A Weekend in Reykjavik

Trip Start May 28, 2010
Trip End Jun 27, 2010

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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Ello everyone! Friday morning we left early to go off to Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. The first thing we did when we got there, besides park the bus, was take a tour of the Althingi. The Althingi, in case you are wondering is not only Iceland's parliament, but also the oldest one in existence as it was established in 930 AD. Though it was not active for a long time, while Denmark was in control of Iceland. But it was eventually established, though before Iceland gained home rule in 1944, at the suggestion of Jon Sigurdsson. Jon is now called the father of Iceland and his birthday, June 17, is used as Iceland's Independence Day. The building that the Althingi is held in was extremely beautiful. Unlike many of the government building we have in the states, most of the building had bright beautiful colors (like blue and green and red and teal) on the walls, instead of taupe. It was magnificent! ^^ The woman giving us the tour, and her name as escaped me at the moment, was very knowledgeable and thus, the tour was even better. She quizzed us on Iceland's current political parties, but Dr. Novak had prepared us on the way their and we passed with flying colors. (In case you are wondering, there are 5 major parties in Iceland. The Independence Party, the Progressive Party, the Social Democrats, the Left Green Party, and the Movement. The Movement or the Cutlery Revolution, is the newest party. It was created after the bank crisis that happened in 2008 I believe. Anyways the Social Democrats and the Left Greens are presently the majority.) After our tour of the Althingi, we ate lunch at a small hot dog stand not far from the largest Icelandic gift store. And let me tell you, that was the best hot dog I've ever eaten. I wish I had a picture of it, but I don't . But man it was amazing. If I end up in Reykjavik again before I leave you can bet I'm going to have another one! Once we finished eating we were allowed to go out and explore the city on our own for a good couple of hours. My group (Regan, Kate Noel [who I adopted as my 4th Lil Sis (Meredith tradition)] and Brittany) decided to hit the shops. We ended up going in several book stores as well as a good deal of other gift shops, where I picked up some gifts, for people who will remain nameless, so that you'll be surprised later. : P For dinner we went to a sushi place, which was rather good. It had a conveyor belt and you had to take the sushi you wanted off of it. I had some yummy salmon and avocado rolls. An hour or so after we ate dinner we met back up at the bus and went back to the hostel where we were staying over night. The hostel was an interesting experience. It was sort of like a hotel, but not at the same time. I don't know how to explain it exactly, but there are pictures of my bed. I had to put the sheets on and take before I slept in it and take them off before we left. Oh and I went to a small party that evening too. One of the girls who use to work in Skalholt, that Drs. Novak and Grathwohl befriended is now staying in Reykjavik for school. She came with us to the Althingi and then later in the evening we went over to her house for a couple of hours and meet some of her friends. They were all very nice and a few of them mentioned coming to visit us in Skalholt before the month is up.

My hand kind of hurts from typing so much, (I just finished doing a Meredith blog entry before starting on this one) but I must go on before I forget something. So yes, on Saturday we got up and after breakfast at the hostel, we went as a group and tours a museum that is actually under the road and some buildings. Some construction workers discovered the remains of a man and the remnants of a building. Archeologists believe that it was constructed before 871, as they found ash from a volcano eruption on its lowest areas. Actually 871 plus or minus 2 was the name of the museum though it looked a lot kooler because it wasn't all spelled out like that. But yes, they had the actually building remains still intact down there though it was dark, so I didn't many if any pictures down there. Others did, so when I have the time I'll try and steal them off of facebook and post some of them. After we finished looking around the museum, we headed off towards the harbor as their was fisherman's festival going on. On our way to the main festival area, we found a HUGE shark that some fisherman had caught by mistake. They were actually fishing for something else, but got the shark instead. I did take some pictures of that, and they are indeed posted. Some of the girls touched it, but I passed on that experience. But yes, so we continued on our way to the festival area and once we got their we discovered all manners of types of fish on display. It was really neat to see some of the fish I eat in their natural form. Not to mention some other strange fish that I had never heard of. Pictures of some of the strange ones are also posted. We also walked through a flea market that had all sorts of things, just like the one in Raleigh does, only this one was inside a building. But believe me, it was just as crazy. Once we regroup at the bus as we did the day before, we went to the Perlan. The Perlan is the water facility, that holds all the water used in Reykjavik. However, they decided to drain one of the giant cylinders and put a small museum in it. The museum had wax figures in it, and they were very realistic. Dr. Novak told us that it took 2 months full time work for some to just put the hair on. The whole process apparently took 2 years! It was really interesting though, as we had an audio guide thing. The different wax figures we important people in Iceland's past. Actually one of the important events took place here at Skalholt. Since my figures are starting to really hurt, I won't go into detail about that, except to say that it involved an axe. But yes, after we finished looking around the museum and going up and looking out the top of the Perlan (amazing view by the way and yes pictures are posted) we headed back to Skalholt for the rest of the evening to work on homework.

We had a paper due today, as well as reading to do for tomorrow. So that is exactly what I have been working on all day today, after sleeping in and taking breaks to eat of course. So yes, that was my weekend and I have a week full of class to look forward to this week. Though next weekend I think we're going to the glaciers. But I can't complain anyways, because I'm looking forward to reading the saga. Alright, I need to go finish reading for class tomorrow, so I'll update you guys soon. TTFN!
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Miaka__M on

Did someone tell you that the stone speaks? :O Wow! The Parliament Room! Love the bear and the graffiti T.T So beautiful T.T Oh gosh! The shark and fish will give me nightmares T.T

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