Last full day in Iceland - no bus trips! Instead we bought a Reykjavík welcome card and hit the museums.

We started with the maritime museum, which was very much like any other maritime museum, but with more dried fish.  There'd been a fair amount of fishing related stuff at the folk museum too - as obviously the sea is rather important in the history of small island countries!

Then we went to the 871±2 settlement museum - located under a random hotel, where they found the remains of a longhouse during building work.  This one was really interesting, and nicely done - all around the wall was a panoramic display, which played little films/animations when you stood in the right spot.

settlement museum
the longhouse, and panoramic display

The information signs around the longhouse itself had buttons so you could light up the area they refer to, and there were also a couple of interactive video things that went into more depth.

We briefly popped into the city hall to see the huge relief map of Iceland they've got there.  Felt a bit sorry for the staff who had to keep telling people not to touch it...

Possibly my favourite visit of the day was Volcano House, because volcanoes/geology/ science are all fascinating. This has a small exhibition of different types of volcanic rocks, including ash samples from Eyjafjallajökull (2010) and Grímsvötn (2011) - the former a lot 'scratchier' and thus more dangerous to aeroplane engines!

The cinema bit shows two films. The first about the 1973 eruption on Heimaey in the Westman Islands, and the second about Eyjafjallajökull.  Obviously I have some first hand experience of the chaos caused by that one, but that doesn't mean I don't want to learn more!

Hallgrímskirkja is a big ass modern church.  Not quite the tallest building in Iceland, but fairly imposing from a distance.. though weirdly not so much from up close.

I think this was the third church visit of the week, and still no bursting into flames.  I was impressed by the simple yet striking architecture:

inside Hallgrimskirkja

We got the lift up the tower to the observation deck, where on a clear day you'd get fantastic views of all sorts of faraway mountains.  We mostly saw cloud, but it didn't stop me taking far too many almost identical photos of the city from above!

After a bit of souvenir shopping, we finished with a delicious meal at Icelandic Fish & Chips - including my final portion of skyr, a lovely thick yoghurty thing which I'd been attempting to eat my bodyweight in/try all the flavours of.

So yeah, that was Iceland :)  I loved it, as did mum.  I definitely need to go back and do something a bit more active/outdoorsy though - and eat more skyr.  Nicer weather might be good too.. or maybe some snow and aurora...


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