Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sunrise in Iceland , Lief Ove Andsnes with the LPO at Herpa

18/12/2014 Thursday

The day started very slowly but early.

Hotel Fron has a wide spread of breakfast that got us busy for a while. After all the morning rituals, we thought we would paint the town red. The town ,however, was covered by a thick layer of snow, from the snow shower that lasted the entire night. It made walking very difficult, esp when the walkways and roads blend in as one of brown slush and ice.

9.30pm and still dark, we trudged on snow laden pathways to Hallskirkja, the iconic church to capture first light. The church looked majestic framed by the twilight lit sky. 

We got up to the top of the steeple and waited for sunrise. Ir proved to be a futile 2 hour wait because the sky was impregnated with thick, grey clouds. Nevertheless, we saw the town waking up as it turned from night to day. The scene gave us a Christmas feel to it.

Lunch was at Café Loki, in front of the church. It was a cute place and we ate at the 2nd floor, with a lovely view of the church with the sky as backdrop. But the food was too small a portion and poor value for money. For more than 3000 isk, we had a tiny plate of smoked lamb ( 3 slices ), 3 baby potatoes and cabbage, a bowl of watery lamb soup and a single piece of rye bread with some fish pate. We learnt not to be fooled by many words but little food.

That done, we walked towards the main thoroughfare and did the usual housewife stuff, shopping for food. My intention was to stock up on midnight rations and we probably overdo it. The grocery came up to more than 2100 isk.

We recouped back at Fron and resumed our walk in the slush/snow. The sun voyage in front of the bay attracted lots of attention from photographers and no wonder. At 3pm, the soft pink and blue glow in the horizon amped up the mystic metal structure. With  the snowy mountain range behind it, it was picture perfect.

We walked towards Harpa for a rest and more photoshoots before looking for pre-concert sustenance.  Icelandic Fish and Chips was difficult to find and thankfully, we had directions from a local.

We had cod, ling and red fish, all very good. Pat’s mango salad has an oriental taste which was exotic and subtle. H liked her red fish, although I suspect she likes all kinds of fish. I had exquisite cod. It was a lip smacking meal at 81000 isk.

We were back at Harpa, a good hour and more before the concert. It was a magnificent building but some shops to while away the time would be good. The concert was well executed but it was a surprise to see the audience applauding between movements , not once, not twice but thrice ! Even so, the audience had a treat from the London Philharmonic Orchestra with a little lively encore from Mussorgsky.

Sun Voyager again, on the way back to Fron
The walk back to Fron was cold and windy on thick snow. We stopped by the sun voyager but the night scene was non existent. By the time we were back, it was just about midnight.  A slow day but the tiredness was indescribable.

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