2:30 pm

Star 3


My last day in Reykjavik was an eerily deserted and quiet affair. Perhaps everyone was hiding from all light and noise after a riotously gay evening on the town, or perhaps that's just what Sunday afternoons are like in this city. Either way, my wander up the hill into town was soundtracked by nothing but the bouncing of a lone basketball, and some muted children flitting around a playground under the shadow of the Hallgrímskirkja. The Einar Jónsson Museum is not a particularly exciting place and I'm glad my wily ways got me in for free. Constructed by the artist himself as "his greatest sculpture yet", it was one of the first buildings to grace the "desolate hill on the outskirts of town" (as the now bustling Skolavorduhaed was known back in 1914). It contains plaster versions of many of his later bronze works, and a reconstruction of his study and library which is all rather perfunctory as the real gem is the sculpture garden outside. Picturesquely framed against the Soviet-esque museum structure and the peeping spire of the Hallgrímskirkja, his beautifully symbolic bronzes thrive in the open air just as the plaster versions inside fail to really connect - definitely worth a visit.

I popped into an analogue photography store I'd been eyeing up on the hillside, run by a cheerful Irishwoman who sold me a polaroid and talked about the full moon with great gusto. Next stop was Reykjavik Roasters, a cosy little cafe full of armchairs and the sound of vinyl, that has been listed by Buzzfeed as one of the top 10 COOLEST coffee shops in the world! I could certainly see the appeal as I sank into an armchair and a novel, and it is patronised by both the young and hip and the old and moustachioed. I whiled away an excessive amount of time with the aid of a heavily spiced Chai tea and an Icelandic cinnamon scone, served with butter, jam and, more incongruously, two slices of Swiss cheese.

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