Reykjavik, Iceland – Latitude 64’08 – Northernmost Capital in the World… For me, Reykjavik is a very interesting city, Icelanders are most likely the Swedes, they’re approachable, they speak English fluently and last but not the least,
they got a lot of sense of humor.
Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, a country where the majority believes in elves, fairies, and trolls, where ram’s testicles and rotten shark meat are their favorite delicacies.
And at the heart of the city is the birthplace of Björk and it is also the home to the world famous, ‘Icelandic Penis Museum’!
On our previous port of call, in Akureyri and Hafnarfjörður, none of my wishes from my wish list was granted. I still didn’t meet Björk in person,
I still didn’t find a Starbucks coffee shop to buy a souvenir coffee mug, I still can’t find one of Papa John’s pizza parlor here in Iceland,
and last but not the least, I still didn’t catch the dancing Northern Lights a.k.a. Aurora Borealis.
So many things to do in so little time.
One of my primary difficulty in life is how to deal with my selves, every day I feel like my body is trap inside two entirely different people.
The left side of me, “The Major”, the passionate cook who wakes up early, every single day to prepare the meals for his crew.
The right side of me, “The Shutterbug”, the crazy image catcher who doesn’t care if I’m already tired after my 12-hour day job,
all he cares about is to go ashore, stroll and take a lot of photos. And Reykjavik looks like a nice place for the “Shutterbug” in me.
Now on with the chase to my dreams in the heart of Iceland…
Life Onshore Reykjavik
Our vessel, M.T. Mergus arrived at Reykjavik on the morning of March 4, 2015. I prepare an easy meal for lunch, I plan to go after lunch and take a short stroll outside to check any interesting places. But that didn’t happen, due to ever changing weather. I see the sun was very bright like it was summer, I go to my cabin and dress up.
When I came down, the sun was gone, the cloud was dark and the snow storm was furious.
I cancel my plan to go ashore, instead, I will just use my 60 minutes break to take a quick siesta. By the time I was about to lie on my bed, I take a peek on my porthole and guess what? the weather was summer again outside. It seems like Iceland weather has a lot of sense of humor too.
Tonight I was already lying in mg bed, tired and restless, I just want to call it a day and sleep the night over. But the other half of me has already gone ashore,
there’s nothing I can do but to dress up in layers of warm clothing and find the ‘Shutterbug’ and bring him back onboard. It will be a long night again…
The night is wet, rain is slowly dropping. I prefer snow than rain whenever I’m going ashore, I find it hard to navigate with my bicycle on a wet slightly muddy bike lanes.
And taking long exposure shot are limited due to shivering temperature. Needless to say, I’m a Filipino, and I find it hard to adapt to this sub-zero temperatures.
After several minutes of biking and a mile long journey, I need to stop on a junction and wait for the green light to cross the street. I then turn left, I assume that is the way to the city center, bright lights are coming from afar.
My second stop was a fast-food take-out stand. Cars are coming and going at the counter with a bunch of freshly cooked take-out foods. I think it is nice to taste what the locals are having for their dinner.
The fast-food shop name is “Hlölli”. Inside is a tight dining area, tables are attached on both side of the walls. On one side, they got a section of Coca-Cola memorabilia.
The kitchen, take-out windows and counter area is busy with a two man crew that works like a robot. Everything they do is synchronize as if they can do the same speed even blindfolded.
I check the choices on their menu. Everything is a Boat, a Subway style sandwiches. I ask them first if they accept US$ or Euros, they say only ISK/Icelandic Kronur and Euros. Sorry ‘Uncle Sam’ you’re green-money wasn’t recognize here in Iceland.
I order a ‘Bacon Boat’ for 1,300-ISK or around 11-euros. It came with free dessert, a small piece of chocolate bar. The taste was good and I enjoy every single bite of it.
After I’m done eating my boat, I ask the crew which way is to the city? They tell me that is it far in the opposite direction, yeah I was wrong again! I am really a hopeless navigator!
They ask me if I need a taxi, they say, they can call one for me. They tell me that if I don’t have Icelandic Kronur, I can also pay via credit card. But I decline, both of the paying modes they mention was not in my pocket.
And I also have a bike with me. I then go and head back to the same way. I just stop a couple more time to take some photos and finally gave up and head back home to Mergus.
Good night Reykjavik…
On the early morning of 5th of March, 2015, everybody is talking about the huge storm on our way. Our Captain, Capt. Sergey aka ‘Bratan’ is sending messages to our main office in Goteborg, Sweden. he is asking for a couple of days port stay for us to avoid the huge storm. Fortunately, we got a bunch of beautiful minds down in our office, our Captain’s request was granted, everybody is happy!
Now, suddenly, everyone is talking going ashore! Some off-duty crew are already dressed up and ready to go.
The ‘Shutterbug’ in me is already thinking of going ashore asap. The ‘Major’ side of me is thinking just the same.
And when I was done with all my task, our Captain announced that our vessel needs to shift in another berth. That was easy, the only problem was 30% of the crew was still ashore and have no idea about the shifting and we can not contact them because our internet on board is currently out of service.
But we need to move, with or without them the vessel will shift to another berth once the Pilot came on board. Luckily, one of the A/B arrives in the gangway just before we depart. But 3 unlucky crew was left behind. I just can’t imagine the feeling coming back to the port and knowing your vessel was gone.
Some say, one of our crew who got left behind cried after seeing the vessel was already gone. Everyone on board was teasing him, saying we need to make a ‘Designated Crying Area’ for him next time we come back to Reykjavik. Well, that was really funny! But the lost guys got reunited with us after a few hours. One of them still got a sorry eye.
The transfer wasn’t so bad, actually, it was excellent! The berth was just minutes away from the city center and on the opposite island was the ‘Imagine Peace Tower’, a memorial dedicated to John Lenon from his widow, Yoko Ono.
Myself, Pumpman Ogie, A/B Ruben and Motorman Mike decided to take a walk and see what Reykjavik has to offer.
KFC and Domino’s Pizza was here but not Papa John’s!
A guy from a souvenir shop told me that there is no Papa John’s Pizza here in Iceland. He say, Walter Mitty’s story about Papa John’s in Iceland is not true. That just broke my heart!
The Hallgrimskirkja – probably the best-known landmark of Reykjavik.
The weather will be clear before evening, we will be departing after dinner.
I go ashore one more time after lunch to visit the ‘Icelandic(k) Penis Museum’.
And we head back to sea…
Thank you, Reykjavik for one of the most wonderful 3-days of my life.
I wish to be back for more. Till next time…
Thanks a lot for spending your precious time on my blog and hope this post encourage you to visit Reykjavik, Iceland on your next tour…
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