Archive for June, 2010

Day #6. Concert

Stomach problems very much better, fortunately, not quite up to standard but good enough to get going. Met up with our fellow Icelander in the lobby, had heard of things happening at home, moguls being arrested and such, finally. Can’t say we were unhappy about that.

Philippa, the festival manager asked us if we wanted to come to an open meeting, we of course went there. Was pretty good, an interesting panel and good and intellectual questions and answers. Also good to see some more of the festival guests. The only thing I thought lacking was that we were all staying in a hotel – with no hotel bar where everyone would gather in the evening and get to know each other.

Finally found a proper supermarket, didn’t buy anything at the time since we were heading to a concert. Also found a huge market with all sorts of things to be bought at a cheap price, much like our own Kolaport, except instead of dried fish, shark and flat bread they had tons of exotic fruit and vegetables which we’d never seen before, even though the supermarkets at home are fairly well stocked with fruits and vegs from around the world. The pictures on the T-shirts also were quite different, aboriginal art instead of lopapeysa patterns.


Fleiri á flickrsíðunni minni.

Bought a few beers to put in the fridge – I only wanted a small one so I bought a Pilsner Urquell (one of my favourite Czech beer brands, their dark Master just might be my favourite beer in the whole world), a 25 centiliter bottle. Without checking the price. Got a small shock when I realized what the beer had cost, about 4 times more than at home – and people complain about the state having monopoly on selling alcohol and about the prices! Obviously everything will get better if/when sales of alcohol will be free in Iceland – not!

A concert in the ABC house at 13:00, brilliant piece by Kristian Blak, another I liked a lot too by Hubert Stuppner – wouldn’t mind having a recording of that one (hmm, wonder if ABC’s site’s still open). 3 more pieces, one for Shakuhatchi flute and strings, not bad, and 2 other ones just for strings, maybe a bit too long for my taste.

Back to the hotel to change clothes for the concert with my piece on it. Had some extra time to kill, walked to a pub with free WIFI, bought a lemon marengue pie each, a glass of white wine for me and a beer for Jón. Just as good the pies and drinks were nice, the net didn’t work. Had the system rebooted for us, no go. I’m on a Mac and Jón on Windows and nothing worked. Irritating. Australians seem to be just a bit backwards in Net usage, we didn’t see anyone else trying to use a computer in the pub (around here a third to fourth of café users will have a computer on their table). Also saw a book store computer using MS Dos, didn’t think anyone in the whole world used MS Dos any more… Book shop had about 6-7 books I wanted, though! Might want to visit it again, later in the trip.

Then to the concert in The Con, brilliant concert, fabulous children’s choir – surpassing our best one here (and that one was really good, too). Recorded my song on my camcorder, here goes:

Skipped the day’s final concert, went out to a nice Italian place instead to celebrate. All in all an euphoric day.

Day #5. Sick

Here comes the boring post. Wake up at 6:30 in the morning, stomach queasy, went to breakfast anyway and back up, managed to fall asleep. Wake up feeling worse, now with diarrhoea. Probably not food poisoning since me+hubby had always eaten the same stuff, just good old boring stomach flu. Not what I wanted.

He went out to buy some cola and see if he would manage to find open WIFI anywhere. He hadn’t been gone long when I managed to get in touch with the net on my computer, using the Safari browser, Firefox seemed to be the problem, most likely some internal thing, couldn’t figure what, though. Was pretty happy about finally getting in touch with the world. Bought a couple of hours and checked my mail and a short peek at facebook. Used half an hour or so, then just continued reading.

We had a ton of books to read, the penultimate Stieg Larsson book which I had forced myself not to read until Australia, Bill Bryson: A Short History of Almost Everything, Ben Goldacre: Bad Science (amazing book), The Mermaid by Camilla Läckberg, two of the Demigod books by Rick Riordan, a Stone Soup comic book and if this hadn’t been enough, I had seen Drowned Wednesday, the third book in The Keys to The Kingdom by Garth Nix in a used-book shop for only a couple of dollars the day before. Bought it, of course, I had already read books number 1 and 2 so this was just a piece of luck. Enough to read, at least.

Jón Lárus came home irritated, the open net in the pub hadn’t worked. Was glad I managed to get into the hotel net.

Read 2 of the easy-read book on this sick day but didn’t start on the Larsson one, better try to leave something easiar and more mindless to read for the flight than Bryson and Goldacre.

