“You need a holiday mate!” Hubby felt a lot of empathy for this poor bloke…the pressure of work gets to him in just the same way. “
According to the schedule we should be doing Iceland’s famous Golden Circle today (a visit to “three natural phenomena”) but have decided to postpone that to the end of our holiday as this day seems ideal for a trip to the capital, which surprisingly doesn’t appear on the suggestions from the tour company. Seems very devilish doing our own thing but, hey, we’re explorers now!
The usual husband and wife tiff with regard to parking the car in Reykjavik ensues. I usually park in the first space I see but hubby is hopeless if there is too much choice, dithering about as to which space is wider and the type of car on either side (if they are expensive or in good condition he reckons the owners are less likely to damage ours with a careless door swing). Love Reykjavik: chic with plenty of good shops, cafes, museums. Of course whenever we go anywhere on a day trip it seems the first thing we all need is a toilet stop. All the juice and coffee at breakfast seems to take an hour or so to get through the system, arriving at the same time as we arrive at our destination! Find a lovely loo in a book shop, so we each pay a vist while the other two browse through the Icelandic novels, feigning understanding.
As the weather is better today, we have an enjoyable amble round the city and even manage a visit to an out-of-town shopping mall which has a stress-inducing multi-storey car park: of course we travel up to the top floor where no-one else has ever ventured! Coming back to Hveragerdi we take Route One, the circular island ring road. Son is sitting in the front at this point (me having been banished to the back seats to avoid confrontation and to allow spreading of maps and guide books) and, looking at his compass, which is on a toggle on his new trousers, he announces:
“We’re going North, Dad”.
“Yeah, that’s fine son, we’re on Route One”
“But we’re going North, Dad”
“Well, we must be okay, there’s only the one road”
This goes on for some kilometres until Dad realises that yes, we’re on Route One, but we’re now going clockwise rather than anti-clockwise. I despair at this point: one road round the island and we’re on it the wrong way!
We find some way to turn back and skulk back to our hotel and the joys of the outdoor pool with slide and hot tub (though the Icelanders call them hot pots, which brings up a culinary picture in my mind, not one I’d be keen to immerse my tired limbs).At the beginning of the holiday we discussed the fact that alcohol is very expensive in Iceland and maybe we should bring in our full quota of duty-free. Hubby, feeling righteous, said we could surely manage a couple of weeks without alcohol! So it’s day three now and that remark is sounding rather fatuous. The wine at the hotel is about £30 to £40 a bottle so we have a couple of beers at dinner and aim to stock up at the supermarket. None there!!! Apparently you can only buy alcohol from government-run liquor stores called “Vinbud”, of which there are very few and only open for an hour a day. It seems our holiday goal will now be to find a Vinbud at opening time…..