look like a Christmas Dad," he protested.
I loved these puffin loafers, but they were not in my budget.

Since he had been such a patient little shopper, I didn't fuss when Tyler wanted to visit the "Big Lebowski"-themed bar. I've never seen a bar so utterly dedicated to its theme. I've also never seen a bar so deserted, but it was only a bit after noon.

We poked into a couple more cafes after that, just to see what they were like.

This is what they were like.

We wandered north, until the tourists thinned and the buildings got a little more beat up. There was lots of fun art on the walls.

According to Google Translate, the phrase on the right means "lies with the national building."

And then, finally - the Icelandic Phallological Museum.

Those lamps you see? ...made out of scrotums. :(

Or, in layman's terms, a building full of preserved penises.

Some of them almost as big as me!

During Seattle's International Film Festival, Tyler and I saw a documentary called "The Final Member," and it was about the original museum curator, Siggi, and his quest to include a human penis in his collection. It was such an oddly charming film that I felt compelled to visit Siggi's pride. Unfortunately, I was underwhelmed by the museum. It felt weird and tacky, devoid of the weird charm of the documentary. I left disappointed in the museum itself, but happy at least that I had quelled my curiosity.

After the museum, we went to one last bar, where Tyler became convinced that he would never find a worthwhile beer in Iceland. (To be fair, they had a Prohibition, too, and the specific ban on beer it was only lifted in the 1980s. Also, there is no such thing as a worthwhile beer.)

The bars are pretty, at least.

And then we went home, to prepare for our first adventure...a White Night Hike with GoEcco!

Go to Day 2 Continued: Reykjadalur

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