Januar 4 – Artline Special

Time is going. Going. I’m getting increasing restless. I went out on a Reykjavík day tour with Artline plushie. Extreme amount of photos ensued, as well as wandering into strange places that are probably not expecting tourists.

Warning: Many pictures. Prepare your bandwidth.

First we went to Raðhúsið Reykjavíkur, to see the 3d map of Iceland.

Then we went west, towards Háskóli Íslands, one of Artline’s dream schools. Running around carrying a giant pony plushie while wearing cat earmuffs and cat paw gloves, surprisingly, did not surprise anyone, contrary to what my mother would want me to believe. Nobody pointed at me or stared at me.


Artline at the main building of Háskóli Íslands.


Artline at Bóksala Stúdenta (Students’ Bookshop).


Artline at Landsbókasafn Íslands (National Library of Iceland).

Landsbókasafn Íslands (National Library of Iceland) is also called Háskólabókasafn (university library). It looks like a big red box. It was closed today so we didn’t go in.


Artline at Landsbókasafn Íslands – Hóskólabókasafn.


Artline at a plate of map of Háskóli Íslands.

And since we are here, we also took a photo of Þjóðminjasafn Íslands (þjóð – nation; minjasafn – museum).


Artline at Þjóðminjasafn Íslands.

Then we went back to Reykjavík center, across Vatnsmýri. The sky is bluing, and we took a photo there.


Morning (though it was actually 12:00) sky of Reykjavík.

A plane just flew by, leaving a trail of cloud, the sunlight gave it a gentle orangeness. The pointy tip at the distance is Hallgrímskirkja.


Artline in front of the fowls of Tjörn.

Then we went north, towards Harpa music hall. Personally I don’t have much interest in Ingólfur, but Artline is interested in Icelandic culture so we took a photo on the sculpture atop Arnarhóll.


Artline at the sculpture of Ingólfur Arnarson on Arnarhóll.

Going downhill, we spotted a fully functional playground! It had a seesaw, two swings, and that climby complicated thing. We sat on the swing for a while, enjoying some rest. Then we went north again, into a strange big building called Seðlabanki Íslands.


seðlabanki Íslands

I thought it was a museum, but then its interior looked like a business place, huh. I was standing in front of a door to figure out what a plate on it is saying when a person in a business suit came out and bumped into me.

What was that? Seðlabanki Íslands, as it turns out, is Central Bank of Iceland.

Oh. I suppose it was a mildly absurd thing when a well-dressed banker came out of the door and bumped into a me, dressed with cat earmuffs and cat paw gloves.

Anyway, keep going…


Artline at Harpa music hall.

I took some photos inside Harpa with Artline too, but they are actually very boring-looking, so no need to post them. We then walked to the Sólfar.


Artline at Sólfar.

Personally, I think it looks like a Viking long ship made of reindeer horns.

That’s about all! We returned to Reykjavík 101. Passing the bookstores, I remembered that her favorite novel of 2015 is on sale there, so… Bookfort.


Artline wallowing in All The Bright Places

“All The Bright Places” is translated as “Violet and Finch” in Icelandic. Interesting. Also interesting is that all the words on the cover are also replaced by Icelandic words, redrawn so that the words tessellate the heart correctly. That’s pretty good!

After that, we went to Te og Kaffi for some well-deserved lunch. Lemon muffin and a cup of caramel latte covered with cream, Artline’s favorite.


Other parts of today that doesn’t have anything to do with Artline but are also quite interesting to write about:

A graffiti poem!


Graffiti poetry found just off Hafnarstræti.

What is that? Translation time…

Við hafnarbakkann er bærinn fallinn í trans,
þar birtast guðleg musteri í lágum hreysum.
En uppi stíga norðurljós náttlangan dans
í nakinni dýrð eftir himinsins vegaleysum.

Tómas G

Next to the harbour bank, is the town that has fallen in a trance.
There appears godly temples in lowly shanties.
And above, the northern lights intensify the nightlong dance
In naked glory in the roadless sky.

translated by Cosmia Nebula

Hello Tómas Guðmundsson (“the poet of Reykjavík”), we meet again. Last time we see him was back in Raðhúsinu Reykjavíkur, reading his (a little boring, I might say) poetry about the beauty of Vatnsmýri.


These joke plates will last til Ragnaraka.

This joke plate is actually well-translated, and actually a little funny. So I don’t need to explain this one!

At 20:30, I went outside to wait for the aurora bus, but the bus didn’t even come this time. Something might have gone wrong but I didn’t bother figuring it out. I’ll book another tour tomorrow. Instead I went out to buy a sandwich (“grænmeti bátur”) from the Subway on Bankastræti.


Opening times of all the Subway shops over Christmas and New Year, 2015.

This picture shows that there are 23 Subway shops in Iceland! Frankly I was amazed. I was more amazed to know that Vestmannaeyjar (west-man-island) has a Subway! Vestmannaeyjar is a group of islands, and all its population of 4,135 is concentrated on the main island Heimaey.

Thus, we see that the minimal population required to sustain a subway shop can be as small as 4,000. Interesting.


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