Maybe one could complain about the hotel, it’s getting on in years and it shows, the bathroom sink and tiles a bit cracked and looked like they were from the 1970s, wallpaper a bit shabby and the walls could use a layer of paint. But the bed was excellent, not too hard, not too soft, Baby Bear type. The bed in Hotel Norge, the Norwegian hotel I stayed at in March was of the Mama Bear type, way too soft, sink down the middle and my back hurt. Really counts for something, especially when you spend a whole day mostly in bed. Never mind that the Norwegian hotel was much newer and classier.

No photos taken this day.

Day #4. Rehearsal

Woke up at half past five in the morning when my phone rang, a fellow teacher from one of my schools who didn’t know where I was. Hung up in consternation when I told her, pretty funny. I of course couldn’t sleep again, Jón Lárus had woken up at half past three so I couldn’t really complain.

Hotel breakfast, nice but unusual, english and asian hot food, sausages and hash browns, boiled and scrambled eggs and baked beans, a spicy noodle dish, rice and all sorts of sauces and hot and sour vegetables. A bit more normal for us, yogurt and muesli, toast and jam but no cheese or cold cuts, then some fresh fruit, mostly various types of melon. Coffee/tea and muffins for dessert too. Pretty good all in all.

Up again, tried to sleep some more, would have liked to get rid of the jet lag quickly (HAHAHAHAHAH)

I managed to fall asleep, slept for 2 hours, not bad, I actually thought I was done with the jet lag. Jón Lárus didn’t sleep but went jogging instead. Out we went just before lunch, a concert in Sydney Conservatory of Music, The Con as they call it. Had a downpour on the way, had to buy an umbrella ( o/ in the comment section those of you that remember bringing an umbrella when travelling – I always forget and then must buy a cheap one when I get caught in the rain). Saw a handbag I liked in the umbrella shop (well, it was of course a handbag shop which also sold umbrellas to silly tourists). Didn’t buy it. Then.

Found The Con, a beautiful old building not far from the one and only Opera house. Obviously the old building was way too small for the conservatory so a new house had been built beside the old, fortunately the connection didn’t destroy the old house, I hate when people do that sort of thing.

First concert of the day was a piano recital, 4 pieces, liked 2 of them, the other 2 less. Last piece was by a young American composer, all about money swindles and “get rich quick” schemes, electronic sounds along with the piano. Really interesting and fun piece. Wouldn’t mind having a recording, actually.

After the concert we went for a walk through The Rocks, the oldest part of Sydney I expect. Really nice area but of course more expensive than the Chinatown where our hotel was located.

Found the place where my brother and sister-in-law had had lunch, with view of the Opera, made a mental note to go there in our second week when the festival would be finished. Probably wouldn’t have time for it in between the concerts, always at 13:00, 18:00 and 20:00 and in between meetings and cocktail parties and such, also some of the concerts were out of town. One must of course mingle with the other composers and musicians at the festival, otherwise not much point in going at all.

Found Sydney’s most exciting wine shop, Australian Wine Centre, Jón had read about it and we had meant to find it but then just saw it when we walked around Circular Quay (which of course isn’t circular in the least). Bought a couple of bottles to bring back to Iceland and one to drink in the hotel.

About half past 4 we went to where we had been told the Sydney Children’s Choir would be rehearsing my piece. Just as well we decided not to be last minute, they didn’t rehearse there at all.

ÁTM

This was a big house on an amazing location overlooking Circular Quay and the Opera house, Sydney’s Music Information Centre plus more arts offices. Lovely place. The rehearsal was a bit further out at the docks, in the rehearsal rooms for the Sydney Philharmonic Orchestra. Almost had to run there and made it at 5 o clock exactly.

Sydney Children’s Choir is a lovely and amazing choir, the conductor genial, she obviously got the very best from the children, knew what she wanted and how to get it. The choir sang the piece almost flawlessly, I only had one small thing to mention. Looked very much forward to hearing the concert, 2 days later.

Back to The Con after the rehearsal, there we heard a percussion- and saxophone concert. Pretty good pieces, especially the first one in which the instruments were all sorts of plastic things – playing on plastic wastebaskets with plastic combs and all sorts of other funny instruments.

