Independence Day

18 06 2016

When I booked our vacation in Iceland a couple of months ago I had no idea that 17th June was Icelands Independence Day. We left home at an unearthly hour in order to get the 8 am flight from Arlanda to Keflavik. It’s only a 2 hour 45 minute flight so not much longer than flying to London. We arrived on time but had to wait ages for the Express bus to collect all the passengers that had reserved seats only to be dropped off at Hallgrims church as the already paid for hotel drop off service wasn’t possible as it was claimed that the police had forbidden traffic in the city centre. The shuttle bus that dropped us off passed right by our hotel. Duh. Once we had checked in to our hotel which was right on Laugavegur, the main street in the “old Town” we went out to explore the city and saw Islandic flags all over the place and quite a few people dressed in traditional dress. Our first find, Draumur hafsins, was at one of the largest containers I have seen for some time and in a place where stealth was impossible so a direct line of action was the best one.

Wall painting as backdrop to Draumur Hafsins

Wall painting as backdrop to Draumur Hafsins

Draumur Hafsins was the largest cache container I have seen in a while

Draumur Hafsins was the largest cache container I have seen in a while

We then had an attempt at Meeting In The Middle which we DNF’d then read logs that the cache was about 30 m off. A second attempt proved that right so I added the corrected coords to my log. I wonder if the CO will do anything about it as it is an owner with just 11 finds who hasn’t logged into the site for over nine months.

Höfði - the site of the 1986 talks between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev

Höfði – the site of the 1986 talks between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev

Sculpture at Höfði

Sculpture at Höfði

From there we walked along the sea front passing by the stainless steel sculpture of a boat. Sólfar where the cache was quickly found.

Unusual sculpture and unusual cache container

Unusual sculpture and unusual cache container

As we approached the City Lake we saw lots of market stands and then a brass band started playing. I imagine that some more activities were planned but it all seemed quite low key. That was something that was completely different when Iceland were playing their matches in the football EM

Independence day parade

Independence day parade

A very packed place when Iceland was playing football

A very packed place when Iceland was playing football

We enjoyed walking through the old city centre as it is very compact as opposed to greater Reykjavik which is really spread out. The main tourist street is Laugavegir where we were staying which in addition to shops had many cafes, restaurants and bars. My beer consuption dropped to nearly zero as paying over 100 SEK for a beer isn’t worth it.

Every city has it's fair share of graffiti

Every city has it’s fair share of graffiti

Anyone lost a glove?

Anyone lost a glove?

Interesting decor on a house in Laugavegur

Interesting decor on a house in Laugavegur

As we planned to stay in Reykjavik for a couple of days before moving on we didn’t have a rental car from day one to keep rental and parking costs down but took the bus into town then I took the bus back to pick up the rental car. In general rental car prices in Iceland seem high but we found a provider (Geysir) who charged about 400 SEK/day for a Nissan Micro which suited our pockets. When I got their they upgraded the car to a Hyundai Tucson – a 4WD SUV. Nice. What would have been even nicer would have been one of the real Icelandic 4WD monster jeeps. I quite fancied a Landrover Defender as a basic utility vehicle.

We paid for a Nissan Micra and got a Hyundai Tucsan - nice upgrade

We paid for a Nissan Micra and got a Hyundai Tucsan – nice upgrade

This was a mild version of an Icelandic 4WD.

This was a mild version of an Icelandic 4WD.

I parked the car a few hundred meters closer to the airport and walked over to find TAKE OFF TO THE RAINBOW’S END before setting off on the 45 minute drive to Reykjavik.

Rainbow sculpture at the airport

Rainbow sculpture at the airport

A very well visited cache at the airport

A very well visited cache at the airport

We left Reykjavik a couple of days later for a trip to Akureyri and the northern part of the island, which I will write about in my next post, to return to Reykjavik and more trips in the southern part of the island. There aren’t so many caches in the centre of the town and a couple of them including MINOR were found on our second visit which coincided with the longest day of the year. Even though we have long summer days in Gävle we noticed the difference.

One of the few steam locomotives on the island

One of the few steam locomotives on the island

Midnight sun in Reykjavik on the longest day of the year

Midnight sun in Reykjavik on the longest day of the year

Apart from the earthcaches at Geysir and Gullfossen the cache with the most favourite points is in Rekjavik and got a favourite point from me for it’s creativity. >In a crevice among some large rocks … is a stainless steel box with an inscription attached in some way to the ground between two boulders on the shore front where it is in plain sight and seen by muggles all the time. I extracted the box and signed the log as people were passing by. They stopped and looked at the inscription but ignored what I was doing completely!

The cache name is inscribed on the camo!

The cache name is inscribed on the camo!

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