Day 20

Over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll be posting a tastefully-edited version of the journal I kept during the time I spent in Iceland. You can find all the entries and more on the “Iceland Transcribed” page. 

As I was making dinner last night, I ended up chatting with an Australian girl who has been backpacking across the world. She said she had been invited to a party, but wasn’t super keen on going, and neither was I. She extended the invitation to me, and we agreed to go check it out in the name of Pride Day.

First, though, we stopped for pictures of the blood red sunset over the harbor. As we turned the corner, we came upon a giant silver unicorn that had a rainbow mane and rump – a float from the Pride Day Parade that had happened earlier that afternoon. I had missed it, but others said it was quite the spectacle.


What I thought was going to be a house party – the kind I avoid like Death at home – turned out to be an LGBTQ bar that had some shows happening that night (because, Pride).
And that’s how I ended up at my first drag show, watching the Queens lip-sing bad songs about being girly.


‘Straya and I had a drink each and chatted with patrons. As the night grew longer and the club started winding down, we went back to the hostel because, we joked, we were actually old ladies who preferred tea and books to drinks and dancing.
We sipped tea and snacked on some cheese we had scavenged from the Free Food Fridge (where other travelers can donate the food they don’t want to take with them instead of throwing it out), and talked about the future and what it means to travel.
We talked until two in the morning, at which point I invited her to go on the scavenger hunt with me tomorrow and went to bed.

‘Straya joined me on my scavenger hunt in the morning. We found the Kolaportid [Koh-la-port-idth], the giant weekend flea market; we discovered that Einar Jonsson was a sculptor, and most of the statues downtown were done by him, although we didn’t get to the museum – I should do that; we poked our heads into the Phollological Museum but didn’t pay to go in; and we stopped at the Harpa, because it was beautiful in the sunlight.

I’m not joking, this is a real thing, and it’s great.

We also took pictures on the rainbow-painted steps in front of city hall, drank the moss-and-thyme tea at Cafe Loki, I bought frozen yogurt and enjoyed the hell out of it, and we went to Reykjavik 827 (+- 2), a history museum about the settlement of Iceland.

One of my favorite pictures, taken in front of Hallgrimskirkja.

By this point I was almost asleep on my feet, so we made our way back to the hostel for dinner, pausing a couple more times: once at a much smaller flea market, and a Christmas shop that offered to send a gift and letter from one of the 13 Iceland Yule Lads to anyone you listed (for a fee, of course). They were closed, but I thought of my nephew, and if the price is reasonable, that would be a fun thing to do for him this year.
Tatertot’s first birthday is this month… I’d love to see him.

Our last stop was a colorful bakery, where I bought a chocolate-and-raisin sweet roll. I definitely found my new favorite sweet.

I need to do some laundry, but right now I can’t focus on anything beyond the blissful darkness of sleep. It’s only 8pm.

Reykjavik’s street art is incredible.

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