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I: 31.07.04 II: 01.08.04 III: 02.08.04 IV: 03.08.04 V: 04.08.04 VI: 05.08.04 VII: 06.08.04



Knowing there would be an early wake-up, I wisely went to sleep only after discovering it was practically time to wake up already (and not before announcing “I don’t want to go sleeping!” solemnly to myself - several times.) I do feel rather terrible. I really haven't slept a full night for days, and although I knew what to expect, I feel sore. Taking a long shower always redeems, however, and warm water does miracles for my back. As far being ready goes, the contents of my luggage are still terribly messed up on the floor in more or less random piles. Better than nothing, I guess. No time to salt-soak my nose before leaving makes me worry. Is this how it'll all go? The hurry washes out once we get out of the door, though, only the weather remains rather dreary.



"Only" three buses later (way overboard for such a short trip), we arrive at the Helsinki-Vantaa airport. It's a nice, comfortable airport (even moreso than I recalled), and very large for Finnish standards, but you guessed it, it's still pouring water. Inside, everything is unbelievably priced: I would hardly call 2,50€ for a 20g bag of chips cheap.

Luckily we don't run into normal airport ruckus at all; as we all know airports can be troublesome places. I get stuck in the metal detector thanks to my jacket (although I'm still debating whether it could have been the sunglasses, which were situated in the pocket of the jacket. In Iceland, they have a clear sign that tells everyone to put belongings in one's jacket's pockets and then the whole package through the detector -in- the coat. Simple and effective!) The plane, a Boeing 757, is rather full and sports the most beautiful stewardess I've ever seen (even on the list of most beautiful human beings I've seen, she is top ten... think Aria Giovanni, the girl John5 is dating), and she constantly keeps smiling and looking at me. I know I'm funny, but this funny! Only seconds later she comes telling there are unfilled, roomier seats up front, in the business class, and I wonder why she's so nice... enough seats are empty and we can lodge ourselves there. Lucky!



As the plane finds the correct airstrip for the take off, we marvel at the amount of planes at the airport. How can Helsinki be this busy? (Later on, we find out that the Keflavík airport is not all that much smaller. It must be thanks to Iceland being inbetween Europe and the USA - not everyone is actually staying in the country.) Shortly after we get up in the air after an orgasmic lift-off, a basic plane meal is served and a fat steward pours hot coffee on me. Subsequently, I spill the cream meant for coffee on the table. Even Risto manages to pour orange juice on his trousers. What a tremendous mess. Despite all this, the sky is getting the bluer the closer we get to Iceland, and the weather keeps getting better and better. Feels great to be in the air and fly. Even though I'm not exactly doing it myself.


Still excited! Icelandic sounds funny to my untrained Finnish ears. I might perhaps describe it as something of a cross-breed of Norwegian and Swedish, only you can't actually understand anything... ...not that you normally could, either, but... in essence, Icelandic is pure to the roots of the Scandinavian languages. It is, in fact, the only unchanged Nordic language these days, which means my description should actually go the other way round.


The seats of the airplane feel funny. I feel funny. The plane feels funny. The clouds form a beautiful ocean (see the photos). Risto is beating his Game Boy Advance.



The estimated landing time is 15:45, and as Iceland is -1 GMT, we will be three hours behind Finland once we land. Reykjavík does have a small airport itself, but all international flights are dealt with at Keflavík, 50 kilometers from Reykjavík. I hope dad will cheer up and feel more enthusiastic once we get to our hotel, Klöpp, right in the very middle of 101, the spiritual center of Reykjavík. Should be a rather high-class, hip-decó hotel.

We pass two smaller, 25 000 suburb towns inbetween Keflavík and Reykjavík, called Hafnarfjordur and . The hotel is, I guess, all right - not exactly new, but rather stylish. I feel tired now. It's always the same when you reach a goal, you begin to notice how all that you did took a toll on you.



The guide suggests a shady pub, Ari í Ogri for food needs, and although Risto complains first about the menu, then about the interior, and finally about the meal (before he has received any), we stay stern and have a meal there, and not in the least because I had read earlier that this place should, despite its appearances, pack a punch as far as food goes. Miraculously, it does! My lamb meal (with mushrooms and all) tastes fresh, not stale like in Finland, and there’s lots of it. Even the potatoes are a race of their own kind. Marvelous stuff for a fair price. Recommended, right in the middle of the city. Even Risto is as satisfied as ever.

One thing very characteristic of Iceland is its restaurants, bars and pubs. Either they are terribly fucking pricey, or pretty cheap by the country’s standards (sadly, 5-15% more than a meal would cost in Finland). There’s really nothing in between these high-priced and low-priced meals. Nothing. But you do get funny interior and great service for the price, most of the time.


Oh boy. I'm stranded in the middle of the city with no people, no music. Heck, there's not even the basic youth anywhere. Insensibly empty everywhere. Am I moving around too early? I had read everyone would start crowding the pubs after twelve, and ten past twelve, there's still barely a soul - mostly heavy drinkers - hanging around the bars and pubs. My first attempt in finding póp culture in Reykjavík has grossly failed. What I'm glad of, however, is that I now know where the good places are. The city feels already much more familiar. It really is small. Now I feel like I should be...


...back to bed, a constant hum and speeding motorbikes keep me awake for the rest of the night.

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