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Magical mystery tour

There’s a place here in Reykjavík called the Family Park and Zoo, which as the name suggests is a park for families [i.e. they have play equipment for kids, rides, etc.] and a sort of mini-zoo, with domesticated farm animals, as well as wild animals found in Iceland: seals, foxes, minks and reindeer. Recently they’ve also set up a sort of mini-aquarium, with a few species of fish and other oceanic critters.

Anyway, each year during Midsummer Night they open the park between 11 pm and 1 am, for anyone who wants to listen in on the cows talking, or who fancies a roll around in the dew. They’ve also got lots of other things going on: a bonfire, live music, “strange creatures” roaming around [i.e. people dressed up in costumes], and suchlike. I’ve been meaning to go ever since AAH was little but have never got around to it – until last night. I was talking to a good friend on the phone who mentioned that she was going and told me just how great it was. EPI came home around 11 and I managed to coerce him into coming with me, and we ended up having a really fun time, even if we didn’t have any little kids with us.

We first came upon the seals, who were curious as ever. Is it any wonder the Germans call them “sea dogs”?

Seal

Next we checked out the aquarium. Can you spot the flounder?

Can you spot the flounder?

Ah, there he is:

Close-up

We went to listen to the cows, but this little guy, at least, wasn’t talking:

Moo

Whereas this guy had a lot to say, but I promised I wouldn’t tell …

Horse with white mane

In a tent there was a band playing jazz …

Jazz on Midsummer Night

And outside there was a field for rolling around nekkid in the dew [note the clothes rack, very inviting]:

Invitation

Meanwhile, Midsummer Night was encroaching on the little lake [although this photo was taken just prior to the one above – the position of the camera made it look darker than it actually was]:

Midsummer Night

On the way back out we bid farewell to the seals again [can you spot them?]

Midsummer Night

And on the way home, there was a gorgeous sunset:

Sunset on Midsummer Night

… with the Sólfari sculpture looking like some strange prehistoric animal:

Sunset on Midsummer Night

And that concludes our little Midsummer Night mystery tour. Thank you for joining us!

TODAY WE HAD YET ANOTHER STUNNING DAY
White-hot, brilliant sunshine. I was sitting inside today working [in an actual proper office] and it was SO HOT. I felt really sluggish and realized I hadn’t actually felt that way on account of the summer heat since I lived abroad. [Implications? Discuss.] Our economy is going to hell, the krona is in free-fall, Icelandair laid off 200 people today, gas is up to ISK 173 per liter [USD 7.40] … but at least we have beautiful weather. Temps right now 12°C [54F], sunrise this morning was at 2.57, sunset due for 12.03 tomorrow.

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  • nancy June 25, 2008, 1:27 am

    Beautiful pix! But I think you should have had a roll in the dew. I mean, there were hangers and everything!

  • Djaddi June 25, 2008, 10:14 am

    The clothes rack is pretty funny :).

    I also took pictures of the same sunset and of the ship
    that same night 🙂. In fact I looked at the sunset time on your blog and walked to the end of the street at the posted time. You could also see Snæfellsjökull quite clearly, which is pretty cool.

    And yeah, summer is a time for enjoying the weather and ignoring the terrible economic news..

  • Chris June 25, 2008, 11:42 am

    Nice pictures. What about the baby seals: Can you already see them?

  • linguaphile June 25, 2008, 7:37 pm

    Seems that economic anxieties are everywhere these days. This too, shall pass. It’s the small daily things like spending time with loved ones and appreciating the weather that really matter, anyhow.

  • Graham from Scotland June 25, 2008, 7:56 pm

    Great pics, Alda!

  • alda June 25, 2008, 10:38 pm

    Nancy – you’re right. Maybe next year. 🙂

    Djaddi – yes, let us laugh at clothes racks and forget about the króna for a while!

    Chris – yes, they had pups and they were adorable!

    linguaphile – amen!

    Graham – thank you!

  • Rozanne June 26, 2008, 4:16 am

    Love the seals! That tour sounds (and looks) amazing! Thanks!

    I think the tour is proof that you are not “breaking the testicles of nature.”

    (P.S. I’ve been too slammed to read blogs lately, but I just saw all your hate mail/comments a few posts back–WTF?)

  • Abby June 27, 2008, 1:04 pm

    No polar bears at the zoo?

  • alda June 27, 2008, 1:16 pm

    abby – unfortunately they don’t have the facilities … there has been talk of this in recent days and weeks (predictably).

  • maja June 29, 2008, 6:21 am

    Wow how cool I didn’t know it was there.