This concert, like the piano concert the day before, was live on the radio, introduced by a radio host for the ABC Classical station. Pretty good. Jón Lárus fell asleep during this concert but I managed to stay awake – also had had about 4 hours more sleep than he. After the concert we were all invited to a reception in the Aurora Bar (Southern Lights Bar, I suppose). Got a couple of glasses of red wine and a pretty good chat with some colleagues – and with the radio host. He was excited to meet me and wanted me to pronounce the name of my piece into his dictaphone. I made it really Northern and hard, extra R-s, Carrrrrmen Frrrratrum Arrrrrvalium. Suppose I sounded like our volcano.

eggin

Everyone we talked to that day, from the wine store assistant, through a diplomat from New Guinea and a composer from Estonia to the radio host had to ask us a lot of questions about the volcanic eruptions. Well, the wine store guy actually knew more than we did, haven’t seen any news for a couple of days, he could tell us old Eyjafjallajökull had started spewing more again. Everybody also asked if we had had any trouble getting away from the country. Well, we hadn’t but also hoped to get back without trouble…

Every single Sydney citizen we met were really nice and helpful, I love the atmosphere in the city. People are quick to help hapless lost tourists without being asked and shop assistants know how to be helpful without being pushy.

Skipped the last concert, just walked to the hotel, 2 1/2 km. Unbelievably good to don the pyjamas, crawl under the sheets, drink a glass of red wine from a hotel water glass and write diary on my computer.

Day #3. Sleepyheads

I have no idea when May 3rd left off and the 4th began, really confusing which time to use but some time during the night the 4th arrived.

This part of the way was basically like this: Abu Dhabi-Muscat-Goa-south for Indonesia for some reason-northeasterly Australia-Sydney. Flew almost straight over Uluru (formerly known as Ayer’s Rock) but it was pitch dark so we wouldn’t have seen it even if we had been awake.

Watched Sound of Music, haven’t seen that old film for 30 years at least, actually I think our version in Reykjavík City Theatre better, if anything (for new readers, I took part in the show as part of the nun’s chorus – quite brilliant experience). Fun to watch though and compare and of course a good way to spend 3 hours out of the 14 inflight. Finished one book and began reading another.

They didn’t have enough warm breakfast trays, 2 or 3 missing and of course I had to be one of the people that didn’t get any. Well, did get some warm cherry cake, weird for breakfast though. Jón Lárus then gave me a part of his breakfast, thanks again my dear.

Finally landed in Sydney, no big problems going through immigration and customs, taxi down to the hotel, a bit old but clean and it was totally heavenly to take a shower and the tiniest of naps. Wanted to try to keep awake as long as we could. Some sort of net service in the hotel, not free (we’ve come to expect free net in hotels, it’s free in all hotels worth their salt in Iceland, the other Nordic countries, all over eastern Europe, even a small cheap hotel in rural Czech republic by the Polish border had a really decent free net service. Not here, though, even seemed like the service would be more expensive in the better hotels. Weird. Also we didn’t even get properly in contact with the net service even if we wanted to buy access. Hrumpfff! Of course we weren’t in Australia to surf incessantly on the internet but it could get really awkward not to get connection at all for 2 weeks. Well, maybe they had heard of free WIFI in cafés – might try that later on.

But let’s stop snivelling – after the short break we took a look at the event calendar and map, then out of the hotel to find the concert hall for the first concert of the day. Wasn’t far, according to the map. We had a couple of hours so out we went and walked towards the harbour. The sun being in the north messed us up of course, we walked for a bit in the wrong direction, found out in 500-600 metres or so and turned around of course. Walking towards Circular Quay where the opera house is situated was about 2 1/2 km away from the hotel, maybe we would have gone there if we hadn’t started off in the wrong direction. As it was, a bit too far so we just went straight to the concert hall.

On the way there we tried to find a supermarket of any kind, in the hotel room we had a nice fridge and it would be nice not to have to buy all meals in restaurants. Didn’t find any proper shops, only tons of really expensive 7-11’s and small oriental supermarkets (found out later in the day that the hotel was situated in the middle of Sydney’s China Town).

The concert hall was easy to find, Eugene Goosens Hall, situated in ABC Australian Broadcast Corporation, Australia’s public broadcasting service. We were an hour early for the concert so we sat down in the ABC café and had a beer each. No Foster’s to be seen (not that we were looking) but those two were tasty and nice and cold.

