I hit the pavements, not yet tired. Not yet feeling or acting tired. It was cold and windy, always windy the locals say, with the sky finally brightening. I ambled up the main street of shops and walked uphill toward the Hallgrimskirkja, a Lutheran church that sits atop the cityscape. A statue of Leifr Ericson is in front of it, a gift from the U.S. I went in to the church and heard echoingly loud organ music. It sounded like Bach, but the organist told me it was a French composer. Again, travel surprises. We do not experience what we expect. I assume massive churches to dwarf me, to make me feel struck down with awe. The nave was bright mint green and airy. It felt loose and open, almost retailish in its modernity. The interior was stunningly modern and simple (the Icelandic way), but I was trained to expect the moody candlelit somberness of a European cathedral. So when I walked out and viewed where I had been, the structure, though shockingly huge, seemed less. Granted, that is all conjured by my mind and its anticipation.
After I left, I used a free public WC. Then I went down the street and had a cup of coffee and fruit-laden and grainy bread with Icelandic Butter at Reykjavik Roasters. I chatted with Sebastian, British, I believe.
I still needed to get to Kringlan shopping center to take care of my phone issue. I stopped a man walking two dogs to ask for directions. He intimated I was crazy, that it was that far. Take a bus, he urged. It was around noon. I brushed his concern aside and walked on. It was a lot of walking, on icy and snow-packed streets. They do a dreadful job of clearing sidewalks. It's a real hazard. I studied my map and turned left onto Miklabraut, a four-lane heavily traveled boulevard that sounds like a German dish. I asked a man shoveling his driveway if I was going the right way. He too tried to dissuade me, telling me to cross the street and take a bus. I trudged onward. Who knows why? I was almost there by now, I supposed. A few long blocks from the mall, I crossed under the street in a tunnel for pedestrians. It had graffiti mural and filth: rubbish, wrappers, plastic, scattered paper hearts in the swampy detritus. I asked another fellow if I was close. I was. For once, he (young, unlike the others I had asked) saluted my walkable mania.
Here's the bad part. I got to the Simm-inn store and they said it was an AT&T problem, my phone was locked, they couldn't help me, and they couldn't give me a refund. Maybe they could at the airport. Good luck. This was distressing and deflating. Now I felt tired and hungry but mostly tired. In a word, I hightailed it out of there and took a bus back "home" and finally took a nap. Just that hour or so helped.
As for tired, I dare say: has Reykjavik, Iceland ever had a 67-year-old tourist walk so far in one day all by himself? I'll match anyone, though that was not my intent. (What was my intent?)
Then I took the most modern of showers.
[more to come but not tonight]