We stopped in Reykjavik on Wednesday evening to poke around a little and eat dinner. The weather was rainy and cold and felt more autumnal than summery. I had found a restaurant recommended by TripAdvisor and dragged everyone off the beaten touristy path through blustery streets to find it. The restaurant was booked up for the evening, and by then everyone was hungry and cranky, so we skipped even walking past the Phallus Museum, which we were quite near, and instead walked back to the main drag for bowls of hot noodle soup.
Mentioning the Phallus Museum is reminding me that I previously forgot to mention that we skipped seeing the Icelandic Museum of Sorcery and Witchcraft in Hólmavík on the day we drove to Borðeyri. That meant missing seeing a pair of "necropants"--a pair of leggings flayed from the exhumed body of a dead man. According to Wikipedia, wearing necropants brings you an unending supply of money, assuming you make the pants correctly. You must get permission from the man you're flaying before he dies, you have to flay the necropants in one piece from the waist down, and you need to steal a coin from a poor widow and put it in the scrotum along with a special symbol written on a scrap of paper. To keep yourself from going to hell for all that, you also need to find a successor to wear the pants, who will step into each leg as you step out. Seems like a lot of work.
I want to point out that I'm not suggesting phalluses have anything to do with sorcery and witchcraft--although I suppose they might, plus there's the essential scrotum part with the necropants--just that in a country where there's a lot of empty space, there's a surprising number of museums that focus on topics neglected elsewhere. Clearly they're filling a niche.
Speaking of surprises in a country with a lot of empty space, way back in the West Fjords, on the road to Dynjandi, we passed a lookout point, the main purpose of which was to mark a location pertinent to Gisli's saga. Two large plaques detailed how (1) Gisli's wife Auda hits Eyolf in the nose with a purse filled with silver as retribution for trying to bribe her to betray Gisli, and (2) how Gisli slaughters several of his enemies in the brief time between being sliced open with their spears and dying himself. For a country with so few people and an immense amount of open space, folks way back when sure spent a lot of time doing one another in. I suppose that's true across cultures.
Anyway, back to Reykjavik...
|Admiring flowers across from the parliament building|
|Hallgrímskirkja, Lutheran church built 1945-1986|
|Obligatory organ photo. Orgelbau Klais (Bonn, Germany), 102 ranks, 72 stops, 5275 pipes.|