The jet lag was getting at us though. I think the concert was good, 21 short piano pieces by 21 young composers, performed by 21 piano students at the Sydney Conservatory of Music. Both of us fell fast asleep though and I just hope we didn’t snore since the concert was broadcast live countrywise…

Here‘s the station with some web broadcasts from the festival, my concert’s there too under Voices to Thrill, if anyone wants to hear. My name’s pronounced pretty weird there, though.

Well, this was no use, we went to one of the Chinese fast food places, bought 2 huge chicken thighs and something to drink, back to the hotel to eat, meant to lay down and sleep for 45 minutes. Woke up 3 hours later of course but totally too tired to go to the 2 remaining concerts. Just stayed in bed and read until we fell asleep again about half-past ten in the evening.

Day #2 Fliiiiiiiight

The second day began and ended in flight, two long flights that day with only 3 hours stop. The London-Abu Dhabi was “only” 7 hours, full plane and very little space as I already said. The food and service were excellent though, we got a menu, could pick from 3 different main courses, 2 entrées (a fresh salad and a shrimp and rice entrée – I could even eat the shrimp one despite a hint of the hated fresh cilantro). Jón Lárus (husband) had chicken but I decided to be daring and chose the salmon despite being scared of it being dry. Well, it wasn’t dry, far from it, excellent, braised on the outside, soft inside and with spinach a lovely lemon sauce. Mmm! Apricot tart with creamy custard and steel cutlery, not plastic. Not bad, not bad at all.

The in-flight entertainment system was fairly close to the Icelandair one, more and newer movies and series though. Watched a Bones episode, I’ve never seen any of them, which is maybe weird since I’m a Kathy Reichs fan. The sound in Jón Lárus’s screen didn’t work, though and it didn’t help to have the system rebooted. Quite liked the fact that the system’s running on Linux though. We switched seats when I wanted to try to nap, so he could watch.

I liked the fact that by every seat there was a power outlet for the computers. No net, though, suppose that would have been a bit much to ask for.

The flight attendants kept bringing us something to drink, water, juices, soft drinks, beer, wine and drinks, well we didn’t have too much of the last 3, being drunk sure isn’t cool. Had one glass of red wine though to help me sleep. Didn’t work too well though, it’s hard to sleep in such a confined space.

Flight path basically: London-Bucharest-Ankara-Shiraz-Abu Dhabi. I wonder if a US company would have been allowed to fly over Iran. Sort of doubt it but Etihad is of course a UEA company.

At seven AM (local time) we flew towards Abu Dhabi. Saw the man-made palm frond island in Dubai through the mist out the airplane window, an impressive sight in spite of the ugly background story. Unfortunately I didn’t have the camera ready but here’s a stolen photo from the net…

4 in the morning at home, better not send a status update SMS so not as to scare the kids.

Abu Dhabi airport might be the coolest I’ve ever seen. Everything marble and golden and purple lighting, nothing dirty or shabby. Automatic soap dispensers and automatic flushing on the toilets, I’m not sure if I liked that all that much, though, I’m really fanatical about closing the WC before flushing, have you seen a photo of the tiny water drops that swirl up when flushing? I’m not overly scared of bacteria but this is just a bit too much for me…

Everything really, really expensive, too, apparently you can make a killing in gold and jewellery but well, we weren’t there to buy gold so all we bought was some water, a couple of cups of coffee and some chips.

Didn’t find an open net in the airport café area but when we got down to the gate there was free WIFI, I suppose the oil barons can afford to have free internet in the airport. Nice. (well, the oil barons in Norway are a bit more stingy, though…)

The surrounding outside was weird, everything was grayish yellow, I’ve never been to the desert before. Endless sand blowing everywhere, I thought it really amazing that the airport wasn’t full of sand too.

Checking in to the Sydney airplane we got the most relaxed security check of the whole trip, no taking off your jacket, never mind shoes, no taking the computer out of the bag, basically as it used to be in the west. My prejudice slip showing – suppose they think: well nobody would do anything HERE, it’s all for export…

I and Jón Lárus got seats furthest back in the plane, 45. row. The plane took ages getting away in the sand storm, first a long queue, then some technical problem (good none of us is scared of flying) and then more queues out on the runway.

Really cool flight control tower:

Equally small space between the seat rows but this plane was nowhere close to as full, shortly after the seatbelt light went off I secured a middle row for us to lie down during the flight. Not a minute too early, lots of people were looking for same. Saved this 14 hour flight from being too awful.

