Posted by: nmancini04 | August 29, 2011

Day 11: Rainy Sunday

Blech.

In solidarity with New York City, Reykjavík decided to dump rain on us all day, the first consistently awful day of weather we’ve had in our 11 days in Iceland, so today ended up being pretty boring. We got up relatively late and went for a nice, long walk, despite the weather, before settling down at a sports bar so I could watch my beloved Fulham FC lose a stupid match to Newcastle.

The harbor and the new convention center on our walk

A park path on our walk

After that we walked to the Saga Museum, which we had both very much been looking forward to and has been talked up in the guidebook and several other places we’ve read. It ended up being much further than we thought, out past the bus station, near the airport and up a large hill. By the time we got there we were thoroughly soaked. But that would have been fine if the Saga Museum was anywhere close to as good as advertised. Unfortunately it wasn’t.

We knew that part of the museum was Madame Tussaud’s-style wax statues depicting scenes from the Icelandic sagas. We didn’t realize that was the WHOLE museum. It was very small, just one room with 18 scenes, and upon arrival you’re given an audio guide that guides you through each of the scenes. The audio fleshes out some of the details about the various sagas, but there’s very little accompanying written material and it does not allow you to move at your own pace. Furthermore, some of the scenes depicted and information presented in the audio guide is historical and some of it is fictional, but the presentation blurs the line between the two so much that I’m sure it’s very misleading to people who don’t already know a fair bit about the history.

I found the experience extremely disappointing, and since (between all our walking and the stupid Fulham match) it was really the only activity we did today, it felt like a waste.

The building itself (the Perlan), however, is pretty interesting. From afar it looks like some space age living capsule and up close it looks like a creepy research facility from an X-Files episode, with several sets steps going down into short, sunken tunnels that lead to emergency and access doors. Inside it’s like a big atrium with a staircase up the middle that leads to a cafe level ringing the atrium. There’s a big fountain at the bottom of the atrium that’s supposed to mimic a geyser and shoots a jet of water three stories up every few minutes. At the top, there’s also an observation area outside that circles the main dome and provides vistas of the whole city…or would, on a better day.

Rainy Reykjavík from the Perlan observation deck

The Perlan, where the Saga Museum is housed

Bunny/Cat Update

Not much to report on the Bunny/Cat front, except that Cow Guy made an appearance today and got smacked around a bit by the Twins, while Bunny remained calmly aloof in his burrow. Tabby saw a dog that freaked her out a bit and shortly after it disappeared up the street, she followed with her tail bushed out. But we did see a new player in the drama, just as we set out for our walk: a young, white cat with splotches of black, calico and grey. She was clean and healthy looking, with a collar, and hid under a car when we approached, but when we knelt to look at her she sprang out with a meow came toward us. She didn’t seem to be brave enough to plunge into the drama of the yard yet, though. I’m calling her “Lady.”

 

A map!
Without much to report from today, Maggie and I worked on a new project this evening — mapping out the route we took on the road. For anyone who is interested in where these sites we’ve visited are located, we’ve mapped out just about every stop, with a different color for each day’s route and notations for where we spent each night (we did leave out a couple of the waterfalls). We’re anticipating that we will, indeed, spend tomorrow night here in Reykjavík. Barring some disaster, that seems a safe bet.

Click on the map for a larger view

Until tomorrow…

 

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