I don't know about you, but my mental picture of Reykjavik does involve much rain. In fitting with that belief, Örvar, Gunni & Silla offer their guide to a rainy day in Reykjavík in 10 Polaroids.
This guide might not be very practical, but then again we don't work for the tourist board. We had an hour's walk around town on a rare rainy day and finished a roll of Polaroids in the locations we felt were most interesting and enjoyable. This walkabout was both refreshing and invigorating. Polaroid films are hard to get these days and cost an arm, a leg and a tooth, so you need to put extra care into each photo you take. Luckily there are people who are focused on starting to make these Polaroid films again and we recommend checking out their project: The Impossible Project.
But as for the Guide to a rainy day in Reykjavík in 10 Polaroids, here goes:
1. Hlemmur Bus station:
- The best bus station in town. They used to have a greenhouse in the window, where you could see a lot of tropical plants. It's gone now, but you can still have your passport photo taken here. Hlemmur Bus station was of course made immortal by Sigur Rós' film soundtrack, but that's a whole different story.
2. Police station:
- This is where Icelanders keep the police, most of the time...when they are not wrestling protesters or carrying squatters out of their homes. Or hassling drunk men who pee in the street. This is probably the best place in town to ask for directions, if you are going for a walk such as this one.
3. Collecting driftwood on the sea-shore:
- By the sea we found some driftwood, but on the photo you can really only see one piece because it so big that it overshadows the driftwood that Gunni and Silla are holding. Gunni's piece of driftwood was strangely triangular shaped, but we might never be able to prove that.
4. Lighthouse by the harbour:
- Since lighthouses are the biggest múm cliche, we could not leave out this beautiful yellow lighthouse, even though it is very small. On most days you can find someone fishing there, but the weather wasn't right for it.
5. Music and conference hall:
- They have been building this music and conference hall for a while now and nobody really believes that they will have it finished in 2011 and most people tend to think that we can pretty much strike out the music part. But someday we might have a magnificent conference hall Reykjavík and hold all the conferences the heart could possibly desire.
6. Bókin ("the Book") on Klapparstígur:
- The best bookstore in town, with endless stacks of old books. We met Bergur there and asked him to take this photo so that we could with some ease all be in the photo. Good job.
7. Kaffistofa Samhjálpar on Hverfisgata:
- This used to be a Christian cafeteria for people who are down and out, but for some reason they had to close it. Maybe nobody is down and out anymore, maybe everybody in Reykjavík is 'up and at them'. Maybe, but probably not. The cafeteria actually moved up to Borgartún in 2007. Anyway, it's a gallery for art students now.
8. Bónus skór on Hverfisgata:
- Cheapest shoe shop in town. Some really great bargains, we promise.
9. Orlofsnefnd Húsmæðra on Hverfisgata:
- "The comity of vacation for housewives" is probably the best translation and it is a very interesting office indeed. We all need a good vacation once in a blue moon.
10. Adam & Eve sex-shop on Hverfisgata:
- We were getting tired and we couldn't think of any last place to take a photo, so we ended up snapping one outside of this sex shop for some reason. We were particularly aiming for the mannequin sitting on the toilet. But alas, the aim was off and Gunni didn't fit into the frame. For the sex shops website go to Pen.is.
And that concludes our tour of a rainy day in Reykjavík!