Saturday, May 17
We’d been home for almost a month, and it’s still cold in Minnesota, so we decided to go where it’s colder still. We are traveling with two other couples, Jason and Jennifer, and Sally and Jeff.
We flew out of Minneapolis at about 8:30 pm, and settled in, hoping to sleep a little while on the plane. According to my UP Band, I slept for one hour, 26 minutes.
Sunday, May 18
After an uneventful trip, and well rested of course, we landed in Reykavik, Iceland about 8:00 am, and found our ride to our hotel. The Centerhotel Arnarhvoll, located near the water but close to their downtown. By the way, we have learned that the spelling of a word actually gives very little hint as to its pronunciation. For instance, our hotel Arnarhvoll sounds kind of like “Averkokie” or something like that.
We weren’t able to check in until afternoon, so we wandered downtown and found a place to eat breakfast. Some of us decided to go to 11:00 am services at Hallgrimskirkja, named for Hallgrimur Petursson, an Icelandic clergyman and poet. Designed by Guojon Samuelsson to resemble the basalt lava field of Iceland, it is the tallest structure in Iceland. It looks modern and Gothic at the same time. There is a huge organ, which has 5,275 pipes.
This is a lutheran church, and the service was in Icelandic, so we had to watch the congregants to know when to stand or sit. While we couldn’t understand the homily, it didn’t sound like fire and brimstone. The choir was very good, and the organ was almost overwhelming.
We wandered around downtown a bit more, noting which shops we want to return to in a few days, and finding a place where we could drop the boys off. We had a light dinner downtown, and returned to ur hotel fairly early. In bed by about 8:00 pm.