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Out and about in Reykjavík

My instagram. 1. & 2. taken at Kaffifélagið, my cousin’s excellent coffeeshop at Skólavörðustígur. 3. at Tjörnin, the Reykjavík pond we all have memories of falling into… 4. at flee market Kolaportið. 5. Tjörnin again. 6. City Hall. 7. Hótel Borg. 8. Resting.

Last Saturday was a very, very nice day. We woke up at my sister-in-law’s apartment in Reykjavík, had breakfast and plenty of coffee and ventured out for a day of thrifting, coffee-sipping and book-petting. Book-petting may sound a bit off, but it’s not! Usually it just entails me visiting a couple of bookstores, admiring their stacks of books, picking out a few favorites or others that capture my attention and stroking them a bit. (Have you read Harry Potter? In that story there’s a book called the Monster Book of Monsters which regularly tries to bite its reader – unless he strokes its spine. Then it gives a shudder of pleasure and relaxes. This is what I imagine all books feel like. Yes. I said it. Feel.)

With superb coffee from my cousin’s coffeeshop on Skólavörðustígur in hand, we went to the flee market Kolaportið. It was much better than I remembered it. I used to go there all the time, but haven’t been there once since I moved away from Reykjavík one and a half years ago. By then I felt it was always the same; the same vendors with poor-quality stuff and high prices. This time around there were loads of new vendors and the prices seem to have gone down again (a very rare occurrence in Iceland!). I bought a comfy red and white knit sweater and a vintage faux fur coat that I couldn’t resist. It’s probably the best faux fur I have ever seen and it only cost 2.000 ISK ($17).

While at Kolaportið we also did some grocery shopping – we were planning to head out to my sister-in-law’s summer house that evening and bought the freshest fish to cook for the four of us. We also got a bit overexcited when we found the exotic corner in the food court – with tamarind, soba noodles, frozen durian fruit and the like. We’ve been living in a town with very limited shopping opportunities for too long it seems.

From there we headed for City Hall, the venue for this year’s book fair. A bit more of bookpetting ensued. We had meant to catch a panel discussion with some of my favorite Icelandic authors but somehow managed to misread the time and, alas, missed it. We snuck into Iðnó, where the panels were held, for a while though. It’s one of my all time favorite houses in Reykjavík, and me and the boyfriend have both worked there. Why I don’t have any photos from there I do not know. We also went to see an exhibition (which I loved!) of Marc Ribaud’s photography at the Reykjavík Museum of Photography. By then, it was time to head back home, pack a bag, buy an assortment of locally brewed beers and head out to the countryside.

All in all, I think I just fell back in love with Reykjavík a little bit. I like that feeling. Almost all my family lives there, and I was becoming a bit worried that I might never want to return. I’m not ready to just yet, but we’ll see. It’s not all bad. It’s not.

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