5:00 pm

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Grey and miserable on Thursday, the harbour in this weather is transformed into a blue and glittering delight. We headed first into the Harpa concert hall, a giant block of thousands of panes of clear and coloured glass that glints under the sun and offers a magnificent view out over both the city centre and the sea itself, with its backdrop of green and brown mountains. Harpa was destined to be a much larger World Trade Centre affair before the Icelandic financial crisis hit like a tonne of bricks in 2008, but now its sole purpose is to house a purpose-built concert hall plus egregiously vast gift shop and cafe. We climbed right to the top to enjoy the scenery, and spied multiple yachts and one tiny boat chugging through the choppy water with its cargo of suited-up tourists bent on whale-watching. I must say that I wouldn't have want to be out on the high seas today as the wind and waves were only getting stronger - and who wants to see a whale when you can eat one at the restaurant downstairs?

The harbour front is dotted with neon yellow lighthouses that provide excellent viewing platforms out towards the ocean - and also into it. A mass of glassy pink jellyfish was floating ethereally just beside the boardwalk, and sea birds periodically dived and plopped into their midst, casting flickering shadows across the water and inevitably coming up empty-beaked and squawking. Rather distracting from all the nature was the almost impossible to ignore photoshoot happening further down the harbour involving two identical and identically-dressed blondes standing in profile and looking contemplatively out to sea, while two men with very unprofessional-looking photography equipment leered on. Sarah and I have both admitted to having trouble telling Icelandic women apart, being universally fair, stylish and beautiful. This was something else entirely.

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