27 October 2007

the favorite trip

I just got a whizz-bang new phone that has a camera, so I can finally show off the rollerblading trip I do that renews my faith and love for this odd land. It starts along Snorrabraut, then towards the airport and down past the fake beach at Nauthólsvík. Then I wrap around the airport and make towards Vesturbær, where I pass the little fish embedded in the pavement and the fishing sheds left over from a previous incarnation of this part of Reykjavík.

Then it's a sneak through the path that ends near the KR football stadium, and out onto the path facing Esja, looking fabulous and snowy today. This bit's usually a battle with the wind that's sweeping in from the open sea beyond the mouth of the bay, and when it's low tide there's a good fresh smell of seaweed and other things. Today there was a trio of oystercatchers doing their goofy parade around in the water, and as always, plenty of gulls.

Further along is this shed which must be used for drying things because on peaceful afternoons it's a pretty stinky section of pavement. Carry on though, because just beyond it is Grótta, the lovely lighthouse that marks the tip of Seltjarnarnes. Today I came upon a photo shoot in the grass there, so I took a surreptitious photo of the action, and then turned towards the open expanse ahead. Further along this path, before turning at the golf course, the dunes get high so all that's visible of the sea is little snatches of blue between the grass.

On the other side of the road, heading back along the lower part of the peninsula, I look back towards the mountains, that today got engulfed in clouds, then inspect the bird life on the pond there. Three swans today and a lot of threatening clouds.

From here it's a sail through the yellowing grass along a more gentle shore, although today there was still quite a lot of kelp and loose sand on the path. I stopped for a drink of water at one of the conveniently placed water fountains. A little further on and I'm in the middle of Seltjarnarnes center, where the swimming pool is under major renovations. Turn right down a little skinny walking path and then its neighborhood streets for a while, where today the Saturday duvet-airing tradition was in full swing.

I come out again along the sea in Vesturbær, and retrace my tracks towards the airport, pass the soccer fields, past this sea wall that blooms with mustard-colored lichen. At Nauthólsvík again I have a moment of truth, whether to go down along Fossvogur a little further, and then knock myself out climbing up the full height of Öskjuhlíð, or to turn back to Hotel Loftleiðir. I took the second option today, and passed a wonderfully dilapidated suitcase that someone had ejected at the side of the path.

From there it's a short homestretch, and if the weather's not looking so scary like it was today, I sometimes continue to the other side again, where I cruise to the Sólfar sculpture and see what tourists are there inspecting it. If I could, I would do this trip every single day- the landscape is lovely, the air delicious, and the seasonal changes make the view different every time.


Anonymous said...

You are, by far, the coolest person I know. THE coolest. Ever. Seriously. THANK YOU for the pictures and the narrative.

ALSO - THANK YOU for the card for Gunnar. My husband makes fun of me, but I've carried that card, and the envelope, around with me, showing everyone, for several days now. It is the BEST gift ever.

-Sarah :O)

Djaddi said...

Cool pics! :)

SOe said...

Such a great tour! You and your new mobile phone took some really good pictures! I would like know which mobile phone do you use.

Lisa said...

Those are amazingly clear phone photos. I loved viewing them.

ECS said...

sarah: glad it arrived, and I'm sorry it took so long for me to actually send it!

djaddi: thanks!

soe: it's a Samsung d900, with a 3 megapixel camera. I'm pretty happy with it overall!

lisa: This was my first real experiment with it so I was surprised too, and in some of them I really liked the extra effects achieved, like the happy sunrays.

Anonymous said...

Wow brilliant pictures! I never knew a camera phone can be that effective, and also that people can have such a fun filled magical route!!


SOe said...

ecs: Thanks for the information!

cK said...

Gorgeous photos and a really nice walk-thru (roll-thru?). Lovely.

And I dig that suitcase! Though, I must admit things like that also creep me out.

agusta said...

When I moved back home from abroad, I walked this route many times as a way to anchor myself back in Iceland. Your vivid description really takes me back there, but also reminds me that I should go there in person someday soon!

You asked me a couple of blogs back, if your perspective of Iceland is what I expected.
There are some things that I could predict would strike foreigners as strange or noteworthy. However, being a native does make me oblivious to things which you reflect on in a way which helps me see myself/us from a different angle. I do believe that can be beneficial:)

tsduff said...

My Sweetie's cousin Asa lives in Seltjarnarnes and has a cute house with a huge picture window directly across the street from the bike path and the ocean. I'm so envious. There is blank frame in front of the window - so when the ships go by it looks as though they are in a picture.

I too have a brand new phone (the old one sleeps with the fishes) but have yet to discover how to download the pictures to Flicker. I'll figure it out I hope.