Desember 18 – I got lost… (Part 1)

Today I did manage to get outside and do some exploring, and I got lost a great deal, and ended up walking 10 km, encountering a snow, and getting surrounded by geese.

I went out at 9am. First I went north to reach the KEX Hostel, where there would be a live performance by Sóley tomorrow. I walked to the sea.

Map_to the sea

Then I walked west to reach Harpa, the music hall. Along the way I did a video at the Sun Voyager sculpture and then proceeded to Harpa. There were concerts and conferences there, and also a cafe.

I went up the Árnahóll (Arna hill) and saw a statue of Ingólfur Arnarson, the first permanent settler of Iceland, who throw a giant stick into the sea when he saw Iceland, and then constructed a settlement (which later became Reykjavík) at the place where the giant stick was washed ashore. Also, supposedly Ingólfur means “king wolf”.

It's poetic how the construction cranes are in the background of a settler.

I didn’t bother taking a photo myself, so have this photo I found online instead.

Then I went to the city hall (Raðhús) and checked the 3d map of Iceland. Made of paper. The description says

This topographic map of Iceland took 4 men 4 years to make, taking a total of 17 man-years. The topographical map was made by the Reykjavík Model Laboratory using 1mm thick sheets of card mounted on plywood. The horizontal scale is 1:50,000 and the vertical scale is 1:25,000 with the contours in 25m increments.
Part of the model was made for the 200th anniversary of the City of Reykjavik in 2006. The map data was derived from US Army reconaissance data in the late 1940s.

Map_to city hall

From the sea to Raðhús

Then I went south to the University of Iceland (Háskóli Íslands), and went to the National Museum of Iceland (Þjóðminjasafn), where I found two books (which I would buy the next day), and a guestbook! So…


The Icelandic says “The ponies from Australia!”, sort of.


The café there sold muffins at 520 kr, sandwich (“græn og væn” and “skinkur og ostur”) at 1060 kr, and quiche + salad for 1600 kr. Being a super cheapskate, I merely chewed on their images through the glass window.

I then left the museum and went for the big red building of National Library – University Library (Landsbókasafn Íslands – Háskólabókasafn).



Though finding the entrance to the library was surprisingly hard. I circled the big red square for two times before finding that its entrance was connected to it by a small bridge to the side…

There was a feminism exhibition in the library, though I couldn’t understand a word. I did find another guest book! Which means…


Pony world domination, one dessin at a time.

After that, I left for the university bookstore (Bóksala Stúdenta), but I couldn’t find it. After much wondering, I ended up in what seemed exactly like the dormitory I lived in in my ex-college.

There were four young males in the building talking in Icelandic (but occasionally a few English sentences are mixed in) loudly. I sat there and observed them for a while, and was surprised by how similar they are to stereotypical depictions of American male humans of age 16 – 20. Since the stereotypes are in no way cultural-universal, it means that Icelandic culture is heavily influenced by America, at least among young people.

Map_to the university

This map shows how I circled the library twice, and got terribly lost in the university.


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