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View Diary: Leaving America: Reykjavík, A City of Hope (56 comments)

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  •  Wow, this is fascinating, Rei! I once spent 36 (5+ / 0-)
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    NonnyO, Mnemosyne, Knucklehead, ask, mookins

    hours in "Smoky Bay" on the way to London.  I was flying Icelandic Airlines--Loftleidir--so we took off from New York, landed at Keflavik, and took a bus to Reykjavik.

    Sat in the lobby of the Hotel Saga the next day and wondered why every young woman I saw was such a knockout!  I asked my guide why all the women were so pretty.  She said that around the year 1000, the Vikings would sail their boats around the coasts of Ireland and Scotland, spy out the prettiest girls, then hide until nightfall.  Then they'd kidnap them and take them back to Iceland. The "beauty" genes were evidently handed down through the centuries.

    Whether that's true or not, it certainly makes a good story. I enjoyed my brief stay in Reykjavik.  I tried the skyr at dinner but not the shark.

    The only disconcerting note about my stay was the carpet in my hotel room:  when I looked at it closely it appeared to have a design of tiny swastikas.  And the bathroom consisted of a toilet and handbasin inside the shower itself!  Forgot to take the toilet paper out when I had a shower, so naturally it was soaked.  Quite an experience.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Sat Nov 26, 2011 at 05:25:52 AM PST

    •  Weird (1+ / 0-)
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      I can't imagine why the carpet would be like that.  Perhaps it was imported from India?  Iceland was neutral in WWII (until conquered by the British), and there's not exactly a big neo-nazi component today (I read an article once about  a racial purity party, but its number of members is in the single digits)

      Here's a hint about skyr vs. hákarl: if you go to an Icelandic grocery store, you'll find shelves covered in skyr and related products.  Not so much for hákarl.  So, in terms of what people actually eat....   ;)

      Weird toilet arrangement!  Hótel Saga -- is that the one by Rekjavíkurflugvöllur / the Reykjavík Airport?  They're constantly renaming and rebranding that hotel; it's Hótel Nattura now.

      And yeah, Iceland's a bit low in the "genetic diversity" department, but what genes they have are pretty good   ;)

      •  It probably is the same hotel (4+ / 0-)
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        Rei, Mnemosyne, mookins, GayHillbilly

        As I remember (this was in 1965), it didn't take long to get to the airport, so it must be the same one.  I do remember thinking that Icelanders were big party people, because the sounds of revelry went on downstairs all night.  I think the hotel was pretty new.

        That Loftleidir flight from NY to Keflavik was the most fun I've EVER had on an airplane!  Consider what they gave us for lunch:  entree, vegetables, roll and butter, dessert, coffee, a chocolate bar, and a little balloon of brandy.

        Later, evidently concerned that we were still starving, the flight attendants came around with fresh fruit.

        Then they came around with boiled sweets and chocolates.

        The flight was full of people my age--newly 21--and we all got up and moved around, talking to different people.

        Only the Virgin America flight to London, several decades later, came close to matching that experience and that's because I received a free massage in flight.

        Oh, flying was fun before 9/11!

        "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

        by Diana in NoVa on Sat Nov 26, 2011 at 09:02:06 AM PST

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