Day 10 in Europe: I walked 16 miles today.

What’s scary is, I didn’t even break my record this trip!!!  But it came pretty close.  By the end of it, my feet were so sore and my legs didn’t want to cooperate.  I considered just laying down on the side of the road, but nobody would have stopped.

When lacking a person to take my picture, I take a selfie.  So, I dunno if this is a good shot or not, but I think I look like a cute little rosy-cheeked clown, so we'll go with it.

When lacking a person to take my picture, I take a selfie. So, I dunno if this is a good shot or not, but I think I look like a cute little rosy-cheeked clown, so we’ll go with it.

The reason I walked so far?  I got lost, again.  Not lost-lost, but I just kept walking along the harbor/bay/ocean, eventually saw a lighthouse, and thought it would be about a 20 minute walk to get there.  It was not 20 minutes; it was an hour.  I ended up walking from the East side of Reykjavik, where I started at the zoo, to the lighthouse on the tip of the peninsula in Seltjarnarnes.  It was Grotta, a wildlife refuge/historical sight.  Then I hustled back because I really had to pee.  That part wasn’t so fun.

I walked past here

I walked past here

My day started lazy, by looking at a map of Reykjavik and seeing what looked good.  The Phallogical museum sounds great and all, but really, I’m thinking no.  Since I work at a zoological facility, I really like to inspect zoos wherever I go.  The Reykjavik Zoo isn’t much; it’s more like a petting zoo with mostly Icelandic farm animals to touch, as well as some harbor seals, arctic foxes, reindeer, and minks.  Although it was small and clearly geared towards small children, it was very clean and entertaining.  I really enjoyed it; especially the Icelandic horses and the bunnies (I may be missing my pets…).

Icelandic horse.  She was very friendly

Icelandic horse. She was very friendly

At the park

At the park

On the way to the Zoo, I walked through a little park and the Botanic Gardens, which were nothing much right now but still lovely.  There’s a joke that “Iceland is green (lush), and Greenland is ice – LOL!” but the bruises on my hip and butt can tell you that Iceland, in winter, is plenty icy.  Yowch!

A tiny Icelandic traditional house

A tiny Icelandic traditional house

An arctic fox at the zoo

An arctic fox at the zoo

I changed my clothes and put on warm socks, then just walked along the water.  Last night, the tide was high, but today, I watched it go all the way out, revealing some beautiful kelp and some diving sea birds.  Yeah, I don’t sound like a marine science educator or anything, do I?  Especially when I got so excited about all the dead invertebrates washed up in the surf at Grotta.

like waves on the shore

like waves on the shore

these dead things

these dead things

a little hot spring

a little hot spring

grebes take flight

grebes take flight

During the long walk, I made all of one friend.  It was a young cat; its owner let it out, it saw me, and bolted across the very busy 3 lane road right there.  Then it sauntered up to me, and I had no choice but to talk to it.  It was all lovey-dovey, and sort of made my day.  But since I didn’t want it to get run over on the job back home, I picked it up and carried it back.  I hope its owner didn’t think I was trying to steal it or anything!!!

my friend

my friend

I’m really loving Iceland, but I found one drawback – the groceries are expensive here!!!!!!!  It makes sense, since they have to import most of their fresh fruits and veggies, and lots of things, really.  But 799 krona/kg for spinach?!  Yikes.  It might have been the grocery store I was at, you know?  I’m calling it “the green one” since it was green.  But still…

At the point where I was about to collapse from exhaustion, I managed to drag myself to the place I’m staying, put my groceries away, eat a bagel, then go to Laugardalslaug Hot Springs Pool to relax.  In Iceland, you have to shower off completely, including scrubbing especially stinky areas with soap,  As an American, I am vaguely ashamed of my body, so my natural inclination is to hide every inch of it (except the cleavage, but only because I’ve given up on trying to tame that mess).

the beach i snuck down

the beach i snuck down

The hot pool was wonderful, though.  I soaked way longer than I probably should have, and I think I actually fell asleep.  At first, the pool was filled with youths who were very obnoxious – typical teenagers; they’re the same species, the whole world over.  There was also a huge body-builder man/straight-up viking, who was adorable hanging out with his children.  Eventually, my gloomy introvert aura turned the whole corner of the pool where I was resting into a quiet zone populated by me (young woman) and a bunch of shifty looking older men, and none of us would acknowledge anyone else’s presence except for moving out of the way like their touch would turn us to stone.

Excited to be here, excited for tomorrow and the next few days!  Iceland!

DSC01673

Thoughts on Iceland:
-Damn international postage here is expensive
-Icelandic Horses are tiny and huge at the same time
-Pet the horsey!  Pet ALL the animals!
-It really isn’t that cold
-Finally light out
-Let’s take a short walk, maybe 2 hours
-Nevermind, 5 hours, and my feet freakin’ hurt!!!!
-Hot spring!!!!! AHHHH!  Relaxation.
-Wait, I have to leave?!
-Let’s do ALL the things, and pretend it’s not gonna hurt me later… 😀
-I’m too poor to live in Iceland afterall
-I need to come back and do more things here

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About MurasakiOkapi

Work has taken over a huge portion of my life in recent years, but I am trying hard to get back in the habit of being at least marginally creative on a semi-regular basis. Other than that, I'm a nature enthusiast and love all animals. I try to see things from many perspectives, and live on the sustainable side. I wouldn't say I'm a positive person, but at the same time I don't tend to get too down about things.
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