The Gorge - Flash Bristow's Website
Sunday 22 October
Reykavik Perlan
Us at the Perlan
Us at Perlan. [Photos below the journal. Take me straight to the photos!]

Woke in a Gatwick hotel to the sound of my alarm at 5.15am - with check in starting at 6am. We were given seats in row 18 as they have moveable arms, but my seat was in the centre, completely impossible to keep my leg straight! In the end we got row 25 (at the back), aisle and centre seats. Felt dizzy and sick and couldn't focus to read or relax, just alternated between sitting and standing to stretch every ten minutes or so for the three hour duration.

Arrived and stocked up on 6 bottles of Yellow Label - our duty free allowance of 3 bottles of wine each. Unusually, Keflavik airport has its duty free shops open to both arriving and departing passengers. Just as well given Icelandic alcohol prices!

Picked up hire car (after a mix up - we booked a Suzuki Jimmy automatic but they only had manuals in stock. As my licence is auto only they had to give us the only alternative they had, a Ford Escape) and drove through gorgeous scenery (while gripping my seat and saying "keep right!") to the hotel in Reykavik, Hotel Bjork. We arrived at midday but they let us check in two hours early anyway, nice people! It was a gorgeous day - blue skies, a crisp 2C - wonderful.

So we went down to Perlan to take photos of the panoramic views of the city. We looked at their cafe, but it only served soup or meat sarnies, so we gave up. (Their "Viking Saga" exhibition looked too dull to try!) Back via a petrol station to get some Icelandic money out, but again the only sandwiches on sale were non-veggie. At the hotel we asked about food and were pointed to the restaurant next door "Potturinn og Pannan" ("Pots and Pans", at a guess) so we finally had lunch at 3pm. I had deep fried camembert and Mike had a ham toastie. We were to learn that toasties are quite commonplace in Iceland, usually with ham in them...

We then opened the first of our wine bottles, and Mike slept while I watched the Brazilian Grand Prix in the lounge, with various other guests who popped in and out. We compared notes about tourist spots and they told me about the Northern Lights they'd seen so far.

Then we walked into town for dinner, to a veggie cafe on the main shopping street, Laugarvegur, called A Naestu Grosum - nice food, but it was so warm inside that I had a hot flush and couldn't eat until I'd been to the ladies and removed my thermals! We tried the Icelandic lager, Egils Gull, which was quite pleasant, and at 5% a reasonable strength.

Then we walked to the water's edge, and back along it - we saw the Sun Voyager sculpture, all lit up, and I suggested Mike photograph it. Think they came out quite well!

On the way back we stopped at a 10/11 (equivalent to a 7/11 or Spar) which had reasonable prices - we stocked up on snacks.

To bed around 10pm, for three episodes of Black Books on DVD, and the rest of the wine, then lots of sleep - we'd been up for 18 hours!

The full set of today's photos are here.

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The Perlan.

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A plane landing at Reykjavik airport (a domestic airport).

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Reykjavik's concrete church.

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Reykjavik harbour and background scenery.

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Panorama of Reykjavik from Perlan's viewing platform.

Continue to Monday...

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