And this is why I never intended to hand this blog in for credit….I slacked off and forgot to post!! Well, even now that I’m home sweet home, I feel that I need to finish what I’ve started and report on the end of the trip: so here is a summary of our last 3 days!
Friday June 11th
This morning we went to the Culture House museum where we got to write in the scriptorium! Our guide whipped up a batch of medieval ink, handed us out feather quills and we went to it!! There was a runic alphabet up on the wall so that we could try writing out our names and such in runes. It was such a cool place, there was a podium in the corner like the kind a medieval scribe would have used, as well as a cupboard full of the various materials used to make inks.
We also got a chance to see some of the manuscripts that we didn’t see earlier in the week, but they were behind glass, so it wasn’t as exciting as when we actually got to see them close up.
The rest of the day was free for the students so we finished up some shopping and then hit up our hotel for a nap! (tres exciting, non?) About half of the class went on a brewery tour that evening, which, beer not being my thing, I didn’t go to, but I heard was excellent! That night our whole group got a chance to hang out together and we had an impromptu part in our lounge. Those of you who know me will not be shocked to learn that I turned in early around 1am but some of my fellow, more hardcore, classmates took the party downtown and returned in time for breakfast! Well done!
PS. I am not responsible for the blurriness of these pictures (there must have been something wrong with my camera ;) )
Saturday, June 12th
This is a date I’m sure Danielle is not soon to forget, as it was the day she discovered the ultimate hangover cure. Ah, now I have your attention! No one likes to be hungover, and you’re probably wondering “what is this magic cure?” Well let me tell you: If you want to cure a hangover in record time, all you have to do is….
That’s right my friends, the hangover cure is riding!! Now, to be clear, it can’t just be any ole horseback ride, it has to be on a weird-gaited, stout Icelandic pony in freezing rain, followed closely by a downpour! That’ll do it!! It still amazes me to think that Danielle even came near the stable with a hangover, that smell made me feel sick and I was perfectly fine!!
Once the ride started though, it turned out to be one of my favourite parts of the trip. We rode through lava fields covered in the beautiful purple lupines that dominate the Reykjavik landscape. It was breathtaking (and I don’t just mean the frigid wind that was literally taking the breath from my mouth!) Because words cannot describe, here is our lovely ride:
We rounded off this day with a complete evening of vegging out. After the ride, all we wanted to do was crawl into our pjs (yams, for you Danielle), and fall asleep. So we ordered in a pizza and relaxed all night. Glorious.
Sunday, June 13th
Sigh. Our last day. You would think that we’d take the opportunity to pack and relax on our last day, but no, not Danielle and I!! We had become intrepid adventurers. After the rainy horseback ride nothing could stop us!! So we woke up early boarded a taped-together, German, double-decker (this just keeps getting better doesn’t it?) bus from 1971, and made our way down to the harbour for whale watching. If for a moment we had been unsure as to whether it was our bus, our fears we soon allayed when we saw the gigantic humpback whale painted across the double-decks of the bus! We hadn’t even made it to the harbour yet, and we were already having the best time!
We boarded the boat and couldn’t help but notice that everyone was happily clambering into what seemed to be a nascar driver suit crossed with an astronaut suit. Danielle and I looked at each other, gave a little shrug, and climbed on it! Yet again, no whales yet, and still, having the best time! Pictures like this are a once in a lifetime opportunity (especially considering my phobia of rented clothes, yuck!):
Our guide on the boat was a delightful English girl from Kent who told us that she was working in Iceland for the summer. She really made the trip: her commentary over the loud speaker as we all intently searched the waves for whales, had me laughing out loud! Not least of which was her joyful call of “Twelve o’clock WHAAAAALE!” when one was spotted in front of the boat. Now, I know how to tell time, that’s not a problem for me, but her “clock” system for spotting whales just did not sink into my head. She’d holler, “3 o’clock whaaaale,” and I’d swivel my head around like, where? where? It was a sad sight! Luckily, all I really had to do to see the whales was follow the camera clicks – I felt like a paparazzo out there!
Anyway, as you may have guess we did see whales: Minke whales to be exact, a fact I’ll never forget thanks to our guide’s epic rendition of “Hey Minke, you’re so fine!” And just in case there were any doubters out there, here are a few shots of the whales:
That evening, Danielle and I went to the Viking Festival in Hafdanfjorður (I completely made up the spelling of that city, but hey, if I didn’t tell you, you wouldn’t have known anyway!). It was very cool. I was like being in a medieval village – except one where the blacksmith has braces ;) I thought Danielle was going to have to drag me out of there. Why you ask? For the ambience? the immersion in history? the shopping? NO. For all the glorious men dressed up like Vikings!! Inappropriate? Maybe. But true nonetheless, those men were straight out of a movie! After ogling the locals for a few minutes (ok, 30), we decided to give the lamb wraps a try, and they were delicious! The festival was a perfect cap to a perfect trip. I would go back in a heartbeat.
Well folks, that’s it. Hope you’ve enjoyed our little trip.