Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Iceland - Day 7

Today was a strange day weatherwise. The first thing I noticed this morning was that the sun was shining, definitely not typical since our arrival, and the wind was calm. Yet it seemed like just minutes later that the clouds started rolling in and the sun disappeared. By mid-morning it was sleeting tiny drops of frozen rain that bounced across the brick parking lot at the B & B. Right after lunch we headed to Reykjavìk to look about a bit before our workshop at 6 tonight. As we drove I noticed that to my right the clouds were thick and I could see a great expanse of rain falling. But to my left the sky was clear blue with sunshine again. In Reykjavìk we wandered down Laugavegur, an interesting brick road lined with shops that is the main shopping area in the city, under overcast skies and very cold temperatures. We stopped for a quick, early supper so that we could arrive on time at our class, and had hardly stepped into the little pizzeria when suddenly it was sleeting again. By the way, Jimmie and I had the fish and chips which were advertised outside as "probably the best in the world". They could be right! As we returned to Keflavìk tonight after our classes the sun was setting on clear, blue skies.

Ok, so I haven't mentioned some of the strangest things that have happened to us on the trip. Like Jimmie, William & Katrece getting stuck on an elevator in the Boston airport. (I made it off. They didn't and disappeared from sight.) Or being told to leave the big Lutheran church downtown. (It is open to tourists, but apparently had something special going on when we joined the other folks walking through the doors that were standing wide open. But it is the first time any of us had been kicked out of a church - and the only ones who were blocked. I guess we just didn´t look Lutheran.) But today was the weirdest, at least to me.

We had been walking quite a while when I mentioned that a bathroom would be nice. Minutes later we spotted the needed blue W/C on a large, round tube with advertising signs on it erected on the corner of the sidewalk. It had an arrow pointing to the right, so we headed that way and found . . . nothing. We went back and searched again, circling the big tube and could not see any sign of a bathroom anywhere. Then suddenly Katrece called out, "Here it is!" The bathroom was actually inside the tube. I took a look, saw what I took to be a money slot, and turned away because I did not have any coins. . . and because the idea of a bathroom on a busy city sidewalk was just totally weird. But Jimmie took a closer look, found the Opið button and suddenly the metal door slid back revealing a toilet. Thanks, Jimmie. I stepped into the tiny stall.

The first thing I noticed was there was no lock on the door - not good. The second thing was that there was no button, lever or handle to flush it - I searched. Finally I opened the door to see if Jimmie knew anything about this contraption, and it closed right back in my face. I opened it again and Jimmie told me that it would be automatic when I left the tube, but zzzippp and the door was closed again. I started out the third time, but apparently not quickly enough and had to jump back as the door slid shut again. The fourth time I finally made it back to the sidewalk. And what was my dear, sweet, knight-in-shining-armor doing through all this? Sitting on a park bench laughing, of course.

- Linda


Carolyn Everesttsdottir said...

Linda, you are writing such a fascinating, descriptive account of the country, I feel like it's my first tip to Iceland too. Keep up the great work!

Ansley said...

Wow...loved and laughed at the W/C story!!