Travel itinerary Day #1. Half Way There

Well, I was asked to tell the story of our Australia trip, I wrote long blogs with pictures on my Icelandic but why not here, too? If you get bored, well just don’t read I suppose. Would like to know if ppl are reading, otherwise I probably I won’t bother…

Flights to Europe from here usually leave at the ungodly hour of 07:00 AM, we have to show up at 05:00 which means wake up no later than 4 AM. Quick shower, woke up the kids (at their insistence) to kiss them bye. They could then go back to sleep (eldest one’s 18, perfectly safe to leave them alone). Kjartan, the chairman of the Society of Icelandic Composers showed up in a cab about half four and to the airport it was. Lucky 18 year old didn’t need to get up and drive us there.

I always have the same sort of breakfast before these early flights in Keflavík, they’ve got an excellent café, some hot chocolate + a ham&cheese croissant, not too expensive. Bought a couple of books to read on the plane, had brought quite a lot of them actually but you can never have too many books! Meant to get transferred to Economy Comfort but didn’t ask for it in the right place, needed to go to Saga Lounge and by that time it was too late, I got told by an extremely irritated lady at the desk. Never mind – this flight was too short to bother anyway.

Ascension in cloudy weather but after a short while we flew around old Eyjafjallajökull. We hadn’t brought the family out to see the eruption like half the nation did at the time, so this was the first time we saw the cloud with our own eyes. Quite amazing, even though it was from a distance.

I and husband ate half our homemade sandwiches on the plane, Icelandair used to give out breakfast and dinner in Economy Class but no more, sorry to say.

Didn’t even bother digging up the books or computer for a 2 1/2 hour flight, went uneventfully even though we didn’t get to land right away, had to fly in circles, then there was another plane at the gate, then there was something wrong with the gate ramp but fortunately we weren’t in a hurry. Definitely no hurry. Later in the day we saw the Icelandair plane take off, quite a bit later than usual, suppose the eruption delays were still taking their time.

Sent the teenager an SMS to let her know we had landed safely in London.

Freezing and raining in England so we decided not to go into the city at all, just waited in the airport the 10 hours until next flight. Went to Terminal 4, where the Abu Dhabi flight was supposed to fly in the evening. Talked to a really nice guy at the Etihad Airways check-in desk, he asked us if we lived close to the volcano and if our families and homes were in any danger (which fortunately they aren’t).

10 hours in an airport is a loooong time, though. Long and boring. Had a burger with huge fries in the first restaurant we saw. Looked better than it tasted, the burger was dry and the fries mealy.

Went looking for a business lounge, didn’t dare to go into an enormously wealthy-looking Etihad lounge but finally found one where our Priority Pass gave us the possibility to buy some peace and quiet. Cost £20 for 3 hours per person and £40 for 9 hours. 80 pounds for both of us was a bit steep so we went to the Starbucks café for a cup of coffee and some fresh fruit for a while, took turns sitting there and looking around the almost empty airport. Bought a couple of more books (I simply cannot walk past a book shop) and some sweets, also saw some Thornton’s chocolates we decided to buy on our way home, 2 weeks later.

The business lounge was nice, well worth the money, food and drink as much as we wanted, nice seats and internet included for our computers. Weren’t able to connect the computers to a power plug, silly British sockets and plugs – or silly us not to have brought the British size with us, rather. Browsed the net until the computer wailed at me, then started on one of my by then numerous books.

After the 3 hours we had bought, out again, took care not to look in the direction of the book shop, all 3 of us sat down in a pub with a beer each, trying not to drink too fast. Really, really wanted to be able to connect my computer to a power source so when I saw a shop with electrical appliances I ran over there and found this excellent adapter, on which was claimed it had all the world’s sockets and plugs. Bought it, of course, pronto. When Kjartan saw the adapter he of course had to buy one too, it would fit our appliances to the Australian sockets too.

Earlier in the day I had seen my dream handbag, beautifully violet, in Harrods, don’t remember the type but on the way to the gate I had to see what it cost. £1260, thank you very much! Don’t need a new handbag all THAT bad!

Finally the Abu Dhabi flight, around 10 o clock in the evening. Large Airbus plane, not the biggest I’ve seen but big enough. Very very limited space, when I squeezed my little Mac laptop in the seat pocket in front of my seat I bumped my knees on it. Wouldn’t like to have had long legs, fortunately we’re just a bit vertically challenged so we survived. Not comfortably though.

