Sunday, December 14, 2014

Yule boys, music and Smorbred

Yes it was quite the day yesterday,  After another great breakfast I headed over to the National Museum which Magnus (owner of the guest house) assured me was an easy walk,  Well it was I guess but what he failed to mention was that you had to walk over and under busy roads via a pathway and bridges.  It worked out well however - I just could not get over how the bike paths were cleared off and sand added after such a recent snowfall- that would never happen at home!  I got to the museum just in time to watch Gryla the ogre mother of the thirteen Yule lads.  (more on them later). She eats children so you can imagine the children's reaction when she cane bounding onto the stage. Before she came the children were happily singing along with a pianist, 

Isn't that profuse enough to scare you?

She cackled and carried on until one of her "Yule boys" came out,,,(they eat naughty kids - their mother eats any)

Here's number two son

It was fun watching the kids' reaction - heck  I was such a scaredy cat when I was a.kid that I was afraid of Santa,  I can't even imagine my reaction to something I was told would eat me!  Get the hell out of dodge I am sure,   There was a talk put on by English speaking students at the University about Icelandic Xmas traditions, 

For the thirteen days before Xmas Icelandic kids put a shoe in the window each night for a gift from each one of the Yule boys,  If they are bad they get a cold hard potato in the shoe but there isn't much complaining as the alternative (being eaten) is much worse,  Oh yes did I mention they have an evil pet cat who eats children who don't get any clothes for Xmas,  I bet Icelandic kids are the only first world kids who are happy to get a pair of socks or any piece of clothing for Xmas.  These are ancient Coca Cola Santa Claus for them.  Afterwards we were given free coffee and cookies, (always important)

From there I went upstairs and had a look around and it was interesting but hearing those Xmas traditions was so much fun.

I then walked back to town and along the sea so I could see the Sun Voyager again,  So beautiful!!!  It was designed for Reykjavik's 200th anniversary.

I then carried on to the beautiful concert hall by the harbour called Harpa,   A stunning building,  The concert was a family oriented one with a clown as the emcee talking and joking but of course I could not understand a thing,  The performance comprised the Icelandic symphony,  ballet dancers,  an opera singer with someone doing sign language and a children's choir,   The concert lasted an hour and was absolutely delightful,  I am so glad I went. It closed with "Silent Night" sung in Icelandic (of course).  It literally gave me shivers. 

Can you see the sea? 

Inside the auditorium
I walked out of there in such a happy glow - as I turned to look back at Harp I noticed coloured flickering lights on the building and immediately thought of the northern lights.  I had decided to treat myself to a nice meal and opted for a Danish smorrbred restaurant. 

Smoked salmon and roast beef.

What a wonderful day! 

A bit of bliss in Mirissa, Sri Lanka

While I enjoyed my tour of Sri Lanka I also found it exhausting.  It was nothing against the tour - it hit all the spots I wanted to see an...