I am safely ensconced in my four room flat overlooking Tjörnin (the pond in the center of Reykjavík). It is situated in the approximate location of the fictional Brekkukot
, the setting of Halldór Laxness’ glorious novel The Fish Can Sing
in Icelandic). My landlord says it is located a little further north and west from here but, at least in my mind, it’s close enough for me. The place is furnished with original art, and multifarious curios:
I spent some time yesterday getting to know the airbnb host, Björk (not that
Bjórk), a delightful person who seemed to appreciate my Icelandic enthusiasms. I went to the pool, soaking in a hot tub with an Icelandic doctor, discussing the country music phase in Icelandic music about 20 years ago (he was impressed that I had seen Baggalútur
in their full-country mode.) He was in the first line with Covid in Iceland, but he minimized it, comparing it to pneumonia and said that anyone in Iceland who died and had had Covid was listed as a Covid death, not mattering what the actual cause was. It made wonder how the county I live in in Minnesota, with about the same population as Iceland, had 7 times the deaths.
When I returned to my apartment Björk stopped by and told me there had been an increase in volcanic activity, right around the airport area, and that we had had a +4 magnitude earthquake while I was at the pool. I may be here longer that I expected! I built this little earthquake detector from a glass of water, when the reflected line starts moving, I'll know its time to get outside:
Later, I went out to see a photo show at a gallery by the harbour, helped a delivery worker by holding open the door for her, played a little soccer with a guy in a field by the Catholic cathedral, and then returned home via the old graveyard where I helped a tourist find the gate. She was wondering about when was the cemetery closed for the day. I smiled and told her “it never closes but I wouldn’t want to be in it after dark.” (Especially on Halloween!)
After dinner I went for a stroll downtown to check out the scene. There were numerous gangs of kids prowling for trick-or-treats:
I went up the hill to capture this shot of Hallgrímkikja, all done up in magenta lights:
Afterwards, I became trapped by a mob of about 100 young people heading for the Hard Rock Cafe!