Otherwise the flight was very nice. More in the next instalment.

And properly this time round

This day we travelled with a train for two hours, visiting Australia’s Blue Mountains (we also have Blue Mountains up here). They bear the name by a totally different reason than ours, because of the bluish Eucalyptus trees abundantly growing around there. Actually it’s rather the valleys than the mountains themselves that are blue.

Better not get ahead of myself here, though, the train journey wasn’t eventful, we did see more from the top floor of the train than I was afraid of, having been on long train trips in various parts of Europe and seen nothing but a wall of trees. The view was often very beautiful, not the surroundings of the train stations though, when you’ve seen one you’ve basically seen them all. Industrial districts look alike everywhere, I suppose.

Got to the little town Leura in the Blue Mountains about 11 am, there greeted by our newfound friend Paul Simpson. He drove with us to a café where we also met up with his girlfriend, Jo Truman. Those people we had met at a concert the previous weekend. He is very interested in all sorts of music, not a pro musician himself though, she’s a pretty known singer of modern music, used to live and work in Europe but missed her homeland and moved back a few years ago. They had offered to take us on a tourist trip in the mountains and we of course couldn’t say no to such a great invitation.

Jo

Paul

After their coffee and my cup of tea in the café we started off. Did have a look into this fun little book- and music shop in Leura, Paul pointed out to me a CD of Zoltán Kodály’s works, not even knowing I love Kodály. Bought it pronto, of course. We also bought a card with one of Jo’s pictures on it, she sells her cards in this shop and more places around the area.

Then the bush.

skógarstígur

Walked a bit into the forest until all of a sudden we saw this gigantic canyon, full of trees, got stories of people getting lost and I truly believe that. Huge distances, tall trees, impossible to orient oneself without help. Apparently you can get a some sort of powerful gps beacon app to send out a signal, if you get lost but not everyone knows about that, rather than back home where a lot of people tend not to be properly prepared for their trips up in the highlands sometimes. Normal gps devices don’t really work well enough under all those tall treecaps.

dalir

Tons of eucalyptustrees and tea trees and of course all sorts of other (for us) unrecocnizeable plants, like Australia’s national flower. See here – with ditty:


(this isn’t Paul’s natural voice, nor twang, though…)

Back to the car, drove a bit further, to a more touristy place, Echo Point. Got a bit of echo, and saw a ton of tourists. Cool, though. One more place did we see, hardly any people around, but a tourist centre with the history of the mountains, fun reading a bit about the place. It was really surprising to me that the water in creeks and rivers is so polluted that it’s definitely not advisable to drink it unless boiling it and put in disinfectants. Great is the might of mankind!

This is a big place for bush fires, Jo and Paul explained to us that the eucalyptus trees actually spray oil upwards sometimes so that when there’s fire, there’s something to feed it really quickly, even the air itself, above the trees, ignites. Thus the fire travels incredibly quickly when it starts. Some of the plants even NEED fire to be able to reproduce, amazing really.

Had hoped to see some kangaroos on the trip, but no, apparently they’re pretty shy and don’t like people so you have to be lucky to spot one. They say it’s different in other places though, like in Canberra and up on the plains but we wouldn’t be going there in our short time there. Looked like we wouldn’t get to see a single ‘roo the whole trip. Not good. (the only thing our middle daughter had asked was that if we saw one, we’d take a photo on the phone and send to her).

Lunch in a country pub, the best burger in the whole trip and the ice cream was amazing. Jón sneaked in and paid for the lunch for all of us, got protests when he got back out again but of course this was the least we could do!

Afterwards we went to Paul’s house for some music, he’s got probably the best audio system I’ve ever heard in a private house, SuperAudio stuff (hmm actually I think our surround cinema amp can play SuperAudio but I don’t have the player to go with it though). Paul told us about speakers from the same company our living room amp, (british Musical Fidelity) cost about ₤12.000 or about 2 1/2 million Icelandic crowns. If I had that sort of money to spend, I think I’d buy a newer car than my 15 year old one…

Paul and Jo then took us to the train station again, where we took leave of them but promised to keep in touch. I’ll be sending a few CDs with Icelandic music, just made the package as a matter of fact and will be taking it to the post office later on today.

Back in Sydney, takeout from a Malaysian place, up to our freezing hotel room. (well not that bad this night though). Wrote in the travel log, took a short look on the internet and then to sleep.