Eight days in Reykjavik*. A long time for us to be on holiday. In a city with temperatures around 10 degrees and steady rain forecast. We went plan-less having planned the trip the whole summer. Hiring a car: ditched. Iterations of the same tour in a range of different colour and sized coaches: ditched. Temperatures steadily rising at home. I stopped googling. And reading.
Day one. A five minute walk to the sea early morning and glimpses of Mount Esja beneath heavy clouds. Following the sea wall alongside a dual carriageway and backdrop of highish rise flats we passed the opera house and reached a picture postcard harbour. Whale a minute! This was never in our non-plan.
Kitted out in thick red onesies, goggles, life jackets and gloves we were bouncing out to sea on a speedboat within 30 minutes. Our guide a Prisoner of Cell Block H guard type with layers of understated charm, humour, orders and persuasion. Vertical arm for help. Horizontal arm and clock position shout out for whale spotted. The puffins had pretty much left for the winter. We waited, engine off, bobbing in the North Atlantic. Grey drizzle. Deep, dark waves. Exhilaration, joy and intense horizon studying. Minke whales and a porpoise dolphin whale pitched up, late season. Thank you.
That first day was particularly blue. With tots popping up in the nearby Punk Museum and a shop window display.
*There’s a kind of non back story behind this.