Friday 1 November 2013--We've decided to stay a second night in Reykjavik, and so have the day to hang around town. The
Iceland Airwaves festival is on, and Win is hoping to see some live music. I have
to admit I'm not so keen...the prospect of listening to twenty-somethings semi-proficient on their instruments does not appeal. I stopped
paying attention to the pop music scene many years ago, and I listen mostly to folk and trad stuff these days. I'd love to hear an Icelandic
trad band, but I don't think there's any such thing.
First order of business is breakfast, which we get at the Cafe Babal˙. There is upstairs and downstairs seating, and the downstairs waitress seems to be miffed that no one wants to go upstairs. Service is not so good, and we end up wishing that we'd taken the hint when we came in.
We then visit HallgrÝmskirkja, the church on the highest hill in town. It was completed in 1986, and was the tallest building in Iceland until 2008, when a 20-story tower was built in Kˇpavogur. The view from the tower is stunning on a clear day like today. Down in the nave, we are treated to Bach on the organ.
Wander down to the waterfront, where we take in the Maritime Museum; then over to Harpa, the new cultural center. We hear parts of sets by two different bands. They aren't bad...but that's enough for me.
Later, we find Dillon Whiskey Bar, which has a nice array of beer as well as a collection of whiskies and whiskeys that would not shame an Edinburgh pub. One good thing about being here during the Airwaves festival, there are many interesting characters in town, like the Swiss fellow (or was he Austrian?) with the mini-keg of home-made cabbage spirit slung over his shoulder. He is giving out drams to anyone who wants one. It tastes like cabbage. I thank him, anyway.