Iceland Journey Part 2/7 – Something Old, Something New
For many years now I’ve had a secret little fantasy of one day coming to Reykjavik to just write. Today (15.07.11) that dream came true albeit a somewhat diminished version of the original grand plan in which I am paid a massive advance to write my masterpiece as opposed to labouring away on my hideously delayed blog. Still, at this point in time, I’m a little more concerned about making a life rather than making a living. By Patches McGee, aka Naomi Doyle.
I took up residence at Hemmi og Valdi, a very cosy and cool little cafe/bar on the main street (Laugavegur) where I could watch the world go by, or Reykjavik at least. It was a glorious day outside making me one of the few people happy to be indoors, alleviating any pressure for me to drink up and move on. I managed to knock out a couple of entries before the lure of the sunshine and street music became too much too resist.
I had no particular destination in mind but my feet seemed to find the path they’d beaten several times before, leading me straight to Fríða Frænka – a veritable treasure trove spread over two overflowing floors of every kind of crazy-crap you can imagine – furniture, dead stock wallpaper, vintage kitchenware, jewelry and the finest collection of circa 1960 plastic and melamine children’s ephemera. Fríða Frænka is in a league of its own serving as much as a museum as a shop. (FYI the store closed down in 2016)
From the old to the new, I next discovered another recent addition to the ever-burgeoning Reykjavik cafe scene – Laundromat. If Fríða Frænka hadn’t reminded me of the library in my own house, then this place practically transported me with its bookshelf bar lined with colour-coded spines, maps and globes around the walls interspersed with a smattering of leftist political slogans – it was a little spooky. I stayed for a drink before leaving the parallel universe for further rambling around town and the lake, Tjörnin, which had been frozen last time I was here.
Feeling a little peckish, I decided to follow a tip I’d received about the best place to get a veggie burger in town. The address I had led me to a very fancy bar that didn’t at all match the description I’d been given. I went in anyway and was almost immediately ushered out the back by the waiter who seemed to know my type and what I was after. Sure enough, tucked away in what I assume is an incongruous, back room sublet situation, there was my speak-easy burger joint only meters, yet a whole world away from the far more salubrious establishment fronting it. Luckily there was a spare crate upon which I could enjoy my burger and fries and not much else!
Still broad daylight, my senses were mistrusting of my watch which insisted it was almost 9pm. I wandered towards the apartment where I was happily met by Halla. Our chit chat over a beer quickly turned into deep conversation over several. By the end of the night, we were firm friends already making plans for the rest of the week.
Thank you Naomi for sharing your “2011 Iceland Journey”. Naomi was in Iceland for the 6th time from Feb 27th – March 4th 2013. Her main mission was to see the Northern Lights and I’m happy to tell you all her dreams came true on March 1st. I (Inga) met up with Naomi a couple of times while she was here and we had an amazing time. Naomi wrote about her trip in Iceland so make sure to check out her other blogs also. Click here to read her guest profile.
This blog is a part of 7 series posts. Click below if you haven’t read the other ones. 🙂