Festival of the Sea

Last day in Iceland, we asked the 9 year old what he wanted to do this morning – his reply – swimming (outside).  It was freezing cold and raining, not what I would have advised.  Still, we had asked…

We walked out to Laugardalur (apparently this means Spring Valley) and is a major area for recreation in Reykjavik.  It took about 20 minutes of brisk walking to get there, not especially a scenic route, maybe we should have taken the bus.

Laugardalur is the largest outdoor pool in the city and is open year round, whatever the weather.  I was amazed at the cost to go in (bargain) – we had got used to “normal” Iceland prices.  Blue Lagoon it is not, there is minimal luxury, but the water is warm, the changing rooms are clean and there are slides, inflatable toys, a sort of assault course on the water and it is kiddie heaven.

06.01.02 - Reuben does Total Wipeout

There were a few other Icelandic families there, but it was a tourist free zone.  I sent husband and the 9 year old to get changed and swim.  I snuggled up with my book in the nice, warm cafe and watched through the window.  They enjoyed themselves, as did I – result!

06.01.01 - Laugardalur

After lunch we headed for the harbour – everyone else in the city seemed to have the same idea.  It was the Festival of the Sea today – on this day every ship in Iceland stays in harbour and all sailors get the day off.  It is an excuse for a party and big celebration.  Sounded like a plan to us.

The harbour was full of flags and festivities.  The 9 year old veered off towards a strange looking playground.  Made of unwanted junk and discarded stuff – old cable reels, bits of steel and other strange unplayground like items – it was an imaginative, creative and funky place.  It was full of parents and kids having a great time, totally disregarding health and safety nonsense.  We joined in with gusto.

06.01.17 - Stilt walking

06.01.20 - Play area

06.01.22 - Play area

We watched a procession of cyclists, dressed in old fashioned gear and riding all sorts of weird contraptions.

06.01.14 - Old fashioned cyclists

Back at the harbour proper there was loads to do, from weird fish displays to exploring the coastguard ships to puffin watching trips.

06.01.13 - The old harbour

06.01.25 - Sea Festival

06.01.12 - Coastguard vessels

06.01.30 - Coast guard ship

The atmosphere was great, it was ideal for our last day in Iceland.  We got back to our apartment for an early night – airport bus at 6:00 am and advanced age means partying is no longer on our agenda.

Iceland we loved you, your weather was not kind to us, but your natural wonders, sights and experiences mesmerized and enthralled us.  We had a great time and all of us vowed to come back some day.

4 thoughts on “Festival of the Sea

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