Well I am officially an “honest woman” except that I can’t read what our marriage certificate says because it’s in Icelandic. We’ll get it translated into English tomorrow (Wednesday) and then I’ll know for sure what I’ve agreed to.
All has gone smoothly here in Reykjavik. I love the city and think that it is one of the best places I can imagine to visit and get married in. We arrived early morning at 7am and already the sun was high in sky due to the long summer days. We took the Flybus to the Reykjavik bus terminal and then a smaller bus to the Hotel. All very efficient. The roads were empty and the ride from Keflavik (where the airport is) into Reykjavik passed lava fields, fields of lovely purple Lupines and interesting apartment and business structures. I feel like I am living in a Dwell Magazine article. Very cool. Our hotel room is similarly efficient. It’s small but clean and very new. We have a bed with two duvet covers (so European), a tv, closet space for Justine (Greg’s clothes are still in his suitcase). Our hotel is built on top of Viking ruins that date back to the 9th century. The National Museum of Iceland has an exhibition titled 871+2 right below us. The hotel is on Aoalstraeti (street) which was the first and in fact, the only street in the early days of Reykjavik. This is the oldest part of the city with some very old houses and trees situated aside modern design houses. There is an old well which used to be one of the city’s main water sources until the establishment of the Water Works in 1909.
After a short nap (not the best idea as getting up was so difficult) we roamed around. Right away I noticed the corrugated steel houses all painted bright colors with flowers outside. Houses mix with shops and it’s unlike any city I’ve been to. The sky was as blue as could be and there was quite a breeze making it cool in the wind but quite warm in the sheltered areas. We went and got my divorce decree at the Ministry of Justice’s offices where they were as friendly as could be. I have had an email relationship with so many helpful people in this town. It took 10 minutes and I was legitimate to marry again. Thank God as Greg was (I think) a bit nervous. We had a nice lunch at a cafe and sat in the sun (hot). Greg got some fish stew (haddock) in a bread bowl and I got shrimp on toast (basically an open faced sandwich). The shrimp were very tasty, completely different than the ones in the States. I’d like to think that they came right out of Reykjavik Harbor (down the street from the restaurant), but I’m not sure. Our waitress like so many women here was very tall and very blonde and very nice. Everyone here speaks English very well. And to listen to the Iceland language is so interesting. I can’t even begin to form the words with my mouth or pronounce the words I see. There is “a look” to the men and women here. All the women here are quite stylish, the black leggings with the dresses over them are quite popular. Probably keeps the legs warm. The guys were the slim peg legged jeans and have the look that the Beatles did in the 60′s. Everyone smokes here and coffee is king more than in Seattle and quite tasty too. We got married at the Town Hall by two men, one of whom read the vows with a strong accent and his cute cohort/witness. It was moving in a different way than I expected. We tried to camcorder it, but as Greg mentioned I think only our (his) belly was filmed. You can hear it. We exchanged rings and had our picture taken and went on our way. I haven’t received the bill yet so as of now, we got married for free.
We took our first stroll as man and wife back into town from the Town Hall area. We went to the Hallgrimskirkja church which sits up on the hill overlooking Reykjavik. It has a very unique style made to look like it has basalt/lava flowing off of it. We couldn’t go in as there was a funeral, but hope to go to the top of it this week where there is meant to be great views of the city and surrounding areas. Outside the church is a large statue of Leif Erickson, the Viking Explorer and iconic figure in history. We walked back to the hotel enjoying the sunshine and throngs of people outside soaking up every possible ray. I think a lot of people must have called into work sick today as it was very crowded in all the parks and outdoor cafes.
Later we had dinner at the Ristorante Caruso which is inside an old house made of brick and stone. It was very cosy inside. The cuisine was Italian/Latin but had Icelandic specialties such as lamb and cod. The waitress was so nice. Her English like everyone here was perfect. We had a nice meal, some drinks., etc. and dessert on the house as a wedding gift. Greg had cod which was great. We ended up back at the hotel around 10:30pm with activity in Reykjavik just starting. I went to sleep so quickly and noted that when I got up in the night at 3am it was still light outside. Bizarre.