Hellisgerdi Park, or bus travel in Reykjavik
I caught the bus over to Hafnarfjodur this morning. It’s easy enough to find the stop, on the main road running through the city. Feeling confident, I even managed to direct another tourist to the main bus station.
It wasn’t until the bus arrived that I started to feel out of place. I’ve say it before, but guide books never mention the specifics about public transport. I guess there isn’t room, but useful tips like ‘it’s better to buy the ticket in advance, because you have to pay with exact change on the bus’ would be a helpful addition when telling someone who clearly has no local knowledge that it’s easy to take this route. The money, if you have it, goes into a glass container next to the driver and they print your ticket.
Luckily, I did have the correct change. I made it to Hellisgerdi Park in one piece, enjoyed the bus’ free wifi (why don’t we have this in the UK?) and was even cornered by some children who wanted to chat with me, until they realised I wasn’t local. Oh, plus there’s a lovely coffee place round the corner which does amazing chocolate and pear cake. There are no pictures, I ate it too fast.
The park is supposedly a haven for Iceland’s ‘hidden people’, the elves. It certainly looks like the right place, especially so barren and near empty in the winter season. I was expecting something bigger, but it’s barely a ten minute lap around, albeit with some interesting (if creepy at times, see the frozen fountain) views.
When I returned to the bus stop back to Reykjavik, it was the same driver. He informed me that my ticket had a return on it, only when used within an hour of purchase (some more useful info for you there).
Topped off with a trip to the National Museum of Iceland (closes at 5, get there early) and the Saga Museum (also a bit creepy, it’s now moved to the old Harbour, next to the Northern Lights museum), I’m feeling pretty cultured.